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Apple In Trouble With Developers

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the aka-those-guys-who-demand-most-of-the-revenue-from-our-store dept.

Desktops (Apple) 343

geek writes "According to Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, Apple may be in trouble with developers. According to Arment, the new sandboxing guidelines from Apple are pushing developers away in droves. 'I've lost all confidence that the apps I buy in the App Store today will still be there next month or next year. The advantages of buying from the App Store are mostly gone now. My confidence in the App Store, as a customer, has evaporated. Next time I buy an app that’s available both in and out of the Store, I’ll probably choose to buy it directly from the vendor. And nearly everyone who’s been burned by sandboxing exclusions — not just the affected apps’ developers, but all of their customers — will make the same choice with their future purchases. To most of these customers, the App Store is no longer a reliable place to buy software.' Arment also comments on the 'our way or the highway' attitude Apple often takes in these situations and how it may be backfiring this time around."

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343 comments

Pray I don't change them further.... (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796377)

Remember, that line didn't even work out for Vader and he had Star Destroyers and millions of clone troopers at his command. If you have the upper hand you can sometimes force people to accept a one sided deal. But if you go beyond that and keep changing the terms on it eventually everyone figures out they might as well take their chances because they are hosed anyway. You have to leave them some hope of survival.

I especially liked how the article has this:

"This even may reduce the long-term success of iCloud and the platform lock-in it could bring for Apple. Only App Store apps can use iCloud, but many Mac developers can’t or won’t use it because of the App Store’s political instability."

Anyone who would write that, in the context of it being a good thing!, is obviously a Kool-Aid drinker. When you are driving those people away it is a warning sign.

Imagine how badly Microsoft is going to bungle this same gambit. Notice how Valve is already running for the exits? Uh huh, good times ahead for everyone!

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796439)

But, according to John Romero, Android is a piracy platform and Apple TV will make you his bitch!

And now! Daikatana 2!

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796863)

But, according to John Romero, Android is a piracy platform and Apple TV will make you his bitch!

And now! Daikatana 2!

In other news, different developers have different opinions.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (4, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796453)

alter, alter! not 'change'...on the other hand maybe George Lucas changed that line in Empire Strikes Back 're-imagined' special edition 2.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796499)

alter, alter! not 'change'...

Perhaps he-sa tryin' to be avoidin' LucasArt lawyerin'!

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (5, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796569)

2012 and we still can't punch people in the face over TCP/IP...

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796701)

Why? Such a quote is fair use. Lucas can suck a dick.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796503)

Yea, you are right. I was in a hurry so do I still have to turn in my geek card?

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796549)

Yea, you are right. I was in a hurry so do I still have to turn in my geek card?

Say a couple "I'm am your father"s or "Do or do not. There is no try"s. You might be forgiven.

Better line would have been "The more you tighten your grip, ..., the more ... will slip through your fingers."

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796683)

Yea, you are right. I was in a hurry so do I still have to turn in my geek card?

Nah, perhaps you were the victim of subliminal lucassing.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796617)

Only copy of Star Wars 4/5/6 I have are the laserdisc masters that Lucas released to DVD. (Would be nice if he released the laserdisc masters to Bluray, and eliminate the dvd artifacting, but I'm not holding my breath.) I will watch the special defect versions if they air on TV, but I refuse to purchase them. Bad enough I paid $20 to see the primitive 90s CGI in the theater.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796465)

Notice how Valve is already running for the exits?

No. Adding support for another OS as a hedge is not the same as ditching Windows since Windows will still be where the vast majority of their sales come from.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (0)

jmorris42 (1458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796559)

Read the article. Valve certainly hopes they can continue to sell most of their volume on Windows but they are stating on the record the Linux port is a hedge against a future where that won't be possible.

If you think about it, it is almost certain that Steam on Windows is a dead product as soon as the lockdown hits x86. In a world of a single vendor app store Steam is, by definition, forbidden.

Notice that, for now, Apple isn't even discussing locking OS X. They understand that step is an outright declaration of WAR! on a lot of the existing ecosystem. MIcrosoft is taking a huge risk but they pretty much have to because Win8 is one OS vs iOS and OS X.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796583)

but they are stating on the record the Linux port is a hedge against a future where that won't be possible.

Funny since that was the same thing I said. So again, where did Valve start "running for the exits"?

