Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Dec 2015 18:51 UTC
Mac OS X

There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store - many of which in isolation wouldn't cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.

And this is yet another lauded developer leaving the fledgling Mac App Store behind. Tapbots' Paul Haddad is pretty on point.

Five to ten years from now, we'll all laugh about how terrible of an idea the centralised, controlled, closed application store was, and mourn the immense damage it has done to developers. A short gold rush, followed by the total destruction of the independent developer community. I hope it was worth it.

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Comment by kittynipples
by kittynipples on Tue 1st Dec 2015 19:04 UTC
kittynipples
Member since:
2006-08-02

The problem is not that Apple made an App Store; it's that Apple doesn't rely on software sales for its business, so in trying to remove all complexity from the consumer experience, they are either blind to (or don’t care about) the needs of those whose livelihoods do depend on selling software.

Edited 2015-12-01 19:04 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by kittynipples
by CaptainN- on Tue 1st Dec 2015 21:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by kittynipples"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

That's a big part of it, but the other part is the openness that Apple and Google allow in both of their app stores. Yes openness. Anyone can submit an app, and as long as you don't violate the (often silly) rules, Apple and Google doesn't care whether your app is any good, steals someone else's IP, has a really really abusive business model, is entering a crowded space and will therefor drive down prices (econ 101), or whatever else. They just don't care.

Contrast that with other walled gardens like software on any home video console or Steam, where the content is actively cultivated, rather than open to anyone, and you can see that the problem is not that it's a walled garden, but rather that's its far too open, leading to the kinds of problems we keep seeing railed against on this site.

The race to the bottom problem is a problem with any competitive market system, where the price of any goods or services are supposed to approach the costs, eliminating profit (econ 101 again). It seems most of the griping about "centralized" app stores is really a lot of whining about how markets work in general, but without any real understanding about how markets work in general.

If you want to solve the problem where people can't makes ends meet in a competitive market system, maybe you need to reconsider the market approach.

And in case you are wondering, the reason why the big silicon valley companies can make a profit, is because they have each carved out a segment of whatever market they are in, and then agreed not to compete with each other (even for employees), so that they can all have various (and often differing) forms of a monopoly, which is what any sane company would seek in any market. Competition is bad for business, and like it or not, private market systems, like app stores, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, etc., are very competitive.

BTW, I'm not advocating for monopolized private (or public) businesses, I'm just pointing out the ways in which the griping here is counter to itself (or at least other gripes also made on this site - by Thom I mean), without any seeming understanding of the fundamentals.

Edited 2015-12-01 21:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kittynipples
by CaptainN- on Tue 1st Dec 2015 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kittynipples"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

TLDNR version: It's contradictory to complain about the inability of developers to make money in app stores, then also deride Nintendo for protecting the profits of it's game makers by seeking to end game reselling, which it has directly argued would have the same effect on their game sellers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kittynipples
by CaptainN- on Tue 1st Dec 2015 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kittynipples"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

On the other hand, I wonder if focusing on the specific ways the app stores expose users to apps would be a better conversation to have:
https://medium.com/swlh/mobile-app-developers-are-suffering-a5636c57...

I've often wondered if a company could be built that simply cultivated what's already in Google Play and Apple App Store. A third part to filter out the abusive crapware from the true gems (I'm obviously thinking in terms of video games).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kittynipples
by ilovebeer on Wed 2nd Dec 2015 05:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kittynipples"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I don't see that happening. Who wants to pay (in one form or another) someone to get in the middle and give you their opinion of which games are good and which aren't? Or which games include the added bonus of bloat/crap/spy/* ware for that matter. If you can figure out how to create a sustainable business out of that, my hats off to you!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kittynipples
by avgalen on Wed 2nd Dec 2015 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kittynipples"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Ever read any gaming magazine or visited any gaming site? Their "Scoring", "Best", "Top 10" etc are basically all store-filters. If a game only scores a 6 less people will be inclined to click the store-link.
You don't have to store the actual content to improve on the appstore, you have to improve the searching/filtering

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kittynipples
by ilovebeer on Wed 2nd Dec 2015 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kittynipples"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Yes, both, in great quantity when I was younger. Reviews on websites are free and if all the magazines contained were reviews, I wouldn't have bought any of them. Gaming magazines big selling point is the previews/first-looks and interviews, not their `sponsored` reviews. I'm holding firm on my previous post.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by kittynipples
by avgalen on Wed 2nd Dec 2015 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by kittynipples"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I think you need to look at current gaming websites a bit more creatively. They are making a living from advertisements and are offering an alternative to the official appstore by providing reviews and scoring systems. Focussing your attention to what is cool/new/cheap/original/popular/spectacular and hiding all those other games.
The same for sites like http://www.windowscentral.com/apps which have pointed me to many of my favorite apps

(a much uglier and opposite example would be "windows collection sites" like zdnet, filehippo, majorgeeks and all those others that I try to purge from my memory because they DO actually try to host the files and add lots of junkware and fake installers)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stormcrow
by stormcrow on Tue 1st Dec 2015 19:10 UTC
stormcrow
Member since:
2015-03-10

And yet I'm having trouble feeling sympathetic to their reasoning when one of the complaints is over the Mac app store enforcing a long standing security practice (sandboxing). They should be enforcing standard security practices when they are available in the basic operating system.

