Unrole models: The loudest developers aren’t always the best


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Last week Apple announced a huge change to the App Store rules, saying those making less than $1 million a year will be charged 15 percent instead of 30 percent. While it doesn’t come close to fixing all the problems with the App Store, you can at least say that it’s a pretty big improvement, one that will benefit those who need it the most: small developers.

So, who could possibly be against this?

Funny you should ask!

I mean, you didn’t. The Macalope put those words in your mouth. You might have said that aloud but, again, the Macalope needs you to read this and accept it into your heart as true: he can’t hear you. He never has been able to hear you. There still seems to be a lot of confusion about that and he’s really not sure why.

Anyway, it turns out the large developers—several of whom would like nothing more than to set up their own app stores on iOS so they can collect a percentage of sales—are very mad about this. Why? Because it makes small developers happy and less likely to revolt along side them.

Well, you say (again, theoretically, of course; the Macalope still can’t hear you), developers should stick together in order to get the best App Store rules so the big companies like Epic and Spotify make a good point when they-

“Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney likens fight against Apple to fight for civil rights.”

Oh, you say. Never mind, you say. Don’t stick together with people like that, you sigh sadly.

Yeah, he really said that. The Macalope isn’t going to make a joke by comparing the difference between being charged 30 percent by a private company to sell an app on their platform to what minorities have gone through in this country to try to gain the same rights as others because the comparison is inherently grotesque and nothing to joke about.

To say these companies threw a tragic hissy fit is putting it mildly. How dare Apple help small developers? Some did not even like the way Apple announced a significant change to the App Store rules. David Heinemeier Hansson, founder of Hey email app maker Basecamp, complained that Apple embargoed the news.

…checkout the way Apple is treating journalists, in hope that this hollow move sails through without much critique…

Ask any tech journalist, embargoes are an industry standard means of allowing writers access to information before it’s publicly available so they can write their coverage before an announcement.

Essentially, Epic and Spotify are telling indy developers “Don’t be fooled by this better deal! It helps you but it doesn’t help us!” As if they wouldn’t take a bespoke deal from Apple and run.

While the App Store is now better than it was, it’s still a mess (and even this new rule has its own problems). We should all keep pushing the richest company in the history of money to improve the deal it gives developers, all developers. Just know that the loudest are not necessarily the best heroes.

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