Developers vs. Apple

The Particle Debris article of the week come from Josh Centers, the Managing Editor at Tidbits who takes on the subject of  developers vs. Apple.

The early days of the App Store might have been rocky, but from the outside, they seemed like a virtual gold rush. The media was full of stories of independent developers becoming wealthy from simple apps. But after that initial excitement, many smaller developers now find themselves having a hard time making even a modest living in the App Store and feel like they’re locked in an abusive relationship with Apple.

Author Centers goes into considerable detail, with almost 6,000 words, exploring the ongoing sources of friction between Developers and Apple. Here are the major sections:

  • That 30% Cut
  • Apple Picks Winners and Losers
  • App Store Ads
  • Counterfeit Apps
  • Some Developers Are More Equal Than Others
  • TV Apps
  • Capricious and Arbitrary Judgements
  • Banning Game Streaming Services
  • Apple Has Devalued Apps
  • Potential Solutions

Nicely researched and filled with case histories, Centers lays bare the policies by Apple that sound convincing on the surface but contain the seeds of excessive fees, abuse, favoritism, and exclusion of competition.

If you really want to know what’s going on in this ongoing tussle, developers vs. Apple, dig in with delight. Centers touches all the bases with a calm, cool, critical eye.

Big Sur will have a brand new look and feel.

The Week’s Apple News Debris

• Here’s a stupendous summary of all the changes coming on macOS 11 Big Sur. “MacOS Big Sur: Every change made in Apple’s massive software revamp

MacOS Big Sur is major revamp of the Mac operating system. Most notably, it is the first time in years that its visual appearance has been radically altered.

But it is not all about aesthetics — Big Sur rethinks almost every one of Apple’s own apps, as well as its operating system features like Spotlight and Siri, and its overall performance.

This is a second, encyclopedic article for your consideration. I’ll keep the rest a bit shorter.

• Surely, the next 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature Apple Silicon, right? Maybe not. There might be one more Intel iteration. This article at Forbes seems to get few things wrong, but still has some enticing tidbits. Such as a 1080p FaceTime camera and a T3 security chip. There’s a lot to unpack, but also I’d remain skeptical in this case.

9to5Mac reports: “iOS 14 lets users grant approximate location access for apps that don’t require exact GPS tracking.

Before iOS 14, you could grant an app access to your location whilst using the app, or always. However, if location access was allowed, the app would always get an exact coordinate. A lot of apps don’t actually need such precise location information, and iOS 14 offers that flexibility, including asking the user upfront in the permissions dialog.


• One of the scifi holy grails is in-air gestures for our comm devices. (Star Trek: Picard,/CBS All Access; Upload)/Netflix.) Now, “Patents suggest iPhone 12 may get in-air gestures thanks to a new ToF depth sensor.

A new patent has revealed details on a front-facing time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensor appearing in an upcoming Apple phone – allegedly the iPhone 12 – that would enable in-air gestures.


• Finally, it looks like Apple is going to let Samsung get bent with its foldable Galaxy smartphones. But Apple will learn from Samsung’s mistakes and get there eventually. See: “iPhone foldable may arrive in 2023 to deliver an iPad crossover experience.” The article has rumored specs, and they are amazing.


Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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John:   First, let me apologise at the beginning for length.   Josh Centers’ piece in Tidbits is a comprehensive, sector-specific review of the complaint against Apple’s App Store as an anti-competitive and anti-trust serial offender, and attempts to offer a balanced, evidence-supported description of each category of indictment against Apple’s policies and operational practices. Importantly, it offers the relevant and necessary backdrop of those complaints being aired before legislators who lack the technical vocabulary, let alone the understanding – when not wholly tech illiterate – to appropriately and thoughtfully address the issues as presented. The piece ends with an… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by wab95

I have no problem with the 30%. I have always thought the 30% on after sales that don’t go anywhere near Apple is just wrong. If you decide to use your Prius to drive for Uber, should Toyota get 30%? Should they get anything? Of course not. the list you posted adds to my feeling that the App Store is due for a tremendous overhaul. Apple is using it’s position as the one truly profitable store to abuse it’s developers, and to be honest customers. We end up paying that 30%. And I’m sick of searching for an app by… Read more »

Mike Weasner

Some developers and some elected officials have made a big deal about that 30% fee. In retail that fee would be called the “markup”. Ask a car dealer or a camera dealer or a clothing store or many other dealers what their markup is. If they would tell you it be something approaching 50% in many cases. That’s to cover the many costs that they have to resell products. Apple is no different. They have costs to put apps in front of buyers. Is 30% the right “markup”? I have no idea. But I have purchased many products over many… Read more »