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Desktops (Apple) Software Apple

Apple In Trouble With Developers 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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Apple In Trouble With Developers

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:04PM (#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.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:14PM (#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.

  • What I've seen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:24PM (#40796711) Homepage

    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 ( 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.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:28PM (#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?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:33PM (#40796775) Homepage

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:37PM (#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:Only on Slashdot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kergan ( 780543 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @07:57PM (#40797485)

    +1000. Arment's comments and the OP's summary are utter bull crap.

    Moreover this is a one-time thing, one long in the making, postponed several times in the past two years or so, and Arment knows it more than any other -- being the author of an iOS app.

    There's really nothing to see here. Consumers are basically told: "We're improving security by requiring stuff in the app store; we're dropping apps that aren't secure enough by our standards as a consequence." Period, end of story. Move along, nothing to see.

  • Re:Agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:14PM (#40797613)

    If you go back to the article Ament links to [], their complaints are:

    No free trials
    No discounted upgrades
    No free upgrades if the prior version was purchased after a specific date
    No way to provide license keys that could be used on Windows (many of our customers use both platforms)
    No volume discounts or site licensing
    No access to customer information, which prevented us from validating orders, offering discounts, running promotions, newsletter signups, etc.
    Unclear refund policies
    Most importantly, we had to create another version of Postbox for the Mac App Store that removed features such as iCal support, iPhoto integration, and Add-Ons in order to comply with Apple’s Application Guidelines

    None of these, save the last one, have anything to do with sandboxing. The last one does, but I don't understand it, because access to the user's calendar and photos are explicitly-defined entitlements that you can access, all you have to do is check a box in Xcode. A sandboxed app cannot access the filesystem of the computer, except for paths specifically named by the user in an Open or Save dialogue (the dialogue boxes are run by a separate daemon that passes the paths to the client application over IPC, so you can't futz with it to pick open more of the user's fs than they specifically let the application see.) Obviously this is deadly to bulk renamers, but I don't understand the complaint in the context of document creation, utilities or accessories, games, or really anything but document indexers -- which would have to just be sold the old fashioned way, on a website.

  • by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @10:09PM (#40798453)

    I just upgraded my MacBook Pro from OS X 10.7.4 Lion to 10.8 Mountain Lion. Unfortunately this change brought a new version of OpenGL (great!) but Apple removed the PBuffers they had deprecated some time back. That broke the software I've been working (using th JoGL OpenGL bindings). While on one hand you can argue that Apple deprecated PBuffers on their platform so tough luck to me. On the other hand both AMD on Windows and Ubuntu Linux still have working PBuffer implementations and my software still works on those platforms.

    As a developer it makes me a bit unhappy Apple brought in a lot of Cloud stuff (that I personally have zero interest in) while removing small but useful features that are actually widely used. Backwards compatibility matters a lot, which is one of the great strengths of Windows but Apple are less keen on it. As a developer (the point of this article) it now means that until the JoGL library catches up OS X has moved from a first-class target for my game to second class behind Linux and Windows (where I know the development effort won't be slowed by fairly needless breaking changes). This is because I can't guarantee that the effort I make to get things going again on OS X won't be nullified with further (IMHO unnecessarily strict) changes as new OS X versions are released on their yearly cycle. Sure, I have the technical chops to patch JoGL myself, but it is something I don't have to do for Windows and Linux, and is a diversion of effort for me actually *getting the important stuff done*.

    nb: I must be a luddite. I'd much rather get my software directly from the vendor rather than the straightjacket of the App Store. I just know getting stuf through the App Store will be problematic whenever Apple decides that it is in their interest (not mine) to replace the App Store with something else. All technology changes, eventually, but Apple's timescale for change is probably much faster than mine since I just want to get stuff done => future trouble, so I avoid using App Store where I have alternatives.

  • by Mabhatter ( 126906 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @10:28PM (#40798543)

    The problem is that Apple has not developed system wide functions to replace many of the things they are taking away... And for the things they are replacing, they are going for the heavy-handed iOS approach and locking devs down to only sharing specific Apple-approved file types. Basically having the computer act like a "system" is dead in favor of manual apps. The idea of using Apple Script to string your own custom workflow of little apps is right out the window.

    Add insult to injury, Apple seems to be preemptively "Sherlock-ing" their most prosperous Mac Devs about one OS version BEFORE Apple copies them. now they are pulling apps and leaving USERS in the lurch without features they had yesterday.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!