The Pros and Cons of Apple's iOS App Store
If you utilize apps in your iPhone or iPad, apart from those contained in iOS, you receive them from Apple’s App Store. Since Apple’s App Store is the best way to install apps on iOS devices you need to use Apple to provide these apps. The App Store is loaded with lots of advantages, but also some negatives, and has been controversial lately. In the following paragraphs, I’ll look at what’s good concerning the App Store and just what needs work.
Why the App Store?
When the iPhone premiered in 2007, there wasn't any provision for third-party developers to produce apps. Jobs initially told developers that they could create "web apps," that have been essentially HTML pages covered with app packages, but amidst the disappointment of developers, Apple quickly changed tack and offered an SDK in February, 2008. The organization launched the iOS App Store in July, 2008, to coincide using the discharge of the iPhone 3G.
The App Store quickly took off, and it was third-party apps that helped fuel the popularity from the iPhone; Apple ran a marketing campaign round the slogan "There’s an app for that" from 2009. The presence of apps like Facebook, eBay, AIM, yet others resulted in iOS was a "serious" platform.
The App Store is sensible for users
When Apple launched the App Store, the organization was able to sell apps using existing accounts that countless users had made for the iTunes Store. This meant that users didn’t have to create new accounts, and that they could trust Apple to manage their payment information. Having some point of payment for various apps, and being able to pay with a charge card, PayPal, or with gift certificates, resulted in the App Store was essentially frictionless. A few taps, and you’d have an app on your phone in a few seconds, or a few minutes for big apps. The App Store also helps to ensure that users get timely updates for their app when new versions are available.
In 2011, Apple started offering subscriptions for apps, and, while subscriptions allow users to acquire regular content, or make recurring payments for apps they will use, there's increasing discontent as more apps are subscription based rather than sold outright. It’s simple to manage subscriptions for iOS apps, and for services that Apple or any other companies sell. You are able to sign up for Apple Music, Spotify, or Netflix through the App Store, benefiting from centralized payments, and turn off subscriptions when you want.
But not things are user friendly
The iOS App Store introduced new models for software distribution. On other platforms, users had long been in a position to download demo versions of apps, so that they could have a look before buying. Because the App Store doesn’t offer demos, the only real solutions are either to offer free apps with in-app purchases to "unlock" features, or to sell apps on the subscription basis. Whenever a user installs a regular membership app, they obtain a free trial – usually seven or fourteen days – then time a subscription will start.
Since Apple doesn't allow paid upgrades to new major versions of apps – on either the Mac App Store or the iOS App Store – developers have turned to subscriptions to ensure that they've regular income. For many apps, where you get regularly renewed content, this makes sense, but for others, such as productivity apps, the thought of paying rent to use an application doesn’t seem sensible to everyone. And increased reliance on subscriptions is leading many people to have "subscription fatigue," as they take a look at how many apps and services they tithe, and add up these amounts.
Apple as sole gatekeeper
Apple is the only arbiter of which apps can operate on your iPhone or iPad, and this is both good and bad. Apple reviews apps before supplying them within the store, ensuring that their safety, can’t access data they shouldn’t, and don’t contain pornography or excessive violence . They also decide, oftentimes, whether apps are "good enough" to be on the shop.
While Apple encourages young people to learn to "code," lots of novice coders have told the way they done apps only to discover them refused by the App Store review team, because they weren't interesting enough. Apple also refuses apps that provide similar features to their own apps. For example, Facebook’s Gaming app has been refused five times up to now, perhaps because it is too much like Apple Arcade, Apple’s subscription gaming service.
There isn't any choice to "sideload" apps, or install them through another manner , and lots of users want the ability to have apps that Apple doesn’t approve for their store. Because of this, some users "jailbreak" their iOS devices, and employ another app store, such as Cydia, to install apps.
App Store controversies
This week, Basecamp launched a brand new email service called Hey. They've both a Mac app – available directly from the developer – and an iOS app, as well as apps for other platforms. Version 1.0 of the iOS app was approved, however when the organization tried to release an update with bug fixes, that version was refused. Apple has said that since the app doesn't allow users a subscription towards the service, it cannot be in the App Store.
Apple states that apps that offer paid services have to give you those services within iOS apps, which means that Apple collects 30% of the in-app purchase, but Basecamp is balking only at that, calling Apple "gangsters" for demanding a cut of the sales.
At issue here is the inconsistency of Apple’s use of their rules, but also some tone-deaf statements from Apple regarding software. In a letter to Basecamp, an unnamed Apple employee suggested that the company had taken advantage of the App Store while providing no compensation to Apple:
Other developers have begun speaking out while using hashtag AppStoreAntitrust on Twitter, telling how their apps were refused, and some have even expressed dismay at having to give up on apps they were developing, or not even attempt to develop certain apps, due to the uncertainty of whether they’d be accepted. One example is this Twitter thread in the long-time Mac app developer Rogue Amoeba, telling the way they had apps refused, and finally gave up selling around the iOS App Store, and, with the exception of one app, on the Mac App Store too.
In addition, the European Commission has launched an antitrust investigation into Apple’s use of the App Store and Apple Pay.
This controversy comes in a bad here we are at Apple. With the Worldwide Developer Conference starting on Monday, June 22, and this issue obtaining a large amount of attention in news reports , Apple needs to decide whether they will be more flexible or whether or not they will stick to their position. Interestingly, the truth that the WWDC will be virtual this season means that Apple won’t have to face a large number of developers who is quite vocal as Apple executives on stage tout the advantages of their App Stores in Monday’s keynote.
For now, there’s no choice: if you use an iOS device and want apps, you have to use Apple’s App Store. That may change in the future, as governments see whether Apple is abusing their dominant position in the marketplace. You can still get lots of great apps around the iOS App Store, but you’re certainly missing out on some innovative apps due to Apple’s strict control over its walled garden.