Tag Archive for ‘App Store’

What It Was Like to Sell Apps Online in 2003 ➝

Brent Simmons:

Apple likes to claim that the App Store replaced the system of selling software in physical boxes in stores and over the mail.

But it’s not true.

My experience selling apps before the App Store was not unique or new — it’s only interesting now because people may have forgotten this history, and younger people may never have heard it.

His setup for selling NetNewsWire online in 2003 seems pretty simple. And I’m sure it’s even easier now with an additional 18 years of development on software for online sales.

The App Store still has value. Having a place where you can get software that has been “sanctioned” by Apple seems great for novice users. But it shouldn’t be the only way to install apps on iOS. Apple needs to open the platform.

➝ Source: inessential.com

Apple Banned Shadow App After Microsoft Used It as an Example to Get xCloud for iOS Approved ➝

Filipe Espósito, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Microsoft tried to launch its xCloud game streaming service on the App Store for iPhone and iPad users, but Apple rejected the app due to its strict guidelines. Now emails revealed in the Epic vs. Apple trial on Wednesday show that Apple even removed a similar app from the App Store after its existence was mentioned by Microsoft.

Situations like this will always be a problem in the App Store. We need an alternative method for installing apps on iOS.

➝ Source: 9to5mac.com

App Bottlerocket ➝

A nifty web app by Matt Birchler for searching the Apple App Store for data about applications. The only thing I’d like to see added is a fancy site icon for adding to your Home Screen.

➝ Source: birchtree.me

Appscope, a Progressive Web App Directory ➝

I recently mentioned an idea I had for a web-based app store comprised of web apps. Despite the sweet solution being less than ideal, if Apple claims that the web is competition, it would be neat if it was stronger competition. And a central location for browsing web apps sounds like it would go a long way.

I did some digging and Appscope was the only service like this that I could find. And based on the activity on their Twitter account, I’m not sure if it’s being actively maintained. There’s also a handful of omissions that seem pretty obvious to me at least.

I’ll keep looking around, but I sort-of have a feeling I might end up building my own in some form or another. If only because I’m starting to grow tired of the control Apple wields over developers and would love to explore applications with alternative distribution methods.

➝ Source: appsco.pe

No Clear Justification for Removal ➝

Patrick McGee, on Twitter:

Former head of App Review says some apps were “remov[ed]” “immediately” because Mr. Schiller and Mr. Cue were “adamant” about (their) removal, despite Mr. Shoemaker’s “protest[s]” that there was no clear justification for doing so under the app review guidelines.

Sure, Apple’s terms of service gives them room to remove apps at their discretion. But we all know that’s a lame excuse. There is always a reason. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they remove all the other apps in the App Store?

Three things need to happen:

  1. Apple needs to strictly adhere to their own rules about app removals and rejections.
  2. If an app comes along that requires the rules be changed, change the rules and give developers a period of time to adapt before the change is enforced.
  3. Give users the option to install apps from elsewhere.

The first two are the absolute baseline. The third item is because people are imperfect and Apple’s ideal of the App Store will never be attained.

➝ Source: mobile.twitter.com

Apple’s Lame Alternatives for Reaching Users ➝

Sami Fathi, writing for MacRumors:

In a new filing (via ZDnet) responding to concerns from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission that it exploits “alleged market power in its role as a distributor of apps,” Apple highlights multiple avenues that developers can take to reach customers.

Specifically, Apple points out that the “whole web” exists as an alternative means of distribution, arguing that the web has become a platform unto itself. Apple supports this claim by noting that iOS devices have “unrestricted and uncontrolled” access to the web, allowing users to download web apps.

I’m an advocate for the open web and think there should be a lot more development of web apps built for mobile devices. And I would love to see their usage grow. But we all know — including the folks at Apple — that this is pretty lame. Web apps are not even close to being in the same league as native apps.

There should be a way to distribute apps outside of the App Store. The absence of this capability is holding the platform back.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Developer Suing Apple Over Scam Apps on the App Store ➝

How many of the developer relations issues that Apple has to deal with would be completely eliminated if you could just install iOS apps from outside the App Store?

➝ Source: appleinsider.com

‘It Depends on Whether Apple Likes You’ ➝

Michael Tsai, referencing Apple’s App Store guidelines on user generated content in relation to Parler’s recent app rejection:

Parler has all this. You can argue with how well it works, but the guidelines don’t state any specific requirements about that. […]

If you go by Apple’s written guidelines, multiple apps were compliant, yet rejected anyway. If you go by Apple’s stated objections, none of the major apps are compliant, yet they’re in the store, anyway.

Regardless of your opinion about Parler, it’s clear that Apple’s policies are not enforced uniformly. And yes, I agree with the likely rebuttal — the App Store is a private platform, Apple makes the rules and can remove an app for any reason. But there’s a difference between what they can do and what they should do. Without any predictability to policy enforcement, developers are left in the dark. And the smaller developers are the ones hurt the most.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, smaller developers are stuck building apps that are well within the lines of acceptability. Otherwise they risk their livelihood. They don’t have the option to build something that pushes the envelope because they aren’t afforded the same lax enforcement that the bigger companies receive.

Apple needs to get a handle on their policies. Refine their wording, train app reviewers well, and enforce the policies evenly.

But I would also advocate for opening the platform. Because no matter how hard Apple tries, the review process will never be perfect. Just let developers distribute their own apps. Add an option in settings to allow installation from outside the App Store, disable it by default, and display a strongly worded notice when it’s toggled. Whatever you have to do.

The developer community and the platform itself would greatly benefit from a bit more freedom.

➝ Source: mjtsai.com