MBW 728: Shake 'n Bake and Rice-a-Roni

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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A couple thoughts on the Apple/Epic/App Store discussion. Full disclosure, I am not an attorney and have no connection to Epic and no connection to Apple other than buying and using their products. I do work in the software business and have negotiated and signed many agreements, although none in the hundred million dollar scale.

Apple does a lot of thing with the App Store that are bad for the user experience and for their relationships with iOS developers. (not being able to buy books in the kindle app makes me crazy.) So far as I can tell, none of what they do is illegal under U.S. law. The folks on the show did a good job keeping those issues separate.

Some specific comments:

  1. It is clear Epic’s actions are entirely driven by money. They run their own store where they do everything they don’t like about the App Store and more. Aside from taking a different percentage their actions and policies are at least as restrictive as Apples. Nothing wrong with that but it undercuts their stance that this is a moral crusade.

  2. The general purpose device/console discussion may have some impact on future policy discussions but is legally irrelevant at the moment.

  3. Ms. Gill’s argument that managing the iOS App store and app installation policies the same as the Mac App store seems seriously flawed to me. The Mac and PCs came to market before malware was everywhere and home routers and devices are probed hundreds of time a day by bad actors looking for vulnerabilities. If MacOS or Windows were being designed today from scratch I don’t think either of them would be as open as they are. There are probably 10 times as many iOS devices in the world than there are Macs with a much higher number of unsophisticated users. Apple clearly feels the Mac app installation and security model is not good enough for iOS (I agree with Apple on that).

  4. Mr. Ritchie’s idea of allowing side loading with warnings would be fine with me on my personal device but I don’t see Apple doing that and, honestly, I believe it would be the wrong decision for their business. Apple clearly wants iOS users to feel their device is safe from malware and their date is protected. Any form of side loading creates an additional attack vector for malware; even if it restricted to signed/notarized apps.

Assume apple allowed side loading. Imagine some vulnerable retiree believes the friendly person who calls them up or comes to their door and about some great cause and says “All you have to do is download this app to support my church group. Ignore those warning messages those are just there for legal perposes” and our naive retiree side loads and app to their iPhone and a few weeks later money is missing from their bank account. What would the headline be?

“Idiot retiree iOS user ignores repeated warnings from iPhone, side loads scam app, and loses their savings”

OR

“iPhone hacked, 83 year old loses life savings!”

While I personally might like to be able to side load apps, I wouldn’t allow it if I were Time Cook. The benefit to the small percentage of users who really care about it isn’t worth the risk to Apple’s business. And that’s just an extreme example, Apple doesn’t want apps that share location data or impact battery life too much.

  1. Apple’s “we treat all apps and developers the same” appears to be less than entirely truthful. That being said, treating all apps the same does not mean everyone pays Apple the same percentage. It would seem entirely reasonable for Apple to offer volume discounts for Apps, you pay 30% for the first $50k, 20% for the next $1M and 10% after that.

  2. 30% seems high to me but Apple is doing far more than payment processing. If it were up to me I’d make it lower but the arguments from a lot of developers (and folks who support them) boils down to “Apple has a ton of money. They should give me some.”

This was probably more feedback than you wanted but I am taking Leo at his word that you’d love to hear from me.

Love the show.

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Perhaps I listen to too many TWIT shows, but I’m getting burned out on listening to 20 minutes of the Epic/Apple controversy on nearly every show. The trillion $$ company vs the billion $$ company arguing over money. Got it. When Leo said something to the effect of “this will give us something to talk about for months,” oy vey! :flushed:

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So are Apple’s, so how is this relevant?

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As always, an enjoyable show; and as always, I appreciate the Picks of the Week – even those items which make my accountant cry (in this scenario, I am the accountant…) – but gotta say Andy’s rec of Fenêtre was inspired! It’s one of the things I continue to love about the Mac – there’s a community of great developers who can come through with that one, simple, “little” app that improves workflow, or just simply makes getting through the workday that much more enjoyable. Thanks for the tip!

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LOL at your typo, I thought you meant to post this in Security Now for a second. (It has a picture of the week.)

@jkdawson Spot on. I like Leo’s idea of Apple embracing PWA’s. I forget where I heard some dev wrote about what Apple should do to earn that 30%. It’s been 12 years, the store is different. I’d like to see them reimagine their relationship between the users, their store, and devs.

Thanks for catching that! Oh, how dependent I’ve become on Spell-Check! For shame… :slight_smile: