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Andy Ihnatko on iCloud and the Mac App Store Transition

Great piece from Andy Ihnatko:

An app does syncing through MobileMe. Now, it needs to do it through iCloud. Fine. But Apple won’t let an app use iCloud unless it’s sold in the App Store. Fine. But Apple won’t approve an app for the App Store unless it’s sandboxed. And for many developers, sandboxing means that half of their app’s features will either no longer work at all, or will need to be dumbed way, way down. Selling your app there also means being cut off from any kind of simple and direct line of communication with your users.

Mac developers are getting pinched: they can only hook up to iCloud if they’re in the Mac App Store, but now they can only be in the Mac App Store if they comply with the new sandboxing rules, which rules severely curtail features and capabilities the apps previously relied upon. iOS developers don’t face either problem: all iOS apps go through the App Store so they all have access to iCloud, and the sandboxing rules have been in place on iOS all along. As Ihnatko writes:

Products that were working just fine are now broken. Time, money, and resources that developers could be investing in making a great product even better must instead be spent just to keep their software working.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012