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One thing a few people noticed in my piece about the current App Store issues, was that I didn’t even mention the option of Apple allowing other store apps or side-loading (which would lead to a proliferation of other store apps).

I’ve said this many times before, and my opinion on it remains unchanged. I hope that Apple doesn’t choose or get forced to allow other app stores or side-loading features to iOS. I’m not saying there wouldn’t be short term positive effects from doing this; it would even solve many of the current App Store problems. Epic would get their way and be able to launch their game store on iOS, and many other huge companies would also launch their stores. I can already read the hundreds of headlines that would claim “this is the way it should always have been” from both inside and outside the tech industry.

But in this new world of “just install this new App Store, then install our app”, how long will it be until the vultures descend? How long until people are getting tricked into installing a store app that’s full of malware, masquerading as an update to the Flash player. How long until stores appear that ship spyware alongside a pirated version of a popular app? Yes, apps installed from other sources would still be subject to the sandbox restrictions, but they’d have free reign while their apps are running.

iOS is a mainstream platform in a way that macOS will never be. Even Windows, which is as ubiquitous as it gets on the desktop, isn’t mainstream in the same way as smartphone operating systems are. What percentage of people regularly install a new app on their desktop computer? I hope you’ll agree that it’s a fraction of the number of people who regularly install a new app on iOS.

The centralised, trusted (whether that trust is warranted is a different conversation, but it is trusted) model for store + distribution is a massive benefit for iOS as a platform. Once that can is open, and the worms are everywhere, it’s going to be very difficult to put them back. I believe it will inevitably lead to the erosion of some of that trust, and that negatively affects all app developers.

Dave Verwer

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And finally...

This is going to be another one of those posts where I did something ridiculous and then show you how I got there, so let’s just get right to it.

My favourite type of post... 😍