The strangest news I’ve read in recent days concerns a couple of iOS app developers that have accused Apple of monopoly by forcing the use of the App Store. My opinion? These people should spend a few months with Android, the Play Store and all the alternative stores to see how wrong they are…
What is Apple being accused of?
Plaintiffs claim that Apple’s App Store is blocking innovation and preventing healthy competition. Also, according to the two developers, who could soon turn the complaint into a class action lawsuit, Apple afflicts all developers on its platform with high commissions and a set of rules decided unilaterally.
“Apple admits to blocking all competition in the distribution of apps to users of iOS devices, in a bid to protect them from malicious apps and malware. But it’s too much. There’s no reason to believe that other reputable vendors, such as Amazon, wouldn’t be able to create an app store and provide a reliable experience.”
We remind you that on iOS, where devices are not allowed third-party stores for applications, 30% of developers’ profits are retained by Apple. You also have to pay an annual fee of $99 to maintain the status of ‘developer’. In addition, Apple does not allow the freedom to choose your own pricing, forcing each individual digital product to be sold with the .99 decimal places on the label.
The center of the diatribe is still the Apple App Store and the lack of competition that, according to the developers, if present would force Apple to innovate and improve. Moreover, if an application is rejected by Apple’s online store, it has no other way of being installed on devices as it cannot be promoted by third-party stores that, of course, do not exist on iOS.
The App Store must continue on this path
As much as I can agree that, in general, the presence of competition is always good for the market, this time I must disagree that it can be an advantage for users.
The App Store, over the years, has been able to maintain a very high level of applications within it and this goal was achieved by imposing strict rules on developers who could not do what they wanted, as happens on the Google Play Store. The fight against clones (not allowed on Apple’s store) and accurate control of the safety and quality of the apps prior to publication on the App Store, have allowed the catalog of Apple software to be the best available on smartphones and tablets today.
Have you ever tried searching the Google Play Store? If so, then you have an idea of how difficult it can be to recognize legitimate applications from the multitude of poor quality clones, full of publicity and potentially dangerous to the security of user data. Sure, Google and its Play Protect program remove malicious applications as soon as they are detected but sometimes that’s not enough.
To underline how strict rules are necessary for a store, have you ever downloaded apps that look old-fashioned and remind you of old versions of the system you are using? Of course, it has happened to you but only if you use Android. This is because on iOS even the design must be kept up to date over time. Many of the apps available on the Play Store still have the black and orange look of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and earlier, others use the Holo look of Android 4.0 while others use the old Material Design…
Look in the neighbor’s garden and see that his grass is not so green
Not only do the strict rules of the App Store encourage developers to create apps of the highest quality, compared to their Android counterparts, but they also allow Apple to control its ecosystem, avoiding problems of compatibility of some apps with their systems and ensuring a level of security that we can only dream about on Android.
Alternative stores are not possible if they are not subject to equally strict rules because otherwise, they would end up frustrating all the security and quality control work carried out by the official store. How many times have we heard of malware that has infected Android because it was installed along with apps of dubious origin via APK or third-party stores?
The accusations made by the two developers are not completely meaningless but do not take into account the growing number of malicious people who would do anything to have access to personal data. The high-quality standards that the company from Cupertino wants to maintain with its App Store, with its rules, not only defends users but also the developers themselves by creating a system that both parties can trust. Of course, this comes at a cost…
A word of advice: If you don’t like the rules of the App Store, publish your app on the Google Play Store and then fight yourself against crashes on systems too up-to-date (or too old), clones and piracy of various kinds. Then let’s see if you’re still willing to complain about how your creations are distributed on iOS. Also, if the App Store rejects your app, there’s definitely a reason. It should be an incentive for you to get back to work and improve your skills and your product.