I can understand being miffed by the time it takes to get through the capricious store review, and the problems with tiered pricing. But, complaining over security rules just because they can't figure out how to implement a few features safely in a security sandbox is utterly bogus. Makes me think the features are fundamentally unsound from a security point of view to begin with.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Bill Shooter of Bul
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 1st Dec 2015 19:12 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Five to ten years from now, we'll all laugh about how terrible of an idea the centralised, controlled, closed application store was, and mourn the immense damage it has done to developers. A short gold rush, followed by the total destruction of the independent developer community. I hope it was worth it.


I don't think in general it is or was a bad idea. I do think, as currently implemented, it is a bad idea, due to the lack of upgrade pricing, the lack of quality control, and the lack of flexibility of app store's margins.

Change those things, and it would be a good thing. Really the only difficult/dicey proposition is the quality control. I think you need something like grocery stores shelf space fees, to prevent this tragedy of the commons.

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Hmm, Having a "premium" tier for the app store could bring in so much revenue for Apple/ Google. I'd be surprised if they didn't try it.

I'm sure people will hate that too. Indi developers still wouldn't have it easy, but there would be a pathway to success ( think pets.com superbowl add).

Reply Score: 2

v app stores have been around forever
by ezraz on Tue 1st Dec 2015 19:20 UTC
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

No, you missed the mark here.

Thom got it right. The App Store is failing with influencers because it sucks, period. No upgrade pricing. Sandboxing. Approval periods. No analytics. No way to contact the users. No way to reply to reviews. The whole thing is just an uncurated mess. No one at Apple "owns" the store, and the big letdown is that Apple is so good as the details, except when it just forgets a product or falls out of love with it. The App Store should be a giant embarrassing mark on Apple's resume, but I don't even know that they care.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Seems to me like the whole app store model is a broken model to begin with:

https://medium.com/swlh/mobile-app-developers-are-suffering-a5636c57...

Reply Score: 4

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

i think thom hates apple's success more than their methods. when they do things other company's do they get hit harder. europeans in general hate on apple, it's such a different market i guess. i think anything more successful in america is attacked for various reasons.

apple doesn't fit the narrative of stupid fat americans. it's whooped so much corporate ass in the last 15 years now i guess the fun is seeing if/when they will fail


I can't speak for Thom, but I dislike Apple's methods more than their success. What I dislike most is how they charge so much more, have such excessive margins, such extreme profit and still do so many things that are not beneficial to their customers (like a 16 GB iPhone or half-implenting NFC). I also strongly dislike how their products don't work with the products and interfaces from other manufacturers. And I hate the hypocrisy where they block apps in their app-store only because they contain the word "Android" but actually dare to put an app in the Google Play Store which only goal is to convert people from Android to iOS.
Europeans in general don't hate on Apple. But we do get their products here even more expensive and less functional (the new Apple TV without Siri for example) so they are less successful and criticized more.
We love American culture and absorb their tv-shows and movies, use their software and services. But we also criticize things we don't like, regardless where they come from.
Now that whole last part about stupid-fat-americans and corporate ass whooping...that was just a brainfart that accidentally made it to the internet right?

Reply Score: 4

ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

"i think thom hates apple's success more than their methods. when they do things other company's do they get hit harder. europeans in general hate on apple, it's such a different market i guess. i think anything more successful in america is attacked for various reasons.

apple doesn't fit the narrative of stupid fat americans. it's whooped so much corporate ass in the last 15 years now i guess the fun is seeing if/when they will fail


I can't speak for Thom, but I dislike Apple's methods more than their success. What I dislike most is how they charge so much more, have such excessive margins, such extreme profit and still do so many things that are not beneficial to their customers (like a 16 GB iPhone or half-implenting NFC). I also strongly dislike how their products don't work with the products and interfaces from other manufacturers. And I hate the hypocrisy where they block apps in their app-store only because they contain the word "Android" but actually dare to put an app in the Google Play Store which only goal is to convert people from Android to iOS.
Europeans in general don't hate on Apple. But we do get their products here even more expensive and less functional (the new Apple TV without Siri for example) so they are less successful and criticized more.
We love American culture and absorb their tv-shows and movies, use their software and services. But we also criticize things we don't like, regardless where they come from.
Now that whole last part about stupid-fat-americans and corporate ass whooping...that was just a brainfart that accidentally made it to the internet right?
"


i consider most of the internet a brainfart, including my own output ;-)

apple doesn't charge more for garbage because that just doesn't work. it's consumer choice. when you constantly score higher than other makers on hardware lifespan, downtime, and customer happiness there's nothing fake or precarious about that.

