Snippet: The Future of the App Store ☇

Shared on September 13, 2021

I had been thinking of writing about what a number of settlements, legal changes, and the Apple v. Epic ruling, but Marco Arment covered things much better than I could have. He even managed to nail why side-loading and alternative app stores aren’t not what we should be hoping for:

Maybe you’d need to install seven different app stores on your iPhone just to get the apps and games you already use — and all without App Review to keep them in check.

Most developers would probably need to start submitting our apps to multiple app stores, each with its own rules, metadata, technical requirements, capabilities, approval delays, payment processing, stats, crash reports, ads, promotion methods, and user reviews.

As a user, a multiple-app-store world sounds like an annoying mess; as a developer, it terrifies me.

Apple’s App Store is the devil we know. The most viable alternatives that would crop up would be far worse.

In general, the little indie developers probably won’t do much horrible, abusive stuff (take a look at the companies we love that aren’t on the Mac App Store), but mobile is much different game and there’s much more incentive to try to basically build your own platform-within-a-platform. I’m glad to see Apple having to make changes that might be slightly more favorable to developers, and hope for more, but I also don’t want iOS turned into Android, Windows, or Linux.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.