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796811)

but they are stating on the record the Linux port is a hedge against a future where that won't be possible.

Funny since that was the same thing I said. So again, where did Valve start "running for the exits"?

So Valve is positioning itself in front of the exit.

Viva subtility!

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796475)

All the more reason for Apple to hurt Android as much as they can, including Samsung, maker of wunnerful stuff Android-ish. If your developers flee to the greener pastures of Android, you must somehow poison those pastures so they have nowhere to run.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796585)

And yet, all the best games and applications are still being written for OSX, Windows, and iOS. You can keep preaching about how great open software is, but when it's hard to make money off the platform, the best developers are never going to go there. You're preaching idealism. MS and Apple preach profits. We live in a capitalist society - guess who wins?

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796607)

And yet, all the best games and applications are still being written for OSX, Windows, and iOS. You can keep preaching about how great open software is, but when it's hard to make money off the platform, the best developers are never going to go there. You're preaching idealism. MS and Apple preach profits. We live in a capitalist society - guess who wins?

The gravy train comes with no guarantee you will always remain on it. Apple prospers while those who do business with Apple prosper. When Apple tries too hard to prosper all by themselves they begin to look like that company which nearly died before the second coming of Jobs.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796675)

Apple prospers while those who do business with Apple prosper.

Absolutely true, and they'd do well to remember that.

When Apple tries too hard to prosper all by themselves they begin to look like that company which nearly died before the second coming of Jobs.

Well, we're not there yet. For the moment anyway, the real money in mobile app development is still on iOS. Remember that Apple has been grilled over their App Store curation before and they came out the other side wealthier than ever.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797073)

But Jobs is dead.
We all know from experience what kind of decisions Apple makes when Steve is not at the helm.
Apple is dying now that Steve is dead.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796717)

LOLZZZ!!!! hahaha! Ah yeah... another Slashdotter who's predicting a massive break in a new direction. I've been hearing this around here for over a decade and it has never ever happened. Linux is dead. Microsoft isn't even considering what you're proclaiming and Valve isn't going to turn things on their head either.

You're a kool-aid vendor and the public isn't buying your piss water. Geeks don't matter.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (3, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796793)

Remember, that line didn't even work out for Vader and he had Star Destroyers and millions of clone troopers at his command.

No he didn't. By "A New Hope", all of the clone troopers were dead or in retirement homes (they had their aging accelerated). The Storm Troopers were standard grunts hired from a thousand colony planets. Kenobi thinks they're the super precise shooting clones he remembers, but he's wrong. The only surviving clone is Boba Fett.

Re:Pray I don't change them further.... (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796937)

Apple has done things that are much more hostile to developers on iOS, and it's still a hot platform.

Incoming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796403)

Apple Defence Force!

ASEMBLEEEEEE!!!!

Re:Incoming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796421)

form of a mac doesn't get viruses

Re:Incoming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796507)

form of a but windows is worse.

Re:Incoming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796545)

Shape of, "It just works"

Re:Incoming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796715)

form of a trojans aren't viruses so technically it's still true even if it doesn't make any difference to anyone

Snake Bites Own Tail (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796409)

and it's not even Quezovercoatl

I guess the squeezing of developers & customers has finally come around to hurt Apple, after such a promising start, too. Couldn't happen to a nicer company.

Re:Snake Bites Own Tail (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796517)

and it's not even Quezovercoatl

I think you have your serpents of legend a bit confused [wikipedia.org]

Re:Snake Bites Own Tail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796641)

That particular motif is much older [wikipedia.org].

Perhaps the walled-garden was bad after all. (3, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796415)

These are the things you get with the lack of openness - in favor of the One True Platform where everything must submit to the One True Experience

Re:Perhaps the walled-garden was bad after all. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796581)

These are the things you get with the lack of openness - in favor of the One True Platform where everything must submit to the One True Experience

And the fun bit(!) -> When so many people have bought Apps developed outside the sandbox and they won't run on the next i(thingy) so people are less likely to upgrade right away <- thus hitting the ol' Wall Street revenue expectations.

Ah, what a tangled web the weave. Where's me popcorn?

Re:Perhaps the walled-garden was bad after all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796759)

It shall be an interesting year. Suddenly, the App Store is not perfect. Developers don't think the MS App Store will be good either even before it has been opened. This shall be an interesting time, and very much fun to watch (but not to experience, we will pay for it after all).

Re:Perhaps the walled-garden was bad after all. (1)

Kohath (38547) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796995)

These are the things you get with the lack of openness

Internet whining? You pretty much get that all the time, regardless of openness.

App Store (3, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796417)

This summary contains the word "App Store" a few more times than necessary...

Re:App Store (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796509)

Since all the usages are part of a quote, there's not a lot an editor can do. Inasmuch as the editors do anything at all, that is.

Re:App Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796949)

Well, if that's a problem, there's an app for that.

A lot faster than I thought (2, Insightful)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796425)

I figured a year or two before Steve being gone would doom the Appleistas. Happened a lot faster than I thought.

Perhaps they'll have less profits to hide in tax structures in other countries so they don't have to pay Uncle Sam.

Re:A lot faster than I thought (4, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796483)

Except there is no evidence that developers are "leaving in drones" neither from the linked blog posting or anything from the summary. That was just sensationalism added in to rile up the Apple crowd.

Re:A lot faster than I thought (5, Funny)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796541)

Except there is no evidence that developers are "leaving in drones"

If i were leaving i don't think a drone would be my preferred conveyance.

Re:A lot faster than I thought (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797087)

Who needs evidence? Apple is "in Trouble". Because someone has a complaint. No one ever had a complaint before. Ever.

Re:A lot faster than I thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796825)

I'd think this incarnation is what Steve would have wanted...control control control.
Plus, it hasn't been that long. Wouldn't these requirements have been locked down under his reign? Software, especially something as complex as an App Store, doesn't happen overnight.

Agree (1, Insightful)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796427)

I agree, sandboxing has been a bitch. Should be able to turn it off for apps the user trusts...

He's talking about the new MAC app store (3, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796441)

not the App Store most people are thinking of (the iphone/ipad one). TF summary is misleading.

The mobile App store's always been restrictive, and it seems to have done okay... nothing to see here.

Uh huh... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796445)

According to Arment, the new sandboxing guidelines from Apple are pushing developers away in droves.

Though nothing in his blog post actually says or even hints at this. But it's fun to pull things out of our ass, eh?

Re:Uh huh... (1)

v1 (525388) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796547)

Though nothing in his blog post actually says or even hints at this. But it's fun to pull things out of our ass, eh?

I try to check out all the comments before posting a reaction to a summary, to make sure someone else hasn't already raised the point. And you have.

"This is horrible, everyone hates it!"

Who hates it? why?

"Because it's horrible and I hate it!"

Oh. I see. (clicks "ignore")

As an Apple hater, I disagree. (5, Insightful)

twocows (1216842) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796459)

I loathe Apple. They are probably one of the most detestable companies in the technology sector right now. I see them as a modern version of 90s Microsoft.

But this? I think this is a move in the right direction. The added security benefits sandboxing brings far outweigh any negative consequences a few developers too lazy to implement something Apple's been telling them they need to implement for the better part of a year might experience (at least according to the OS X review a few days ago from Ars Technica). And it's not like these developers have no recourse; as long as they register with Apple or whatever, the default OS setting will allow users to go download those products from the vendor's website.

There are plenty of reasons to hate Apple. Their push toward better security practices is not one of them.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796553)

Until Apple decide it wants your software's market share and removes your App from the App Store because Apps that compete directly with official Apple products are not allowed.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796645)

I'm just plan on saying "told you so", repeatedly throughout the coming years.
It's not gonna be enjoyable.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (4, Insightful)

twocows (1216842) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796705)

That's a reason not to use the App Store in general, not to protest their implementation of sandboxing and adding it as a requirement for App Store apps.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796745)

Security enhancements should always be welcome. For now they still provide an option to install applications that do not follow the Apple signing requirements and that is good. The problem is when Apple is forbidding APIs to be used if you do not distribute the application on the Mac App Store. I am pretty sure if Google or Microsoft start blocking APIs and make the exclusive to their applications on their store, some people will get mad (with justification)

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796933)

The problem is when Apple is forbidding APIs to be used if you do not distribute the application on the Mac App Store.

These are APIs that allow the user to store things on servers that Apple is paying for. So it's not just "using an API", it is "using infrastructure that is paid for by Apple".

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (0)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797011)

The user is paying for their iCloud service (if use more than the free quota, if they need more moeny remove the low the free quota), why the developer must be forced to a store for that?. Do Google force developers using Google Drive APIs to use Google Play or Chrome Store? If I pay for Google Apps for domains, do every XMPP messaging client must distribute their app using the Google methods if they will connect to Google Talk server. There is no excuse for Apple blocking iCloud

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (2, Informative)

ewieling (90662) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796831)

I loathe Apple. They are probably one of the most detestable companies in the technology sector right now. I see them as a modern version of 90s Microsoft.

Apple will not reach Microsoft's level of evil until they have a monopoly. They don't. Not even close. I don't like Apple all that much, but the level of Microsoft's evilness in the 90's cannot be underestimated.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (2)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796921)

It's a move in the right direction, but the way Apple are going about it is harming developers and confidence in the App Store unnecessarily.

I completely agree that sandboxing is a valuable requirement, and regardless of anybody's opinions on Apple's control over the ecosystem, they have used that control to cut out a lot of really shitty practices by software vendors, and this is another example of them using that control to push vendors in the right direction.

The problem, though, is that the entitlements on offer are half-baked. There's a lot of software that legitimately needs more entitlements, and Apple haven't been responsive in catering to these needs. It wouldn't take much to handle this properly, but Apple are being too aggressive in pushing this forward prematurely. They are dropping the ball on this one, and it has the potential to sabotage the App Store before it's fully established itself.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796927)

Maybe, but my application is one of those that cannot be sandboxed.

Did you know there is no setting which allows an application to write files in a user selected folder, no you have to ask the user for every file to save manually.
Which is hard when some of your customers want your application to record audio into 500 mono .wav audio files. Although I believe you can get a temporary exception from Apple, so you can change your application to comply, in other words pull it from the app store.

Also I want to make screenshots and mail the screenshot,preferences file and log file to me, when the user has a problem he likes me to look at. Of course there is no exception for opening applications like that, so that is a feature that has to be removed from app-store version.

I am very likely have to pull my application from the app store, but since I do not know the the email addresses of the customers who bought at the app store I can not easily offer an 'upgrade'-path to my non-app-store version.

Sandboxing is wonderful, but not if there are so few options to tell the sandbox what the application is allowed to do.

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (1)

preaction (1526109) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796931)

Some programs are pretty much useless in a sandbox. Should I have to bundle together an editor, source control, and an interpreter in order for those programs to use the same files inside the sandbox? Should I do this for every language I want to develop in using that editor? Without the runtime, the files I'm editing are useless. Perhaps I could get away with just the editor and the source control, using the source control to escape the sandbox. Would Apple close that hole, or reject me from the app store for that reason?

Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797015)

Except there are whole classes of programs you can't buy. For instance, many popular disk utilities are not available on the app store or if they are, they only work on removable media. If I want to defragment my boot disk, I have to buy from the vendor directly. Few antivirus applications are available on the app store for the same reason.

Most games on the app store are crippled too. The online gaming component is disable or similar restrictions are put on the games. Duke Nukem Forever or Rage are examples. You're better off buying games on steam.

The app store is useful to buy apple apps, but I can't even get Microsoft Office on there. They need to encourage companies to sell products on there not the other way around.

Uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796473)

What would Jobs do?

A big fat.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796493)

DUH!

He's just realizing this now?

It's what I've been saying all along. If you can't install and/or run it without relying on someone else's servers, you don't own it. That's why I NEVER buy anything that uses any kind of online activation, or uses a mandatory downloader to install the program. If any software vendor wants my money, they have to provide me with an offline installer that I can run even on a computer that I have no intention of ever connecting to the internet. If I buy something, I want to know that I'll be able to transfer it later to another device even if the company who sold it to me and all the middle men in between disappear off the face of the earth.

And yes, that applies to Steam, too.

Like Walmart..... (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796495)

Apple probably doesn't care. When one merchandiser leaves, another one will gladly take its place.

Re:Like Walmart..... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796563)

And I doubt the customers will care either. If Walmart stops selling HTC televisions, do people just quit walmart? No they buy whatever brand is available. Same with the Apple Store; people will just buy what they can. So I disagree with the comments below: http://www.marco.org/2012/07/26/not-just-geeks [marco.org]

BTW instapaper's "read later" doesn't work in Opera.
Would be nice if he fixed that.

QUOTE: "My argument was more nuanced: many previously-acceptable apps have been effectively kicked out of the App Store because theyâ(TM)re incompatible with the current implementation of sandboxing, and this hurts the customers of those apps enough that they will lose confidence in buying nontrivial software from the Store in the future. For this reason, I, as a customer, have lost confidence. Furthermore, the increasing number of good, useful apps not permitted in the App Store will prevent it from becoming ubiquitous, therefore harming Apple's presumed long-term goals."

Apple needs to take care of developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796501)

This is how it's done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMU0tzLwhbE

Backwards, more will go to app store (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796525)

As a developer I see what he is saying.

But as a user the changes only make it MORE likely I would look in the app store first for something. I know something from there will work along with the system security restrictions.

With more people looking in the app store, the simple truth is more developers will have to service that market somehow or lose users (or at least not grow at the same rate as the mac install base does).

Apple has already changed some ways in which sandboxing works, to accommodate some application needs. And they will do more of that going forward - but historically Apple implements overly strong security to start with, and then whittles it away as required instead of letting users get used to an overly permissive model.

The problem is... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796587)

Developers think "Great, I can release an App Store version... I just need to remove x and y." So they do that, and people buy the App Store version. Then the developer realizes his App Store version now can't do Z, which makes it much harder to keep making in parallel with his native version. So he stops updating the App Store version. App Store customer sees non-App Store version getting updates and gets angry.

Re:Backwards, more will go to app store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797099)

> But as a user the changes only make it MORE likely I would look in the app store first for something. I know something from there will work along with the system security restrictions.

Yes, for a standalone application. But there's a whole class of utility software which only exists because it plugs into other software in ways which the app store doesn't allow. (e.g. from TFA: "integrations with iCal, iPhoto, Dropbox, Evernote, and more") As more eyeballs are glued to the store, this stuff will be harder to find.

The Windows 8 store lets developers put a page up, even if the app isn't store compatible. Seems like a decent compromise.

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796591)

I've felt that Apple has been doing a good job of alienating developers ever since such ostentatious shit such as demanding that 30/70 pay cut off of any profits that could be construed as an 'In-App Purchase', coercing them to either not do business with their platform, or take their deal up the yahoo. Speaking from my own experience, where I had a voice over IP application for a now-defunct company dropped last year from the store for that reason after working just fantastically for a number of months up until that point. They wanted us to fork over 30 percent of our profits, on a prepaid VOIP service where we accepted shit like liberty reserve & bitcoin, where the only function of the application was to connect a call to the cell phone from the VOIP servers to the phone through an HTTP request which connected the call through an incoming call to the cell phone running the app which made the request (thereby skipping outgoing call minutes/outgoing longdistance rates/etc etc along with DID services and all the other stuff that the company offered). Simply not anywhere near economically feasible, but apple stood their ground that this was what the deal was going to be. Fuck alienating developers - Charging an individual or a company money to open up an app store account and then fucking over them and their customers who enjoyed their services with that kind of shit has left me at the point where I laughed when Steve Jobs died. As an aside, the fact that Apple's computer platforms have never been inherently apt to writing code and creating things (especially now with iPads etc) kind of tells me that they're not just alienating developers, they're also making the whole profession that much more obscurantist in their offerings of it, as some have argued. Can't write a fucking iphone app on a fucking iphone. In fact, I am glad I had mine broken when I took it out camping and had some drunk friend break it while she was using it as our only light with a working battery.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796613)

Also, I got sick of people asking "So hows working FOR APPLE?!?" all the time. I still get that fucking question, actually.

Not a "power user" OS anymore. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796593)

Customers may take the same route (i.e. straight to the exit, without even grabbing their coat), at least for the more empowered users.

Case in point: I've purchased "Light Compressor" on the AppStore. Simple application to combine multiple exposure pictures to create HDR images. For some reason, the developer decided that Lion was required - why exactly he needs Lion still escape me. Upgrading to (now) Mountain Lion with my 2008 Macbook Pro would need me to reevaluate all the software I use, most probably requiring more upgrades. Sorry, I'm not going to spend tens if not hundreds of euros to be able to use a 3 euros one. Sad thing is, when I paid for it, it was perfectly running with Snow Leopard.

Plus, now that Apple is turning OSX into a kind of IOS with some desillusions of grandeur, and taking the "we know better what's good for you" route, I personally will leave the platform as soon as Snow Leopard stop working for me and migrate back to Linux. I just wish I'd have not left in the first place.

Note that I think Apple and Microsoft are completely out of touch with their customer: if people need "simple" computers, they'll go with tablets these days. But there's still a lot of people who need to _work_, and for those, oversimplifying the laptop/desktop computer is counter-productive.

Re:Not a "power user" OS anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796891)

I do all of my work on a Mac and I've never needed to install anything from the App Store.

Cool story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796631)

Now go tell that to the unaware masses who will still be using the appstore.

How will 'the halo effect' come into play? (4, Insightful)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796655)

Many, MANY people buy Macs because they believe that they are better/more stable/more secure than the Windows machines they've used for the past decade. Whether they are or are not is an endless Slashdot debate that is completely tangential to my point, because what's at question here is the perception, not the reality.

If people perceive the Mac to be the stable part, software that doesn't work will likely be blamed on the developer, not Apple. To them, a sandbox is a place young children play in, not a computer security model. A developer trying to explain this to someone who truly doesn't understand the security model will make himself look foolish to the customer, not enlighten the customer.

The App Store will still be used by many Mac users in the same way Origin is used by EA customers. Few (if any) EA customers desired Origin, it's just necessary for Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, and The Sims. Similarly, even if many Apple developers ditch the App Store, the fact that Final Cut Studio, Logic, and Aperture are available through it will keep a huge demographic begrudgingly using it. Adobe is probably the one company who can likely keep a working trigger finger on Apple preventing conventional software installations, but their pushing their 'Creative Cloud' model may weaken their grip on said trigger. Ableton and Serato may be in a position to help pick up the slack a bit, but they definitely don't have the same level of clout.

Finally, long time Mac incumbents may be wary of the Mac App Store, but newcomers who love their iPhone/iPod/iPad may be more inclined to start at the App Store since that's "where software comes from". It's part of the vertical solution that they feel they bought from Apple. The question will be whether developer A's FOO_APP skiddishness in being included in the App Store will be the golden opportunity for similarly-functioning FRA_APP to eat its lunch. Again, Adobe may be able to keep itself afloat with selling stuff through adobe.com/journeyed/cdw/staples, but searching the App Store through functionality puts developers on much more even levels for those that would be affected by the sandboxing and not having a legal team at their disposal to go RIAA on their posteriors.

New sand boxing guidelines? (5, Informative)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796669)

Apple hinted to sandboxing being mandatory at WWDC11, they announced it would happen later that year, then forced everyone to a few months ago. So, where does this "new" come from exactly?

just finding this out now (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796691)

They're just realizing this now? A walled garden controlled by one single company that gives you zero control whatsoever might maybe have some undesirable results? Did they think Apple wasn't in complete control when they bought their iOS device or something?

What I've seen (4, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796711)

What I've seen is that many apps are starting to have 2 versions:

a) The internet version
-- designed the way the developer wants
-- paid upgrades
-- weak or weaker tie to iOS version

b) The app store version
-- designed the way Apple wants
-- free upgrades (or rarely 100% rebuy upgrades)
-- strong tie to the iOS version via. iCloud

That's a really interesting choice. So far I've always gone for the internet version because the app store worries me. I like the idea of iCloud integration, but most of what I want I could get though dropbox and sym/hard links. I could get the update management the more traditions way (http://www.macupdate.com/desktop/) but frankly all the apps check by themselves at this point mostly.

But I don't know the App store is "in trouble". I think there is likely to be a fork in what you get where. The App store might have lots of inexpensive simple applications, free demos, desktop support for phone apps and other apps that are single purpose while the retail side focus on the $20 on up apps which are more versatile. I don't think it is good that the market is forking creating two software ecosystems with different tastes.

Only on Slashdot (5, Insightful)

Starteck81 (917280) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796729)

I love that people on here bitch endlessly about how insecure OSes are. Then Apple makes a move to require devs to code in a more secure manner, result? They freak out. Did I miss anything?

1990s Apple All Over Again (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796733)

This same thing happened the last time Steve Jobs left. The company destroyed itself from within with one bad business decision after another.

Marco may have a point (5, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796741)

Problem is, I read the linked post and can't tell if he's right or wrong. He refers to developers leaving, he refers to customers being burnt, he refers to sandboxing exclusions... but he doesn't give a single example to illustrate his point!

So what exactly are you talking about, Marco Arment?

