Archive for June 12, 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

How to Improve the App Store

Apple, in an e-mail sent to developers:

We love feedback.

Tell us about your experience managing, marketing and distributing apps for the App Store.

Wil Shipley’s feedback hits most of the big issues. (He doesn’t discuss the guidelines or App Review.)

Here are some more examples of problematic search ads.

Ryan Jones:

1. What is your age?
2. What platforms do you dev for?

It’s weird how pushy Apple is being with augmented reality.

Ryan Jones:

1) No ad extortion on my app name

2) No fee for the first $1M in gross revenue

3) Mandatory, consistent, Apple-designed in-app paywalls

4) Ongoing policing and customer reporting of bad actors. One warning, and then one month suspension of new app sales.


Update (2020-06-22): Here’s a text version of Shipley’s feedback (via Hacker News):

Apple’s biggest competition right now is the web. More and more “apps” are just thin, non-native veneers on top of web sites (cf Zoom, Slack, Steam, etc). The issue for Apple is, why would anyone choose Apple devices if the exact same apps are available on all devices? Apple should be doing everything it can to support good third-party developers that make the real Apple apps that make Apple devices unique, and provide cool Apple-only experiences. But, again, all the developers I know who do this are dying off, because of the App Store’s policies. Even Omni Group had layoffs a couple months ago.

See also: Gus Mueller, Leo Kelion, Nick Heer, Tyler Hall, Stephen Warwick.

Mark Mayo:

Ads in app store search results feel anti-user, anti-developer. Every time I search for an app I’m shocked at the complete garbage that’s camping on the trademark of the app I’m looking for. You expect it from Google/Android, maybe, but not from Apple.

Jason Dunn:

Many iOS software developers are in a difficult place due to Apple's policies. I've never understood why #Apple expects developers to just keep updating an app forever, generating no new revenue. Big software upgrades should be charged for. Apple's policies here are problematic.

Douglas Fischer:

I had 2 apps rejected last year with issues “proved” by Apple attaching screenshots of other apps instead of my apps. They can’t even test the correct app. People who defends Apple review inconsistency really don’t know what they’re talking about.

Guilherme Rambo:

OMG this happened to me as well. One of my releases was rejected because app review wanted to know “how the app uses face data”. The app didn’t, they sent me the rejection for another completely unrelated app.

Mario Zechner:

I had to reneg a licensing contract recently just so an App Store reviewer would fuck off. The reason? I added the word “official” to the app description. Which was covered by the original contract. Which I sent the reviewer. “No, it must be worded like this”. 3 weeks wasted.

Matt Auerbach:

Apple just called and informed our appeal has been rejected. He wasn’t able to give any details. After asking how apps like Slack and Mixpanel work without IAP he said he doesnt know…they are considered a professional db? I asked what defines a prof db, and he hung up on me.

René Fouquet:

The last minor update to App List has been “In Review” for over three weeks now. I already asked for a status update over a week ago, which was answered with “we need more time”. I have now written another Email. It does feel like talking to a concrete wall though.

The official Apple dev forums are full of horror stories with apps that have been “In Review” for MONTHS.

Ryan Jones:

I refund @weatherlineapp and @FlightyApp users from my personal credit card too. Can’t use business card because it breaks accounting.

Certain situations Apple rejects or can’t help, and it’s the only way to make it right for the customer.

Paul Mayne:

At Day One, our solution for App Store refunds (over the past 3 years) has been sending the customer a payment from my personal PayPal account. A 60% loss for us every time.

Daniel Pasco:

I can say, with deepest sincerity, that nothing would make me happier than dedicating every bit of my energy to investing in their platforms, and crafting great user experiences for them.

But I can’t do that it I’ll go broke in the process. And that sucks.

Josh Centers:

People assume those of us criticizing Apple are just whining. No, I’m lamenting what will be the slow decline of an ecosystem so many of us love.

What made Apple great wasn’t just great products but decades of investment in building a developer community. And Apple is bulldozing it.

Timo Perfitt:

here is what other vendors do for me that apple doesn’t

Kevin Vitale:

This perfectly describes my decision to dial back my focus on iOS over a year ago, even at a time when SwiftUI & Combineamp; were finally moving the platform in the direction I wanted for so long. The community is going through a generational shift.


Likewise. I just stopped investing my time in mastering a platform with exactly one demonstrably capricious way to ship a few years ago. And it does suck. I would love nothing more than for Electron/React Native et al to be stupid ideas.

Riccardo Mori:

My problem with the App Store, surprisingly, isn’t the 30% ‘Apple Tax’, but the fact that Apple doesn’t treat all developers equally.

It’s the fact that the rules aren’t enforced consistently. It’s the fact that certain participants are granted privileges.

See also: HEY Rejected From the App Store.