they don't make 'extreme' profit, they make an earned profit from legions of happy customer and serving new markets year after year. there's nothing extreme about that, that's how corporations are supposed to work. they don't slash and burn, they don't acquire and fire very often, and they don't tell existing customers "too bad" like so many other tech firms.

apple products work with more things out of the box than most. of course there's some vendor lock in but they are an entire platform, they rely on some of that. compared to 20 years ago apple's are wide open, running UNIX, using standard networking stacks, running windows, offering most software for free or very low price.

it's interesting to me that you love american TV, movies and "culture", something we aren't necessarily proud of, but our finest tech company of the last 15 years just doesn't get much respect. we could always go back to microsoft ruling the roost :-0

Reply Score: 1

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Apple charging 200 dollar more for 16GB->128GB is not consumers choice, it is consumers acceptance. Europeans apparently accept that kind of choice less ;) .
Apples profit margins are far higher than anyone elses. With 15% phone marketshare they get 90% of the profits. Again, it is the consumers that pays that money but don't go spreading around that Apple doesn't make extreme profit.
Apple DOES acquire very often and they tell customers "too bad" quite regularly (Apple Maps, again Apple TV with Siri)

Apple products working with more things out of the box than most....hahahahahaa, especially because you continue by saying that they actually rely on vendor lock in to their platform
Apple isn't your finest tech company at all, just the most profitable. They have been convicted multiple times and have delivered some really crappy products and services while behaving in their best interest, not consumers or employees.

I am not saying others are perfect, but please look at Apple a bit more critically

(and when I say we love American culture, I mean we love watching it...for entertainment...everyone knows America is too young to have any culture ;) )

Reply Score: 4

Insightful analysis from Thom
by Moochman on Tue 1st Dec 2015 22:52 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, you're right that the app stores have meant that many indie developers have trouble getting discovered. It's like the YouTube effect: once you get popular, you get more popular, and there's only room for a small percentage that manages to get popular. In the old system, everything was a lot more decentralised so the chances that your software might be linked in someone's directory, somewhere, were higher. But I'm not certain that the chances of long-term success were much higher.

Yes, it wasn't nearly as much of a gold-rush back then, but as a consumer there was also less software to choose from due to that exact factor.

Btw, whatever you say, Marco Arment doesn't seem like that bad a guy. ;)

Edited 2015-12-01 22:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, the thing with youtube, is that its easier for me to see the popular content, and ignore the home video crapfest.

Reply Score: 2

Claim needs clarification
by avgalen on Wed 2nd Dec 2015 06:53 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Five to ten years from now, we'll all laugh about how terrible of an idea the centralised, controlled, closed application store was, and mourn the immense damage it has done to developers



* Centralized is good! Searching all over the internet for software and downloading from unknown sources is bad for the user (think Windows and viruses). Setting up a software distribution site is also not something software manufacturers want to do.
* Controlled is good! When you are in charge of something you have to control it. Now the problem is when you control it in a way that your suppliers and customers don't agree with
* Closed...well isn't that just a result of controlled?

There has been no damage from the Mac app store because you can still deliver your software the old fashioned way.

Think of app-stores as supermarkets. Consumers like it because there is one place where they can get everything. Suppliers like it because it makes their distribution easier.
The problem is when there is only 1 supermarket for the entire world and consumers don't like their presentation, pricing or product selection or when suppliers cannot get the products that their customers want into the supermarket.
As long as suppliers can still choose to sell their products directly to consumers the supermarkets/app-stores are just another delivery channel that seems to be beneficial to both suppliers and consumers. Side-loading or secondary app-stores seem to work just fine.
As a supplier of apps my company sometimes struggles a bit with the app-stores (especially for iOS) but we also struggle with other deployment methods.
As a consumer I have far less problems getting software on my devices now than in the past.

I see no reason why application stores are a terrible idea. I also so no evidence of immense damage. Even in the example of Sketch they just choose to leave the appstore and go back to the old way of distributing their software. No immense damage to be found anywhere.
If you’re a Mac App Store customer, all you need to do is download Sketch from our website, launch it and enter your email address to receive your license.
src: http://blog.sketchapp.com/post/134322691555/leaving-the-mac-app-sto...

Reply Score: 2