Everyone has an opinion on the App Store, but the Macalope would like you to consider where they’re coming from before you pick a banner to rally around.
For its part, Apple “vehemently disagrees” with the U.S. House of Representatives’ antitrust report which, to be sure, features a fair amount of grandstanding and loose familiarity with “them there computers”. But it’s not exactly like Apple’s hands are clean.
As reported by The Verge, “Apple made ProtonMail add in-app purchases, even though it had been free for years.”
The “This is a nice business you have here, it’d be a shame if something were to happen to it” trope is sadly overused and even more sadly because one of the reasons it’s so overused is because people keep accurately using it against Apple. This is the third instance in which Apple said to a developer, “We know your app is free but, uh, we’d really rather it weren’t, if you catch our drift. And by ‘our drift’ we mean ‘We’ve rejected your app update until we get a little sumpin’ sumpin’.’”
Apple has since revised its rules and, presumably, its practice of walking into certain developers’ living rooms and smashing valuables until they implemented in-app purchases. But the fact that the richest company in the history of both companies and money is squeezing developers makes the Macalope think they doth protest a little too much when government officials start asking questions.
The horny one doesn’t claim to know exactly what should be done about the App Store but, like pornography, he knows a problem when he sees one.
There are certain things that don’t really make a huge amount of sense when you look at them objectively, but we all still live with on a day-to-day basis without questioning very much. For instance, why is music now sold without copyright protection but movies and TV shows are only sold with it? The movie studios have at least allowed you to purchase films once and, using Movies Anywhere, watch them on whatever service you like. But you can’t do that with TV shows because… uh, because you can’t do that with TV shows.
Likewise it’s rather confusing that on desktop platforms you can install whatever software you like, but mobile and console platforms are more locked down. They’re all computers. They all contain sensitive information like credit card numbers and the Macalope’s various high scores that even now agents of any number of state-sponsored organization are attempting to acquire.
Here’s one for free: yes, the Macalope has unlocked the motorcycle in Breath of the Wild. You’re welcome, SMERSH.
Microsoft has its own interpretation of why things are they way they are and would you be surprised to learn that it is incredibly self-serving? No, you would not because you are remarkably well-read. Also, you look great today, by the way.
John Gruber has already deftly deflated the company’s hi-larious “10 Principles for the Microsoft Store on Windows” that no one asked for that reads like an incel’s manifesto on why incels are so naturally gifted at everything. Microsoft’s contention is that there’s no reason Goofus iOS should be locked down when Gallant Windows is open. But there are VERY GOOD REASONS COUGH COUGH why the Xbox is locked down, we assure you! And the company’s opinion certainly has nothing to do with the fact that it doesn’t have its own mobile platform.
“That platform we don’t have a competitor for should be open. The one that we have should be closed.” It all makes perfect sense.
There are very solid, very real criticisms to be made of the App Store and its policies. Just don’t take them from companies that are trying to lock you into their own app stores.
In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.