Please don't wish for a 'free' App Store

Posted:
in iPhone
Prominent third-party developers have long tried to leverage public outrage to reduce their contributions to Apple's App Store. But a world where rich developers get a free ride from Apple is also a terrible deal for the general public, as a brief review of history makes very clear.

App Store
Apple's App Store changed the nature of mobile software


For just over a decade now, Apple's iOS App Store has been phenomenally successful. It not only generates billions in revenue for Apple, but also supports the work of hundreds of thousands of developers around the world, providing a real market for mobile software that simply didn't exist before it first opened its doors in 2008.

As I regularly documented in detail back then, mobile software was fundamentally broken when iPhone first arrived. Developers had to charge unreasonable prices for their software because most users were stealing bootleg copies of their work. That not only meant that the minority of honest users -- or those who were wealthy enough to not balk at paying something like $30 for a simple mobile game -- were subsidizing a free ride for everyone else who was pirating cracked software.

Additionally, developers were hard-pressed to invest in many ideas that simply couldn't survive without a fair playing field, resulting in limited offerings that were often "safe" to a fault. The App Store literally changed the world in making mobile software development viable and sustainable.

It wasn't all invented by Apple. Danger, Blackberry, Nokia, Palm, and other early smartphone vendors originated various efforts toward building a safe, secure, and commercially functional software store, but none were able to deliver a full solution before Apple launched its own App Store featuring a carefully considered model of how to build a software market that would be fair to both developers and buyers, while also being able to sustain itself and compete with alternatives, including the wide-open web with all of its drawbacks and flaws.

As Apple worked out the details for how the App Store would work-- which included strict security in iOS and iPhone hardware that would work to restrict casual piracy, counterfeit bootlegs, and malicious or cracked titles designed to cause damage or spy on users-- legitimate third-party developers raised various concerns while overall celebrating the premise of a market for mobile software that would work similarly to music sales in iTunes.

If everyone paid a little, developers could profit on high volume sales of affordable apps while sharing a slice of their revenues with Apple to ensure the App Store could maintain itself. Yet a variety of developers and disgruntled users also complained that Apple was profiting on the sale of software for its platforms.

Those concerns were also amplified by the fact that Apple was also in some cases a competitor to its third-party partners, offering its own music, movie, ebook, and productivity titles as well as bundling its own first-party email, web, maps, and media playback clients and often setting rules that prevented unrestricted competition on the iOS platform.

The world doesn't need another rehash of the complaints from developers over Apple's App Store rules or the sometimes ostensibly arbitrary and capricious enforcement of those rules. But we do need to remember what a world without the App Store and all of Apple's various rules would look like. It's an ugly place.

Before the App Store

Before the iOS App Store opened, Apple had a solid three decades of experience in selling hardware and maintaining software platforms without an App Store in place. This Wild West world of third party development that owed nothing to Apple was not only bad for consumers but was also responsible for nearly killing off the Mac as a viable platform itself.

Across these first 30 years, Mac developers got to set their own prices but also had to handle their own distribution, marketing, sales transactions, and upgrades. Users were faced with paying upwards of $500 for a box of Microsoft Office apps or Adobe creative titles. Games were easily $50 or more each, and even simple utilities for backing up or copying files could easily cost $100.

Software was not only expensive to obtain, but minor upgrades often cost nearly as much as the initial full price, and moving from one generation of Mac to another -- such as in the transition to PowerPC, or to Mac OS X, or to Intel Macs -- often required buying an expensive new box full of manually-installed media all over again.

The idea of fixing bugs in existing software was unappealing to developers because there wasn't any easy way to get anyone to willingly pay for this. It made more sense to focus on new features that could be marketed as a paid upgrade.

Bill Gates of Microsoft famously stated that it was foolish to fix bugs for free when "new features" could be sold at a profit. That explains why the "feature creep" of the 1990s resulted in increasingly buggy spaghetti code that offered to do all sorts of things that weren't really very valuable, rather than delivering great, streamlined software of high quality.

Things weren't just bad for users. Developers had to eat the costs of shipping around heavy boxes of old media to install their paid software. Most relied on third-party distributors and retailers who needed to mark up the price to cover their own costs of stocking inventory and paying salespeople to offer it. That meant that the original developers were not actually bringing in most of the revenue of that expensive software. Small developers often gave away their work through "app bundle" promotions just to establish an installed base of users.

Apart from the minority of developers who managed to luck out on a hit game, or establish themselves in a protected niche, or become the standard everyone had to buy, the software market was a very high risk business. Even developers who did well faced the threat of having their work copied by somebody else. Long before the App Store, Apple itself was criticized for launching apps or bundling features that performed the same tasks as some popular third-party software. Microsoft was notorious for not only copying the work of its third-party developers but often even stealing their code.

Microsoft and Intel conspired to steal Apple's QuickTime code to bring the original video development work Apple had created to Windows-- which was already a PC copy of Apple's work on the Mac platform. Microsoft stole so much other software from its developers that by the early 2000s it was regularly paying out court settlements in the six figures to all of the various companies it defrauded. But stealing software was so easy-- particularly for a massive platform vendor like Microsoft-- that it made sense commercially to keep stealing and just pay out settlements.

On top of all these ugly realities of the broken software model that persisted up into the late 2000s, developers also had to pay out huge fees and high prices for development tools from the platform vendors. Apple and Microsoft charged their developers hundreds of dollars to provide ongoing technical support, and often required expensive paid training and other fees just to write apps for their platforms and gain access to their latest development tools. Apple once charged $50,000 just to license WebObjects.

iTunes and the App Store

The radical thing that forever changed the nature of software started with iTunes. In the early 2000's, Apple began to realize that if most of its iPod user base were paying small, regular, but reasonable fees to legitimately buy songs, it could build out the infrastructure in iTunes to create a market that brought in sustainable revenues for music labels and the talent they represented, while also offering convenient, affordable access to music to its iPod users.

Music labels initially balked at the idea of allowing Apple to sell songs for 99 cents. This generated far less revenue that CD sales had, and transferred lots of control to Apple. But the only real alternative were the music stores being created by Microsoft and Sony, both of which created rules that mostly benefitted themselves and hurt consumers with over the top restrictions and excessive cost. The other real factor was piracy.

Buyers were increasingly less likely to buy CDs because of widespread "file sharing" of bootleg copies, which generated nothing at all for the labels or their musicians. Apple's iTunes solved a long list of problems and effectively saved the music industry.


iPod Games quietly paved a foundation for the App Store


Once iTunes became popular, Apple worked to replicate a similar model for TV, movies, books, and other media. But the most successful expansion occurred when Apple took the iTunes model and applied it to software, starting with iPod games in 2006. Using digital signing that helped to prevent users from casually stealing apps, Apple could create a real market that served the needs of both developers and consumers.

By 2008 it had its App Store ready for million of iPhone buyers who were hungry for new apps.

Once again, some developers balked at the idea of sharing their revenue with Apple to support the business of the App Store. But most realized that that alternatives were much worse. Now, rather than paying huge fees for development tool access and technical support, they could join the ranks of Apple's App Store third party developers for a minor annual fee of $99, and produce as many app titles as they liked for no additional cost. All of their distribution, sales, credit card transactions, international storefronts, app updates, and refunds were being handled by Apple for a cut far smaller than any software distribution system had ever charged before.

Hard to duplicate without the full formula

Apple's incredibly functional App Store was copied by Microsoft's Windows Phone and Google's Android markets, with much less success. A big part of the reason why was that other stores lacked the security to deliver software without piracy or counterfeiting. Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform, like the PC and Mac, tried to impose App Store rules on an existing but dysfunctional free-for-all market where developers faced giving up control and revenues without seeing similar revenues back.

Similarly, Google's Android Market rules followed the wide-open promiscuity of Linux and open-source coding, where developers don't often get paid for the work and users expect everything for free. All these years later, Android app stores have never caught up to Apple, largely because of a toxic mix of cheapskate users and ripped off developers who have to make do with ads or data surveillance gathering rather than legitimate sales revenues. Android remains a mess of a software market.

Even inside of Apple, the iOS App Store has not been easy to replicate. Despite opening versions for the Mac and for Safari, the same success hasn't occurred because like the Windows and open source communities, developers have balked at accepting Apple's restrictions and there haven't been enough Mac buyers to support enough sales to make the Mac App Store as commercially relevant.

