The topic of conversation was the App Store, and Marco and Casey went off on a bit of a rant about how it’s just extortion for Apple to demand 30% from developers, and it provides no value, and so on and so forth. Their perspective as developers is absolutely valid, and 30% does seem steep — which, incidentally, is why Apple is dropping their take to 15% in most instances. However, there’s another important perspective: how do users feel about the App Store?
I love the App Store model. I trust Apple with my credit card in a way that I would not trust random fly-by-night developers, so I have bought a ton of apps through the App Store that I would never have bought if I had had to go to each developer’s individual web page.
I also like that all my purchases and subscriptions are in one place, so if I need to cancel a subscription or get a refund for a purchase, I can do that easily — and when I do, I’m dealing with Apple, not some rando whose support policy is “eh, when I feel like it” and whose refund policy boils down to “nope”.
There’s a lot more to the App Store than payments, too. If I need to reinstall some app, it’s right there; I don’t have to find the developers original website, dig out a license or a receipt from my email, and so on. It’s even better as part of a family: I can share apps with other members of my family, and I also have granular control over what the younger members of the family can get up to.
Maybe a new compromise is required between the needs of developers and those of Apple — but that compromise should also take users’ needs and preferences into account.