Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 22:54 UTC
Mac OS X And so the iOS-ification of Mac OS X continues. Apple has just announced that all applications submitted to the Mac App Store have to use sandboxing by March 2012. While this has obvious security advantages, the concerns are numerous - especially since Apple's current sandboxing implementation and associated rules makes a whole lot of applications impossible.
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RE[4]: Good move
by frderi on Sat 5th Nov 2011 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good move"
frderi
Member since:
2011-06-17


You are right that application stores are better for paying applications, though, but I don't know up to which point (PayPal is a universal mean of buying software on the internet, and software can use the same kind of DRMs as app stores to reduce piracy). Which is why I'm a PayPal advocate : the transaction is managed by a large third party which is specialized in managing online transactions and as such can take the right decisions as far as security is concerned.


Paypal is also a lot more complex and it doesn't offer you the guarantee that the vendor is genuine. The Mac App Store is all about one-click purchasing to make the purchase experience as simple as possible.


Now, you may argue that it is the same thing with Apple. Yet there is a difference. Apple are the developers of Mac OS and own many large software on the Mac platform, they are not a neutral third-party when it comes to taking decisions about what software gets allowed on their platform.


If you know a bit about Apple as a company, you know that Apple makes money off its hardware. They're a product company, selling solutions to customers, but when it comes to making money, its the devices, the hardware that makes the money, not the software. The software is an unique selling point for their hardware. Which is the main reason they do low-cost software and bundle entry level apps for free and ship low cost upgrades unlike companies which view themselves as software companies and try to maximize profits on their software products.

Granted, they did several pro apps as well, but if you know what happened behind the scenes of these products and how Apple ended up with them, its more that Apple rolled into them than anything else. Apple never planned to do Final Cut Pro. It was a project at Macromedia from the creator of Premiere before Macromedia refocused on serving the internet application space and ended up merging with Adobe. Apple took it off Macromedia's hands because they knew it was a good product, they wanted it on their platform badly in order to ensure hardware sales, but nobody was interested in bringing Final Cut to market for their platform. They tried selling it for two years after they bought it, but still nobody was interested. They eventually just kept it and sold it themselves at a reduced price because of the positive effects it would have on their hardware sales.

Apple aren't all that interested in competing with with their app providers just for the sake of getting more software sales. There's no money (and gain) for Apple to do all the software for their platform. Its not what they're about. Apple chooses to do a few products as well as they can and ignore the rest so total software dominination does not fit in this vision. They tend to do entry level consumer apps to provide entry level solutions to their customers, and are happy leave the pro stuff to others. Suites like iWork basically is AppleWorks for the 21st century, an entry level app. As a testament to this, apple never did a fully fledged productivity suite for their platform, unlike some of their competitors like Sun or Microsoft did.


"Zomg ! Images of prehistoric women WITH BREASTS ??? BURN !!!").


You can always consult the CD-ROMs of magazines for apps which display prehistoric women with breasts… Oh wait. :-)


Vendors only get out of business once, and it takes a finite and short time to do that, so I believe this is a relatively minor concern.


I was only giving some examples, big and small, to illustrate my argument that everything else is a mixed bag and what makes a centralised purchase store better.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Good move
by Neolander on Sat 5th Nov 2011 12:20 in reply to "RE[4]: Good move"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Paypal is also a lot more complex

A bit, sure, but a lot ?

Billing with a typical app store : Click buy, enter password, payment done.
Billing with paypal : Click buy, check that you are actually on paypal and that the bill is correct, enter password, payment done.

The extra visual scan is pretty quick.

What I agree is more uncertain is what happens after payment, the part which does not depend on Paypal themselves. Some vendors redirect you to a download link, some vendors send you an e-mail, some vendors manually check incoming orders... This would benefit from a bit of uniformization. But nothing there which user experience guidelines and vendor-provided software distribution tools couldn't fix.

and it doesn't offer you the guarantee that the vendor is genuine.

What do you mean by that ? If I see a nice RSS reader on the Mac App Store, download it, run it, and it turns out that it's actually a basic program which displays a silly picture of a cat with subtext "you got owned !", what is the difference ?

The Mac App Store is all about one-click purchasing to make the purchase experience as simple as possible.

It is a given that purchases are simpler, what I'm wondering about is if it's worth the cost of putting a single entity in control of anything a computer may run.

When I see Apple banning the Wikileaks app from un-jailbroken iOS, Google forcefully removing apps from users' devices from a distance, or Apple remotely bricking iPhone prototypes... I believe that the amount of control which we let others have on cellphones is scary. Current mobile OSs are an evil dictator's dream toy, is that really the future we want on every computer in the long run ?

If you know a bit about Apple as a company, you know that Apple makes money off its hardware. They're a product company, selling solutions to customers, but when it comes to making money, its the devices, the hardware that makes the money, not the software. The software is an unique selling point for their hardware. Which is the main reason they do low-cost software and bundle entry level apps for free and ship low cost upgrades unlike companies which view themselves as software companies and try to maximize profits on their software products. (...)

I think that Apple may be biased about which software they choose to allow on their platform even if they do not write competing software.

As an example, non-tech users' vision of hardware is affected by the software that runs on it. So if some iPhones or Mac are known to run questionable software, it may affect people's decision to buy or not buy this hardware. Therefore, Apple may be tempted to allow or disallow the existence of some software on their platform, depending on what they believe will maximize sales. And I guess this is what they do when they play morality guardians and ban stuff that contains nudity or illegal material on their own free will.

I don't think this is a sane behavior. It is fine for an OS vendor to advice for and against specific software, but not to ban stuff altogether from people's sight as happens of iOS and may happen on Mac OS at some point. For a flawed real-world analogy, I would understand that my favorite book shop does not have a book I like on its shelves, but if the owner refused taking orders of books she doesn't like, I'd find another book shop.

Maybe others would disagree with that though.

""Zomg ! Images of prehistoric women WITH BREASTS ??? BURN !!!")."

You can always consult the CD-ROMs of magazines for apps which display prehistoric women with breasts… Oh wait. :-)

Well, wasn't the point of these magazine apps to introduce on-device content that is updated from the web on the fly instead of going through this kind of bulky procedures ? ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2