That could change if Apple releases new Mac hardware with more iOS-like security via custom silicon that ties future Mac software more tightly to the App Store model, perhaps even making the App Store obligatory in order to download ARM-executable apps.

And just as Apple's iTunes store for ebooks was never able to match the success of iTunes music and movies, Apple's App Store for Apple Watch similarly lacks the same ingredients to support itself as a viable market. Apps for Watch tend to be extensions of the iPhone experience, and are less likely to sell on their own. That makes the market important, but unable to sustain itself as an independent market for "wearable software."

There are also tons of free apps, which either are supported by ads or exist as marketing for brands. For example, most banks offer App Store titles that charge nothing and therefore contribute nothing back to the App Store. All of these free apps, along with extension content such as Watch apps, have to be supported by the minority of apps that do generate revenues.

That creates a certain unfairness where some apps benefit greatly from the work that supports Apple's platform and the App Store, but contribute very little or nothing back-- including Facebook and its apps including Instagram, which have consistently remained top App Store titles for many years despite never contributing a cut back.

Other apps that rely on In-App purchases or subscriptions might feel that they are paying in too much, in some cases losing money on sales with minor margins because of the slice Apple charges them. Spotify and Netflix both have to pay out licensing fees for the content they provide to subscribers. If Apple takes 30% of their subscription fees, they're left with very little, while also competing directly with Apple's own subscription services which get "free" access to the App Store (it's not really free of course).

For these reasons, Apple has reevaluated its App Store policies at regular intervals to keep its market as fair as possible. For example, it recently slashed its cut in half for subscriptions after the first year, under the assumption that the developer deserves a larger cut of its revenues for having maintained that customer relationship. But Apple has also defended its policies established to keep the App Store functional, including the rules that insist that revenue-generating apps must generally offer In App access to allow customers to pay for subscriptions through Apple in addition to the option of directly establishing a relationship with the vendor and not paying Apple anything.

Establishing fair rules that never result in unintended consequences for users or developers is difficult work, but nobody else has established a mobile store that's as commercially successful as Apple's. That's why BaseCamp complained that it can't exist without Apple's App Store, even as it complains that it shouldn't have to share any revenues with the platform that's essential to its success. But that's a legitimate cost of doing business, and most of Apple's developers enthusiastically agree.

The virtue-signaling flack hacks seeking to dump on WWDC

Despite lots of noise, there really isn't so much legitimate controversy over Apple's App Store policies. Some companies expect a free ride, benefitting massively from the work Apple has established in building exceptional hardware and a functional software ecosystem that has never existed before -- while refusing to contribute anything back.

This is as disingenuous as claiming that any retailer should be free to set up a kiosk in a popular mall and benefit from its foot traffic, climate control, electricity, and proximity to clean public bathrooms and easy parking while refusing to pay the mall any rent. That's just ridiculous.

Government regulators in the EU and US and elsewhere are also salivating at the idea of breaking up Apple's operations and taxing them with additional fees beyond existing sales and income taxes. One argument common to these cases is that Apple shouldn't be able to sell its own first-party software in competition with its third-party developers. Yet this is also problematic. Virtually every retailer -- from Amazon to Bloomingdales to the grocery store -- sells their own house brands while benefitting from sales analytics on what draws customers to the other third party brands they sell. This isn't illegal.

Further, there is also a flip side: third parties can also compete with Apple's offerings, often selling premium alternatives to niche audiences Apple isn't interested in offering a specialized product for. This is the nature of competition, and customers win when they -- not the government -- get to chose which market participants wins by voting with their own dollars.

Along the same lines, Apple built its iOS, iPad, Mac, Watch, and other platforms, and should have the right to set policies that demand, for example, that third parties can't set up their own 'app stores-within an app,' or deploy their own web browser engines on its platform, or access its private APIs, or use its Enterprise Certificates to undermine its distribution rules, or any other issues designed to protect Apple's own security and control over its own platforms. Apple is certainly not the only mobile platform, and in fact has vibrant competition from alternatives that are more broadly deployed. It is not a monopoly.

