Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Great iOS Customer Experience that is Killing App Developers and Will Eventually Kill the Customer Experience


A few days ago while on a flight from Seattle to Singapore, my wife's iPad2 broke.
That meant I got to hand down my iPad3 to her and buy myself a new iPad Air 2.


I went to the Apple Store and bought an iPad Air 2.
Back at home, I did the iCloud restore and everything was just as it had been on my older iPad except it was faster, better, and there was more storage space for it.  Life was good.

And I didn't spend a cent on apps.

I already own the apps that I use, and it was easy to get it all onto the new thing.

There were no App upgrade charges because Apple doesn't allow those.
There were no charges for installing my apps on too many devices because Apple doesn't allow those.
There were no new-device App charges because Apple doesn't allow those.

So, Apple made a bunch of money from me today and app developers made nothing.

As a customer, this is great.
As a (former?) App developer, this is terrible.


This will only be great for the customer as long as apps are being developed and updated.  Once that stops or slows to a crawl--and the mountains of garbage apps that are obsolete remain floating around the Appstore, this is going to suck for customers.


One of our apps* (I'm not going to tell you which one*) that has been in the AppStore for over 6 years has a showstopper bug when run in iOS-8.  It is utterly unusable on new devices.  But it is not worth the time or effort to fix the problem.  We're just going to let it sit.  It'll still sell a few copies per month, and we'll take that money.
There are probably tens-of-thousands of other apps that are in a similar situation.

* At least one.  Probably many of them.

1 comment:

William C Bonner said...

The Navionics Charting software that I use on my iPad will continue to work into the future, but will not have its charts updated after a year of support that was included with the purchase.

Because a navigation package is only good if the charts are up to date, this means that I must renew the software yearly.

I'm still using my Retina iPad (30 pin connector) and don't use it enough to justify spending money on a new device.