I’m not a developer and can’t say who is more at fault between the two bickering parties of Apple and the developers. However, I can see that this feud is damaging to both sides. This reminds me of when the Republicans and Democrats in congress can’t work together on a budget and the news crews rush out to get the “man on the street” reactions. The public doesn’t know who is more at fault and simply declares a pox on both their houses..
One of the things that seemed like a breath of fresh air back in 2010 when I got my first iPhone was how Apple kept track of all of my software purchases and re-downloading anything I had purchased was as easy as going to my mailbox. No codes, no phone calls, and no hassles. Why couldn’t my Windows laptop work like this? I loved it so much that it was a big part of the reason I bought my first Mac in 2012. I’ve never known Mac without an App Store and can’t imagine one without the other.
The customer experience compared to Windows which had no App Store was like comparing a new car to a horse and buggy. Finally, I could wipe my hard drive clean and with the touch of a button re-install all of my apps. It was so civilized. Being able to download all my apps at once without codes felt like being able to travel from one city to another without the secret police asking for my papers.
The Mac developers are big on saying that Apple needs to listen to what they have to say. Well, those same developers need to take a dose of their own medicine and start listening to what their customers have to say. Because end users don’t care about their beef with Apple. They just know that they like all their apps in one spot with no codes and updates are easy. If developers insist on moving away from the Mac App Store this will only accelerate the move to something like the iPad Pro where the App Store paradigm is finely tuned.
If it sounds like I’m coming down disproportionately hard on the developers it’s because from the consumer’s point of view, that’s who we see as the problem. If developers think that the end user is going to take the time to understand their nuanced positions they are sadly mistaken. I'm sure that Apple deserves a good deal of the blame here but that is much less obvious. All the consumer will see is that one day their software is no longer supported by the Mac App Store and the maker wants him to jump through some hoops that are more convenient for him but less so for everyone else. What’s next? Is the US Postal Service going to call me up and demand they I start picking up my mail at the post office too?
The horse and buggy may make for a romantic night on the town but I’m pretty fond of my twin-turbo BMW 335i. Software developers may have quaint memories of the old days and may wish to return to them but it’s too late. Now that the end user has had a taste of something better, it’s too hard to go back.