Much of the marketing around Apple’s new iPad Pro has been centered on its ability to run professional grade software and the variety of creativity apps it supports. But for smaller developers of pro software, the iPad Pro may present more of a quandary than a new computing platform.
The reason? Despite the new tablet’s processing power and capabilities, it’s still running on mobile software – and developers aren’t totally convinced the economic incentives exist in the App Store for iOS. In short, they feel they wouldn’t be able to charge users the amounts they normally would for a version of their software that runs on a desktop.
It’s a problem that exists not only around the iPad Pro, but mobile software development in general, and highlights the very real challenges that smaller software companies face when deciding which software platforms to prioritize – especially as mobile tablets and PCs converge.
This is a huge problem for closed, mobile-first devices like Apple’s iPad Pro. Large companies like Adobe can run comprehensive cloud infrastructures and fund the burden of mobile development with the sales of proper software. Smaller developers, however, cannot. This problem doesn’t exist on competitors like the Surface Pro, because they run a traditional, proper desktop.
After the starry eyes of the initial gold rush subsided, it became clear centralised application stores wreaked havoc in the software industry, and caused a spiraling race to the bottom. Sadly, it seems like Apple has no answer to this problem for its iPad Pro.