Stilted world views: the Apple doom is coming, it's just a question of when


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

In an unbelievable turn of events, a writer for Business Insider believes that Apple’s dominance of app development is doomed.

Shocking, isn’t it?

(Just play along.)

Take it away, Jim Edwards. Ideally, very far away.

“This Diagram We Saw Inside Facebook’s London Office Made Us Think Twice About Apple’s Dominance Of Apps” (indirect link and tip o’ the antlers to Rajesh)

When did you ever even “think” once about it? For you it’s always been a repeat of Windows versus the Mac and developers would start writing for Android only any day now.

For years, Apple has dominated the $45 billion app business with its App Store. Android has always been the second-best place for apps.

And Business Insider has been predicting this to flip flop for the entire time. But now because of something they saw on a white board, it’s going to happen totes for sure.

Facebook, however, has a plan that could change all that. This hastily scrawled diagram on a whiteboard in its London office represents that plan, and it ought to scare the folks at Apple who work to maintain the primacy of iOS among app developers.

The diagram is literally six boxes. Six boxes of doom.

Seriously, this is like a tic with Edwards and Henry Blodget. Mark their words! The App-pocalypse is coming! Otherwise why would they have spent so much on their “App-pocalypse” sandwich boards? [twitch twitch] [shake]

The dominance of iOS creates a bizarre distortion in the app market...

It’s a “bizarre distortion” to Edwards that developers follow the platform that’s nicer to develop for and has all the money. Stupid developers!

At Facebook in Europe, however, executives think that Apple’s iOS dominance might be about to weaken.

And would Facebook lie to you?


Facebook is hoping to take advantage of this via its Parse app development platform, which [Facebook’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa platform director Julien] Codorniou believes virtually erases the two-step iOS/Android development process, letting companies release new apps on both platforms simultaneously.

Codorniou seems to be overselling Parse here and Edwards is, of course, eager to fit it into his “Apple doom” world view. Parse is largely a back-end platform like iCloud or Microsoft Azure but with the added pleasure of Facebook’s integrated services such as identity management, advertising and... what? Poking? Probably a mess of poking. Here’s how Rebecca Grant described Parse:

It takes care of the technical server-side side of mobile development so developers can focus on other areas, like user experience and design.

Let’s see if that jibes with Edwards and Codorniou’s description.

(Spoiler: it doesn’t.)

Traditionally, app developers would essentially make two separate apps—one for iOS and then, later, one for Android.

So, now they don’t have to make separate apps? Oh, no, they still have to do that.

It lets companies build, store, and serve apps directly from the Parse cloud.

Edwards is trying his hardest to make it look like Parse does it all. But “serve apps” does not mean “deliver.” It can’t because App Store rules don’t let you deliver code directly to users.

All developers have to do is create an iOS client, an Android client, and even a Windows Phone client, and publish them as needed.

Oh, is that all?

See, from now on, “apps” will just be “clients” to Facebook-served services. Uh-huh. That seems a) so unbelievably awesome and b) really likely to happen.

Android-first, really?

Facebook bro says yes! We literally talked to one guy and he confirmed our pre-conceived notion! What more proof do you need?

“People look at the numbers,” Codorniou says. “They want downloads, installs.”

Actually, no! They want money. Installs are useless unless people are either paying for the apps or making in-app purchases or are watching ads.

Not to contradict Facebook bro, but Parse does very little to change the balance of app development between iOS and Android. The only thing that really changes the balance is when people who pay for apps buy Android devices instead of iOS devices. If anything, the release of larger iPhones might slow the increase in parity between the two platforms and prolong iOS’s dominance since they remove one of the frequently stated reasons why some people buy Android devices instead.

Look, Business Insider, we get that you have a lot invested in this idea that Apple’s app advantage will go away and it’ll be just like the PC wars of yore and Apple will only get a handful of games and all will be right with the world. We get that. Just stop trying to pass off your stilted Android fan fiction as reality.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon