Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Saturday, June 24, 2017

the big impediment to going iOS-only

At Macdrifter, Gabe Weatherhead makes a vital point:

But Apple has a blind spot that I think might mean the iPad never has parity with the Mac. The App Store just doesn’t encourage big powerful app development.

The price point on the iOS App Store is too low for many indie developers to succeed. I look at the most powerful apps I use and they come from a handful of companies dedicated to craft but supported by Mac revenue. Omnigraffle, OmniFocus, and OmniOutliner are great. But there are few competitors in this space that can reach the same level of quality and still make a profit. I suspect that in an iOS-only world these apps would end.

Transmit and Coda by Panic are top-tier software, but even they seem to be struggling to justify their existence.

This doesn’t mean that great apps don’t still get released on iOS. They just don’t keep getting supported. My favorite text editors, the best personal databases, the variety of bookmark managers. They might keep rolling out, but the majority aren’t actively developed.

This is exactly right. Even the pro-quality apps that remain in development tend to be updated inconsistently and (in comparison to Mac apps) rarely. Every time I think about going iOS-only, I realize that too many of the apps I rely on are apps … I can’t rely on.

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