The future of the App Store According to Marco Arment

One of the best recent take on the possible future of the App Store.

Regarding IAP purchases:

Most apps will be required to also offer IAP side-by-side with any external methods

Many games will offer both IAP and external purchases, with the external choice offering a discount, bonus gems, extra loot boxes, or other manipulative tricks to optimize the profitability of casino games for children

External purchase methods will evolve to be almost as convenient as IAP

The payment-fraud doomsday scenarios argued by Apple and many fans mostly won’t happen

Now, App Store side-loading and alternative App Stores:

Facebook would soon have apps that bypassed App Review installed on the majority of iPhones in the world.

Without the threat of App Review to keep them in check, Facebook’s apps would become even more monstrous than they already are.

Alternative app stores would be even worse. Rather than offering individual apps via side-loading, Facebook could offer just one: The Facebook App Store.

Maybe Google would bring the Play Store to iOS and offer a unified SDK to develop a single codebase for iOS and Android, effectively making every app feel like an Android app

Media conglomerates that own many big-name properties, like Disney, might each have their own app stores for their high-profile apps.

Most developers would probably need to start submitting our apps to multiple app stores, each with its own rules, metadata, technical requirements, capabilities, approval delays, payment processing, stats, crash reports, ads, promotion methods, and user reviews.

In a few words: what a fucking mess.

I don’t expect side-loading or alternative app stores to become possible, and I’m relieved, because that is not a future I want for iOS.

I’m not so sure this won’t happen, but I’m sure that’s something I don’t want too. If only Apple could better read the room’s temperature and budge a tad.

Numeric Citizen @numericcitizen