My ultimate fear is that the complacent state of the Mac App Store would lead to the slow erosion of the Mac indie community. The MAS is the best place to get your software, it comes bundled with your OS, it’s very convenient but when all the issues compound, developers will vote with their feet and continue the slow exodus. I feel that Apple needs to encourage the availability of high quality software rather than quantity over quality – the first step would addressing the core issues that have been known for years. The Mac platform would be a much worse place if we prioritise short-term gains, boasting about the hundreds of thousands of free abandonware rather than concentrate on the long-term fundamentals to sustain a healthy and innovative ecosystem.
It’s finally starting to dawn on people that application stores’ primary goal is not to make the lives of developers easier. No, the one true goal of application stores is to drive the price of software down to zero or near-zero – and if the side effect of that is that the independent and small developers who built your platform go out of business or leave the platform altogether, that’s just too damn bad.
It was fun in the short term, when the low-hanging fruits were ripe for the picking, but everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together could see the unsustainability of it all. The ‘app economy’ is pretty close to bust, and I suspect zero to none of the suggestions listed in this article will be implemented by Apple. It’s not in their interest to raise the prices of software in their application stores.
I disagree. The true purpose of app stores is the same purpose of Pet Rocks and other constructed fads: Sell disposable junk (that costs very little to make) after making people think they want it.
Software requiring big investments to make like Photoshop, AutoCAD, MATLAB, VMware, PinnacleStudio/PowerDirector/Ulead VideoStudio, RHEL, Maya etc is still sold at prices well above zero, and is sold outside app stores.
Even for software inside app stores, if it requires significant investment, or if the small developer behind it has put their heart and soul in the software and it’s good, it’s generally sold for a price above 1$.
But the idea you can just slap together an app in a weekend, put it for sale for 1$ or so and start making money, is dead. It used to work, but how many 1$ apps and games do people really need? The fad died.
However, App Stores are still useful to sell apps (just not the 1$ junk) and allow devs to easily monetize ads, they are just past their glory days (of selling 1$ junk by the ton).
Edited 2014-10-14 17:06 UTC