Re:Marco may have a point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797031)

The developer cannot really say what his application can do, for example an application cannot write into a file (unless they are in the Document, Music, Video, Pictures folders in the home directory), unless the user explicitly saves each and every file (The standard Open File Dialogue box API opens up the sandbox). That is not going to work when a user wants the application to create a few hundred large files on an external disk.

Will Apple's own "apps" run in their sandbox? (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796775)

Will iTunes run in the "sandbox"? QuickTime? Safari? Keynote? Numbers? FinalCut "Pro"?

Re:Will Apple's own "apps" run in their sandbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797075)

They already do.

Cynicism wins, again. (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796789)

As a newcomer to the Mac, I was not at all interested in the App Store. Maybe I'm too cynical, but goddamn it, I'm proven right too often to change my ways. The App Store does not solve any existing problems for me, as a user. If I can find some app in their, then I could have Googled for the author's web site just as easily. I actually prefer apps that self-update, rather than having to open the inflexible App Store client. I don't need a 3rd party getting between me and the developer, isn't that the whole point of a global network ? We don't need no stinkin' middlemen!

Another peeve is how their delivery method makes it difficult to back up the installation files. I don't want to redownload the dumb thing every time I set up a test box, or follow their annual OS upgrades (from scratch - fuck inline updates!) For regular users, I'm sure the experience is seamless, but as soon as you start messing in a terminal, the messy parts become painfully apparent. It's kind of like that last bit in Portal, where you break out of the test area and run around the broken-down maintenance hallways.

It's a fine model for the iPhone/iPad, but desktop/laptop computers have a long legacy that predates this sort of integration and far greater diversity in how people use them. Tell me how to use my computer and I'll tell your company to go fuck itself.

marco arment is a little bitch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796795)

fuck that self-promoting cunt. no one cares if u pull ur gay ass app from the appstore fag.

Calling a spade a spade (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796821)

or, in this case, a cunt a cunt. Yeah, Marco Arment is a cunt. If that offends you, pretend I called him a douchebag instead.

I know him personally. In fact, I'm his mother.

That's right, his mother thinks he's a cunt.

I'm pretty much done with the iPhone period. (2)

Nexion (1064) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796851)

I've had the iPhone since shortly after they first introduced it to the market. In that time I purchased many apps, but few paid apps have failed to disappoint. Making things worse Apple allows developers to convert a 10$ app into a "free" app with in game purchases. Particularly disappointing was Oregon Trail. The only thing I found appealing on early Apple computers (I had a PC so I was spoiled) when I found them in my school. I payed almost 10$ for that iPhone app, and it was worth it when I bought it as it was VERY close to the original, as I remembered it. Greedily the developer converted my paid app to a "free" one and completely ruined the game adding content not in the original to prompt users to pay for in game items that shouldn't have even been there. Apple then removes an app from the store that puts a spotlight on shady apps.

Apple, IMHO, isn't very customer oriented. Well, unless the customer is other businesses and we are the product.

The main problem and simple solution (4, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796899)

Right now the Mac app store makes no distinction between system/developer utilities and regular consumer applications. As a result, the list of available entitlements are too narrow. Regular users are baffled by the file system and getting it out of their faces is a great idea. Locking down apps is also good from a security perspective for most apps and users.

Apple just needs to make a special more rigorous review process for these sorts of apps and only allow those apps to request admin access or touch the file system outside the sandbox. In fact only the Developer and Utility categories need allow this sort of thing.

On a related note, Apple needs something like Windows' contracts so apps can specify the types of data they can provide or accept and let the system manage the interaction. This gives a safe clean way for apps to share data... The primary drawback of Apple's current "share nothing" model.

Sandboxing? Some background please? (1, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797017)

He seems to be butthurt over something called "Sandboxing," but throughout his entire rant, he fails to actually explain to his readers what this Sandboxing thing is and how it affects developers. All he offers is some jargon about "incompatibility with the current set of sandboxing entitlements" whatever the heck that means.

He might as well be ranting over Apple's "leafbowl" restrictions or their policy of "chicken frying" developers. Without some background, who knows what he's talking about with his jargon?

NOT ABOUT iOS (3, Informative)

mj1856 (589031) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797097)

The summary is misleading. The article is about the MAC app store for desktop applications. Was anyone else left scratching their heads about how the heck they would deploy iPhone apps to the public without the app store?

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