It’s not about the 30 percent

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2024

In 2021, I received a cold email from an Apple director. They wanted to arrange a video call to learn more about developers’ opinions of the App Store.

I was happy to oblige, but I think back now on their inability to understand all the frustrations I tried to express during the call about App Review and Apple’s general attitude towards developers. Even bluntly saying, “No one likes working with Apple anymore. We do so because we have to,” was met with an incredulous stare.

I came away from the call thinking they must see me as an aggrieved outlier – not representative of any common point of view.

They followed up via email a few weeks later, offering to help fast-track an iOS entitlement I had requested (and complained about on Twitter). I figured this was likely my last chance to continue the conversation.

I didn’t expect them to respond, and they didn’t.

I’m copying my reply to them below because I still believe everything I wrote.

I think it boils down to differences in philosophy around software development and the rights of consumers and developers versus corporations. The difference between how Apple believes software works today (and how it should work in the future) versus those of us who built software before the App Store era.

I’m not sure if those two points of view are reconcilable.

I do appreciate your offer to help. But, ultimately, I think how developers like myself want to write software (for the *truly* magical hardware and software platforms Apple builds) is going to be more and more at odds with Cupertino. It’s a shame and a waste of talent on both sides.