Monday, November 21, 2016

The Monkey and the Apple

Steve Yegge:

A lot of people have asked me why I did my first mobile client in iOS rather than Android. The answer is monetization. iOS is straight-up easier to monetize. Android has cultivated a frugal audience, through both marketing and hardware choices, and that cultivation has been a success. Android users tend to be frugal. That doesn’t mean they don’t spend money, but it does mean they are more cautious about it. I have friends who’ve done simultaneous iOS/Android releases for their apps, and invariably the iOS users outspend the Android users by anywhere from 4:1 to 10:1 -- anecdotally, to be sure, but a little Googling is enough to support just about any confirmation bias you like. So I picked iOS.


And as a result, the Android APIs and frameworks are far, far, FAR from what you would expect if you’ve come from literally any other UI framework on the planet. They feel alien. This reddit thread pretty well sums up my early experiences with Android development.


The story of my app’s rejection is epic enough for an opera, but in a nutshell, Apple requires that all apps support ipv6-only networks. But none of the major Cloud providers supported ipv6 at the time of my submission, in late September. […] Fortunately, after a mere six weeks, and me finally sending them an angry-ish (but still cravenly and begging) note asking WTH, they granted me the exception for 1 year, backdated so it was really only 11 months, but whatevs. I was approved!


I’m really worried about In-App Purchases. I offer them in my game (though it’s definitely not pay-to-play), but Apple’s testing for IAP leaves a lot to be desired. You have to sandbox it, and this requires setting up separate accounts. It’s not possible to enable production IAP (with real money) before the actual launch. But their sandbox environment makes it really easy to screw up a transaction, after which your device will prompt you for a store login every 5 minutes for the rest of your miserable life, and likely into the hereafter. It’s a mess.

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