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Archives for : appstore

Nostalgianomics

Yay! Another App Store think piece!

No, wait, where are you going? Hang on, I promise it won’t be the same old “Apple needs to do trials and paid upgrades” rant. In fact, I don’t think Apple’s the problem at all.

I think maybe we’re the problem.

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Hey, Big Spender

“Oh hell, another App Store thinkpiece.” Yeah, I know, not really my department even, so I’ll try to through it quickly. I just can’t help but think about some ideas and facts that can’t all be true at the same time.

Let’s start with this: 5 of the last 6 Kickstarters I’ve supported (check out my profile there) have been for software projects, games specifically. None of them are for iOS, only one is for OS X, and collectively, they represent far more than all my purchases on the App Store combined over the last 7 years (and that’s coming from someone who dutifully plunked down $50 for OmniGraffle for iOS and buys the new $5 Pinball Arcade table I-AP every month).

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Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal

You guys, and girls, you won’t believe this.

So at work, I’m doing a feature that requires sharing a pre-formatted message by the user’s choice of mail, iMessage/SMS, Twitter, or Facebook. So we use the typical iOS compose controllers from the MessageUI framework for the first two, and Social framework for the others. Everything’s fine, until my issue gets returned, saying that the Facebook share sheet has no text.

It’s fine for me when I test it, so I search around for “SLComposeViewController Facebook empty” and discover something.

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Any Port in a Storm

There goes another one.

That’s @jonathanpenn, as he heads off to Apple. He follows a number of top indie developers/author/speakers to head to the mothership in the last few months, including Patrick Burleson, Kevin Hoctor, and if we’ll go back a little over a year, we can throw in my former iOS SDK Development co-author Bill Dudney.

This is causing a little bit of angst among those of us who hate to see our friends decamp from our communities to California, and to suggest that maybe indie iOS development/writing/speaking isn’t tenable. Janie Clayton-Hasz, whom I’m working with on a soon-to-be-announced project, expresses this from the POV of a newcomer to development life in her latest blog.

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Dub Dub Don’t Care

So, yesterday was the big random drawing for the privilege of buying WWDC 2014 tickets. I’ve argued this is the second time that Apple handled it as a lottery, only last year, the drawing was administered by the load balancer sitting in front of apple.com, or the traffic routing going into it.

Last year was also the year that a substantial part of the OS X / iOS community started to become disenchanted with WWDC in its current form… when even developers with the “if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get a ticket” bravado were finally crunched by the numerical reality of far too much demand for far too few seats. Daniel Jalkut moved past the Twitter mob butt-hurt to make a clear-eyed case to End WWDC.

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26 Reasons An Apple TV Game Console Is Unlikely

Of all the new products Apple could release this fall, a revamped Apple TV/game console would be the easiest to make…and could deliver a huge unexpected disruption to the upcoming next-gen game consoles from Sony and Microsoft. […] All we need now is for Apple to announce a new Apple TV this fall. And, I don’t think that’s so far-fetched at all.

That’s not the worst of it. What’s worse is that this is from an article on CNET (ahem) called “Why an Apple TV game console is a no-brainer”.

OK, take a minute to work through the guffaws. Hey, I get it, what are you gonna do… we were starved for any kind of Apple news after Apple spent the first half of the year in silent running. Pundits had to pull something out of their butts! And some took the addition of an iOS game controller API as a natural compliment to an Apple TV gaming box.

But Apple game console… umm, yeah. Aside from my already-established skepticism on the idea of an Apple TV SDK, let me share with you a post I saw on App.Net that utterly killed for me the prospect of an Apple TV game console:

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Pulled!

It’s iOS 7 GM Day! Apple is calling on developers to submit their iOS 7-enhanced updates!

And instead, I just pulled my two apps from the App Store.

OK, too much drama. But the fact is, I haven’t updated my stuff in years, it makes no economic sense to, and the stuff is too obviously dated to keep selling.

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Click Here to Fund this Blog

Don’t mind me, just testing links from the new iTunes Affiliate Program.

Interestingly, it seems you can’t create affil links to Apple apps (Mac or iOS) anymore. But the format is so simple (append at= and your affil ID to the usual iTunes URL), that it’s easy to do by hand. Like this: Final Cut Pro X. Question is, does it count?

Practical upshot of these programs: I get a 7% cut of anything you buy on iTunes for 24 hours after you follow one of these links. Doesn’t change your price; it’s just a payment from Apple to me for sending them traffic. And it’s never very much money (average $20 a month), but infinitely more than I made with a brief Google AdSense experiment (never got to $1, and the Apple and Amazon affil links are way less intrustive than banners), and it’s also a little more than I make off my old apps in the App Store.

EDIT: one huge improvement I forgot to mention is that the URLs no longer begin with click.linksynergy.com… which scared off some users who moused over them and rightly worried where they’d be taken. Since the URLs are now all itunes.apple.com with just an additional key-value pair in the parameters, users should feel more comfortable clicking them. They’re probably a lot more Twitter-friendly in this format too.

Some Online Polls Aren’t Worth the Paper They’re Printed On

Ugh! One more App Store rant… I know, sorry! I was meaning to write about some of the AV Foundation stuff I’ve been doing and how my concerns about the type-y-ness of AV Foundation (versus all the places QuickTime and Core Audio will take a void *) are partially ameliorated by the very flexible Core Media attachments API.

But I have got to put my foot down about this 95% of developers are updating their apps for iOS 7 poll, because this is what an echo chamber sounds like, and we in the iOS developer community need to police our own BS before someone else — or reality — does it for us.

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One More Thing on App Store Sustainability

I had another thought about App Store sustainability this morning that I banged out as a pair of tweets, but that I wanted to post a little more prominently:

A thought: what good would upgrade pricing do on the iOS App Store, where the de facto maximum full price is $4.99?

Is anyone really going to be able to build a sustainable business off 99c annual upgrades?

My Unsustainable Productivity post despaired pretty badly for the future of one-time purchases in the iOS App Store, and I’ve only gotten more pessimistic in light of the evidence that Apple may release iWork for iOS for free with iOS 7. The polish and functionality of the iWork apps means they likely cost Apple several million dollars to develop… if they’re to be given away free, what does that do to user expectations? Basically it tells users they should expect to pay nothing for best-of-breed productivity apps.

I thought $10 each was too low for the iLife apps when they debuted, that it set a price ceiling that would make life difficult for other app makers. If Apple actually makes them free then — mark my words — it will mean the end of third-party productivity apps of any significance on iOS.

Set against this, what do we make of Apple’s release of Logic Pro X for the Mac, at $199? For starters, there’s the much-made point that they clearly don’t intend to offer an upgrade pricing system, when they’re demanding full price for the app on Mac, from new and current users alike.

But look at the contrast with the above, where iLife goes from cheap to (possibly) free on iOS, while Apple still thinks Mac software can demand a price in the hundreds of dollars. They’ve egged on and contributed to the Race To The Bottom on iOS, but not on the Mac. And that just means we’ll all need our “trucks” longer than we would otherwise, because the productivity apps we’d need to go iPad-only will never be written for iOS (or even ported), because it’s not viable for any third-party developer to do so, whereas Mac development remains as viable as it ever was.