Columnists who are painting the App Store out to be a terrible thing that Apple should feel ashamed and greedy about, or portraying it as a "rent-seeking" effort by a platform that offers nothing of value, or promoting the idea that it is a "monopoly" or "highway robbery" are all also the same people who have been wrong about virtually every issue in the mobile space. If the rules were written by them, Apple's App Store would be just as much of a dumpster fire as Android's, or just as vacant a lot of tumbleweeds as Microsoft's or Samsung's.

We don't really need long-winded diatribes replete with footnotes or dramatic language about how "arrogantly imperial" Apple is for having and enforcing App Store rules of any kind. The failed ideology behind communal development out in the open by big tweeting developers with massive egos has been settled: Android lost, and it's resulted in something of such little value that the corona-pandemic quickly convinced Google that it's not even worth throwing a developer conference this year.

These public figures know this, and that's why they dribble out such contempt for the platform that won, along with their regular spoilers designed to inflict the most damage possible on the platform and the vendor that have achieved the most success and rewarded developers and benefited user far beyond anyone else. They are no heroes.

We're anticipating WWDC20 despite the pandemic because Apple is by far the most competent, fair platform vendor in computing, even if the controversy stokers are falling over themselves to ratchet up a stink while simultaneously wondering aloud to their audiences why Apple is "generating controversy" right before WWDC. That's false, it's the peanut gallery that's working to create this, all for their own benefit in virtue signaling how unbiased they are and how daring they are to be punching up.

They're free to do that, but the flip side is that reasonable, intelligent people are losing a lot of respect for them over this unhinged absurdity.

Apple has plenty left to do

Having said that, there are also reasonable concerns and ongoing issues that Apple, its developers, and its customers can continue to seek better solutions for than those that currently exist. Even after 11 years of running the App Store, the company still has employees making mistakes in allowing apps or holding back titles for reasons that may not make sense.

There are also ongoing issues with policies related to relatively recent features such as App Store search ads. Developer Will Shipley detailed a variety of issues with the current status quo of the App Store that appear very worthy of serious consideration by Apple. Should search ads really be able to stick knockoff apps ahead of the legitimate title that a user is obviously searching for?

Shouldn't developers be able to issue major updates that involve an update fee? Shouldn't there be better curation of valuable apps rather than putting "shovelware" on the same level? And while Shipley doesn't ask for a free ride, he does ask for a reduction in the cut Apple is asking. That's a reasonable request.

Apple does need to sustain its revenues to meet the continuous demands for growth from the capitalist patriarchy it exists in. But as a fantastically prosperous enterprise, surely Apple can exercise some discretion in working to subsidize more of the best work of its highest value developers, something that would dramatically benefit not only its smaller developers, but also its vast installed base of users, and of course, benefit its own platforms.

Apple is already experimenting with various ideas to enhance the App Store and how it works, with the intent of improving the quality of the content it can offer. One example is Apple Arcade, which-- albeit without much transparency-- appears to be helping a wide swath of large and smaller developers to produce a broad variety of creative, sustainable titles that are free from the shovelware, In-App gambling addiction, and loot box issues that have been plaguing mobile gaming. It's also beginning to share some of the success of the iOS App Store across the Mac and Apple TV, although there's plenty of room for additional improvement there.

