A few days ago Apple removed iFixit app from the App Store and banned their account. The reason for that was the fact that iFixit violated NDA of a pre-release Apple TV kit and published a detailed teardown.
All major media picked up on this topic about “angry” Apple doing the right thing. However, one important point is missing. This issue caused more harm to developers than initially thought.
I can’t think of times when Apple was so open and cooperative with developers. They invite to special workshops, they give access to pre-release hardware (like Apple Watch and Apple TV), they put a lot of efforts into building relations with developers worldwide.
We see new Apple that is giving away pre-release version of their hardware.
And you know what? Actually Apple is listening to developers, their feedback and trying to make the App Store a better place to be. The ecosystem should create opportunities for anyone to create a sustainable business around building apps (but it’s harder to do as the ecosystem is now mature).
In Developers They Trust
Do you know why Apple wants developers to be successful? Because, truth be told, they want us to come up with great software and solution that will make it easier to sell iOS devices and also differentiate from Android.
We, at Readdle, always try to implement Apple’s newest hardware technology into our apps. Say, our apps were ready for iOS 9 on day one. Moreover, Spark and Scanner Pro support 3D Touch Quick Actions on the very first day of iPhone 6s launch.
It’s actually quite hard to do without having actual devices for at least a few weeks. Luckily, we have one of the strongest engineering teams in Eastern Europe, so our devs had to come up with a hack.
However, we were not able to make advanced use of 3D Touch technology within the apps, because there was no device. And if we had that, we would let our millions of customers know that our apps support this technology, giving them yet another reason to go and buy Apple devices.
You see where this is going? It’s all connected.
Early access for hardware leads to better use of software, which in turn leads to higher Apple sales.
Is The Trust Broken?
And once the ice is melting and Apple is starting to give away pre-release hardware there is always someone who’s selfish enough to break this trust.
I really hope that this accident won’t affect Apple’s policy in the long term. I just think there should be a list of proper trusted partners/ developers that Apple previously worked with or the ones who might make difference to the platform.
Also, Apple can ask launch partners and dev teams to come to their secret labs and work there for a few days. This will be beneficial for both developers and security.
There Is Always a Solution
The launch of iPad Pro is right by the corner and Apple really needs strong launch partners to make this platform successful. That is why selecting category leaders and giving them early access to the device, so they can come up with new ways of use and innovative ideas, is important.
iPad Pro is not just a bigger iPad, it’s definitely a new form-factor for a mobile device, that is why it needs special advance software that will make it price-worthy. Products like PDF Expert and the like can actually make it happen. There’s is an ecosystem issue which has to be solved – yes, it’s about sustainability again.
We are all in a same boat and everyone understands that. So let’s see what happens.