Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mac App Store Developer Survey


Most developers we asked are gods with multiple arms: they manage to sell their apps both on the Mac App Store and outside of it. About a third were brave enough to only sell outside, while the smallest part have chosen the MAS as their only marketplace.


Unexpectedly, for those who sell both on the MAS and outside, revenue parts coming from the two channels are practically identical, which means you don’t actually make more money on the MAS.


About a third of the devs we asked run their own business. Funny enough (not really), more than 20% of them have tried MAS, but left.

Manton Reece:

While sandboxing does show up on the complaint list, it’s ranked low as a reason to not use the Mac App Store, even though it was why I pulled my app Clipstart from the Mac App Store 4 years ago. And not much has changed since I wrote about Sketch and other apps leaving the Mac App Store last year.

Update (2016-08-20): Marcus Fehn is critical of the survey. These sorts of surveys always have sampling issues, so I wouldn’t take the numbers too seriously. But I do think it’s interesting as a rough snapshot of what the community thinks, particularly the ranking of the different pain points. I would have liked to see additional choices, though, e.g. the unreliability of iTunes Connect and the Mac App Store app.

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I'm not surprised sandboxing does not show particularly high - for most apps, sandboxing just causes a reduction in features or an addition of user friction, rather than being a complete show stopper like it is for apps like Keyboard Maestro. The problem Apple does not recognise is that it is exactly those sorts of apps that lead the way to new system features, and those new features will never now be found because they lack the exposure that the App Store brings.

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