The App Store will never be perfect in a way that nobody can complain about. But today's App Store reality is the best software market we've ever had, so let's not wish it away too flippantly-- because the alternatives were horrific.
watto_cobra
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    ransonranson Posts: 29member
    Having the Apple-endorsed app store, and allowing third party app stores separately, should be fine. They are not mutually exclusive. One of the areas where Apple struggles is giving users choice (e.g., do i want that icon in the control center to _really_ turn off bluetooth or just disable it for however long apple decides) and expects them to just be happy with what Apple believes to be best. That is great for 99% of the use cases, but Apple doesn't know _you_ or _me_ and can't meet every use case by locking things down. Owners of an iPhone should be able to install whatever software they want on it, without fear of their warranty for the hardware being voided. Apple impeding that ability (and bloggers discouraging it) is not a Good Thing. Certainly people should install software at their own peril, but adults who own their devices should not have someone else dictate that for them.
    edited June 2020 lam92103
  • Reply 2 of 82
    lam92103lam92103 Posts: 58member
    ranson said:
    Owners of an iPhone should be able to install whatever software they want on it, without fear of their warranty for the hardware being voided. Apple impeding that ability (and bloggers discouraging it) is not a Good Thing. Certainly people should install software at their own peril, but adults who own their devices should not have someone else dictate that for them.
    This!!!
    bluefire1
  • Reply 3 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    ranson said:
    Having the Apple-endorsed app store, and allowing third party app stores separately, should be fine. They are not mutually exclusive. One of the areas where Apple struggles is giving users choice (e.g., do i want that icon in the control center to _really_ turn off bluetooth or just disable it for however long apple decides) and expects them to just be happy with what Apple believes to be best. That is great for 99% of the use cases, but Apple doesn't know _you_ or _me_ and can't meet every use case by locking things down. Owners of an iPhone should be able to install whatever software they want on it, without fear of their warranty for the hardware being voided. Apple impeding that ability (and bloggers discouraging it) is not a Good Thing. Certainly people should install software at their own peril, but adults who own their devices should not have someone else dictate that for them.

    Your last point is the problem. 

    Folk won't take responsibility for what they install from places outside the Apple ecosystem. They'll want Apple to fix their phones that they've installed god-knows-what from god-knows-where. They'll take to Twitter and complain that the battery life of their phone has halved since they've installed a piece or software that Apple has never seen and has no visibility over. They will not be able to prevent folk from installing cracked and insecure profiles that lay the platform open to malware.

    Seriously, there are other phones out there which allow you to install whatever you want. If Apple doesn't want to do that then I can't see why they should be forced to.
    lkruppchaickabloggerblograndominternetpersontmayjdb8167qwerty52uraharatobianisrandy
  • Reply 4 of 82
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions. Pro mode users would be responsible for their own security and should expect malware, apps that drain the battery in the back ground and so on (just like on laptop and desktop computers). They would also be able to install anti-malware apps as well as the professional tools they need to get work done. Personally, I would stick with the safe mode on my main iPhone and use pro mode on older devices and my iPad.

    This is about personal choice and personal responsibility. Greater power and greater responsibility for the users that need it. Greater safety for users that don't.
    edited June 2020 bluefire1imergingenious
  • Reply 5 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions. Pro mode users would be responsible for their own security and should expect malware, apps that drain the battery in the back ground and so on (just like on laptop and desktop computers). They would also be able to install anti-malware apps as well as the professional tools they need to get work done. Personally, I would stick with the safe mode on my main iPhone and use pro mode on older devices and my iPad.

    This is about personal choice and personal responsibility. Greater power and greater responsibility for the users that need it. Greater safety for users that don't.

    Mmm. An interesting idea. And of course, and of course, running Pro mode should warn the user that they're about to invalidate their battery warranty.
    jdb8167qwerty52tobianisrandyspock1234cat52watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 82
    ransonranson Posts: 29member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ranson said:
    Having the Apple-endorsed app store, and allowing third party app stores separately, should be fine. They are not mutually exclusive. One of the areas where Apple struggles is giving users choice (e.g., do i want that icon in the control center to _really_ turn off bluetooth or just disable it for however long apple decides) and expects them to just be happy with what Apple believes to be best. That is great for 99% of the use cases, but Apple doesn't know _you_ or _me_ and can't meet every use case by locking things down. Owners of an iPhone should be able to install whatever software they want on it, without fear of their warranty for the hardware being voided. Apple impeding that ability (and bloggers discouraging it) is not a Good Thing. Certainly people should install software at their own peril, but adults who own their devices should not have someone else dictate that for them.

    Your last point is the problem. 

    Folk won't take responsibility for what they install from places outside the Apple ecosystem. They'll want Apple to fix their phones that they've installed god-knows-what from god-knows-where. They'll take to Twitter and complain that the battery life of their phone has halved since they've installed a piece or software that Apple has never seen and has no visibility over. They will not be able to prevent folk from installing cracked and insecure profiles that lay the platform open to malware.

    Seriously, there are other phones out there which allow you to install whatever you want. If Apple doesn't want to do that then I can't see why they should be forced to.

    So because there is a possibility that idiots exist in the world, Apple should lock everything down for everyone? No. And Apple will lose this battle.
  • Reply 7 of 82
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions. Pro mode users would be responsible for their own security and should expect malware, apps that drain the battery in the back ground and so on (just like on laptop and desktop computers). They would also be able to install anti-malware apps as well as the professional tools they need to get work done. Personally, I would stick with the safe mode on my main iPhone and use pro mode on older devices and my iPad.
    But apps would still be subject to the same sandbox as ones from the App Store, they would still need to be code-signed.

    If Apple ever allowed apps from outside the App Store on iOS, they would most certainly go with the notarization model that they have for macOS as a requirement along with enforcing the sandbox
    spock1234
  • Reply 8 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions. Pro mode users would be responsible for their own security and should expect malware, apps that drain the battery in the back ground and so on (just like on laptop and desktop computers). They would also be able to install anti-malware apps as well as the professional tools they need to get work done. Personally, I would stick with the safe mode on my main iPhone and use pro mode on older devices and my iPad.

    This is about personal choice and personal responsibility. Greater power and greater responsibility for the users that need it. Greater safety for users that don't.

    That's an interesting idea.

    But in order to keep the main product line clean and attractive to their core customers, they'd need to take it further.

    A completely separate spin-off company that markets an open-phone for masochists. Completely separate from the main company so that any problems like battery drain and malware are kept free from the mothership. They don't create an app store; others can do that, and they can do what they want. Apple doesn't offer anything other than the SDK to build apps and they don't support anything more than the basic warranty (no AppleCare).



    chaickatmaypontavignonisrandyOutdoorAppDeveloperspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 82
    prismaticsprismatics Posts: 164member
    what is so difficult to think outside of an app store box. Who said there exists ONE App Store made by a single company.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    Rayz2016 said:

    Folk won't take responsibility
    That is an increasing problem. That's why we see so many really petty lawsuits filed against Apple. Personal Responsibilty bsed upon that thing called Common Sense is fast becoming a thing of the past to the obvious glee of lawyers all over the place (sic)
    chaickajdb8167gustavspock1234imergingeniouscat52inTIMidatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 82
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions.
    This is literally what enterprise certificates offer: a Pro mode for businesses that distribute their own custom apps outside the App Store. But this also requires a team of IT professionals supporting this. It's not a consumer feature, for the reasons Rayz notes above. 

    In fact, one of the primary problems of jailbreaking is that people break the security model and allow junk and malicious software that hobbles the experience, and then turn around and blame Apple. The idea that a device you buy you should have "total control over" to load your own apps stops making sense when you realize that Apple has to support that device, handle repairs, etc. And the OS you use is licensed to you. You don't own it, and you're not free to do anything you like with it because that has an impact on the entire ecosystem.

    Many of the reasons that Android has failed in popularity among people who pay more than $400 for a phone is that this wild west experience is really bad. It's particularly bad for people who are not 24/7 capable of diagnosing extremely complex problems that affect their data. People hose their own Androids and then blame Android or Google or their vendor. It is not a workable situation. And those the most at risk for losing their data, or begin spied upon, or being randsomwared or otherwise injured are those who least understand the issues involved. It would be irresponsible for Apple to offer an internet-connected device with a camera and GPS tracking and then allow the use to make extremely complex policy decisions that they don't understand under the guise of "being an adult." We've had clear result data on this for over a decade and there is no longer any room for demanding the end users be given enough rope by Apple to hang themselves.

    There is no way to have sideloaded apps on a smartphone that are safe from exploitation. Plenty of extremely technically proficient users have been victimized by sophisticated attacks taking advantage of this "freedom" that some users think is really important. People should stop wishing for Windows 98.  


    chaickarandominternetpersontmayGG1jdb8167teejay2012Rayz2016israndytobianspock1234
  • Reply 12 of 82
    This is only getting traction because Apple publishes the cut they get from developers. Why don’t ALL retail outlets just be required to show the markup on all of their products and then people will really see that Apple doesn’t take any more or less then other stores? I mean, Best Buy basically marks up cables for TVs like 90%. People are so freaking ignorant to how the world works it’s ridiculous. These are Apple’s devices and Apple’s stores, they can do what the hell they want. Don’t like it? Then there are other options. It’s that simple. Idiots. 
    chaickarandominternetpersonGG1jdb8167teejay2012uraharagustavspock1234cat52inTIMidator
  • Reply 13 of 82
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,730member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ranson said:
    Having the Apple-endorsed app store, and allowing third party app stores separately, should be fine. They are not mutually exclusive. One of the areas where Apple struggles is giving users choice (e.g., do i want that icon in the control center to _really_ turn off bluetooth or just disable it for however long apple decides) and expects them to just be happy with what Apple believes to be best. That is great for 99% of the use cases, but Apple doesn't know _you_ or _me_ and can't meet every use case by locking things down. Owners of an iPhone should be able to install whatever software they want on it, without fear of their warranty for the hardware being voided. Apple impeding that ability (and bloggers discouraging it) is not a Good Thing. Certainly people should install software at their own peril, but adults who own their devices should not have someone else dictate that for them.

    Your last point is the problem. 

    Folk won't take responsibility for what they install from places outside the Apple ecosystem. They'll want Apple to fix their phones that they've installed god-knows-what from god-knows-where. They'll take to Twitter and complain that the battery life of their phone has halved since they've installed a piece or software that Apple has never seen and has no visibility over. They will not be able to prevent folk from installing cracked and insecure profiles that lay the platform open to malware.

    Seriously, there are other phones out there which allow you to install whatever you want. If Apple doesn't want to do that then I can't see why they should be forced to.
    You see this day after day after day on the Apple Discussion Forums. Users come in outraged that their 'piece of shit' Mac has slowed down to a crawl and that Apple had better fix it RIGHT NOW or else. When advised to install and run Etrecheck it always turns out they have all manner of crap installed on their machines, from anti-virus, anti-malware, utilities that modify the behavior of macOS, the list goes. The kicker is they never even remember installing the crap and often claim they didn't and that it must have somehow installed itself without their permission. Again, it's all Apple's fault, and they steadfastly refuse to accept personal responsibility for their ignorance and stupidity. No kidding, visit those forums sometime to see the blame game and accusations of Apple skullduggery. And you 'anti-competitive' bullshit artists want that on iOS?
    chaickarandominternetpersontmayDan_Dilgerisrandygustavspock1234j2fusionlooplesscat52
  • Reply 14 of 82
    ransonranson Posts: 29member
    Rayz2016 said:

    Folk won't take responsibility
    That is an increasing problem. That's why we see so many really petty lawsuits filed against Apple. Personal Responsibilty bsed upon that thing called Common Sense is fast becoming a thing of the past to the obvious glee of lawyers all over the place (sic)

    You sign a waiver/liability release to go through a Haunted Mansion or ride on a zipline, etc. Certainly (and rightfully so) Apple could require an acknowledgement of indemnity from the user when they wish to install an app outside of the official store to protect them against such things.  And certainly, if a user comes in with all kinds of problems as a result of buggy software (a problem Apple fields on mac computers already), that can be treated as non-warranty work, just as if you cracked your screen or some other non-warranty service, without voiding the full warranty. The arguments that have been presented is basically that Apple does not want to operate like every other computing company that already deals with these things.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions. Pro mode users would be responsible for their own security and should expect malware, apps that drain the battery in the back ground and so on (just like on laptop and desktop computers). They would also be able to install anti-malware apps as well as the professional tools they need to get work done. Personally, I would stick with the safe mode on my main iPhone and use pro mode on older devices and my iPad.
    But apps would still be subject to the same sandbox as ones from the App Store, they would still need to be code-signed.

    If Apple ever allowed apps from outside the App Store on iOS, they would most certainly go with the notarization model that they have for macOS as a requirement along with enforcing the sandbox
    Well, that's why I was thinking that his idea might have legs. 

    Here's the thing: in this game, it's not a case of who's right; it's who shouts the loudest, and Apple has never shouted that loudly. They could end up in a position where they're forced to open up the phone to third-party platforms. Here's where they could preempt such a catastrophe: don't risk all the hard work they've put in building a secure platform; just build another phone line and an open version of iOS and say, "There you go. Have at it."

    Support it, but don't advertise it. Build great phones, but don't offer AppleCare.


    edited June 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 82
    ransonranson Posts: 29member
    Rayz2016 said:
    This is why iOS needs a "Pro Mode". Users who want a safe app environment can stick with the Apple moderated App Store while users who do not want any restrictions can switch to pro mode and install any app store they want free of Apple's SDK restrictions. Pro mode users would be responsible for their own security and should expect malware, apps that drain the battery in the back ground and so on (just like on laptop and desktop computers). They would also be able to install anti-malware apps as well as the professional tools they need to get work done. Personally, I would stick with the safe mode on my main iPhone and use pro mode on older devices and my iPad.
    But apps would still be subject to the same sandbox as ones from the App Store, they would still need to be code-signed.

    If Apple ever allowed apps from outside the App Store on iOS, they would most certainly go with the notarization model that they have for macOS as a requirement along with enforcing the sandbox
    Well, that's why I was thinking that his idea might have legs. 

    Here's the thing: in this game, it's not a case of who's right; it's who shouts the loudest, and Apple has never shouted that loudly. They could end up in a position where they're forced to open up the phone to third-party platforms. Here's where they could preempt such a catastrophe: don't risk all the hard work they've put in building a secure platform; just build another phone line and an open version of iOS and say, "There you go. Have at it."

    Support it, but don't advertise it. Build great phones, but don't offer AppleCare.


    It's not about who shouts loud enough. It is about which government agency is going to reign in Apple first, and force them to permit freedom of choice on devices that their customers own. My bet is that the EU will move first, and it will happen in the next 6-9 months. The handwriting is on the wall and there will ultimately be no alternative for Apple. The resistance between now and that time is simply a delay tactic and Apple knows it.
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 17 of 82
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    These ignorant a-holes who want the app store completely open would ruin the entire app store if their ideas were to be implemented.

    Look at the mess that is Android.

    Nobody has any business telling Apple how to run their app store. If anybody doesn't like it, then go use something else. Nobody ever forced anybody to be in the Apple eco system. Don't come to Apple with your braindead ideas and demand them to change.
    edited June 2020 chaickarandominternetpersonlkruppteejay2012uraharaspock1234cat52watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 82
    ransonranson Posts: 29member
    apple ][ said:
    These ignorant a-holes who want the app store completely open would ruin the entire app store if their ideas were to be implemented.

    Look at the mess that is Android.

    Nobody has any business telling Apple how to run their app store. If anybody doesn't like it, then go use something else. Nobody ever forced anybody to be in the Apple eco system. Don't come to Apple with your braindead ideas and demand them to change.

    I don't think anyone on this thread is suggesting how Apple run THEIR app store. The suggestion is that it should not be the ONLY app store (or only way to legitimately load an app).
    edited June 2020 avon b7
  • Reply 19 of 82
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,857member
    Who are these users going to blame after installing malware disguised as an app, hijacks their banking app and cleans out their bank account?  

    You think their going to take responsibility for their own stupidity, or just whine and blame Apple?

    think about it.  I come from those days of boxed software. Developers nowadays have it easy with Apple doing all the back-end work.  

    Bunch of entitled whiners.
    edited June 2020 apple ][tmayGG1Dan_DilgerRayz2016uraharaspock1234get seriouscat52watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 82
    smiffy31smiffy31 Posts: 200member
    ranson said:
    apple ][ said:
    These ignorant a-holes who want the app store completely open would ruin the entire app store if their ideas were to be implemented.

    Look at the mess that is Android.

    Nobody has any business telling Apple how to run their app store. If anybody doesn't like it, then go use something else. Nobody ever forced anybody to be in the Apple eco system. Don't come to Apple with your braindead ideas and demand them to change.

    I don't think anyone on this thread is suggesting how Apple run THEIR app store. The suggestion is that it should not be the ONLY app store (or only way to legitimately load an app).

    The problem is that third party app stores would immediately allow side loading pirated apps, and the main app store would lose its main interest for developers of paid apps.
    Dan_Dilgerteejay2012Rayz2016uraharaspock1234imergingeniouscat52watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.