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What App Developers Actually Think About the App Store for Mac


According to recent surveys around seven hundred of Mac OS developers have interesting opinion regarding the marketplace of Apple. They face the challenges (not such ones like clearing cache manually) when selecting Mac App Store and have different opinions regarding life without it and how Apple has changed it for the better. Following the success of App Store for iOS devices, in January 2011 the company released its version for Macs and in less than a day it had over one million downloads and kept getting more popular since that.

Apple has been constantly working on improvements of app store experience for both developers and regular users and over the last year the company has been focusing its efforts on making the review processes faster. However, for many people the restrictions are still a problem. So this survey has covered the opinions of over 742 developers of Mac OS to find out the pros and cons and what has really been changed over the last year. Is business now more convenient on the app store for Macs?

App Store for Macs is not the primary

For the majority of developers the App Store is not the primary source of selling software. Just 23% of them sell their products with the help of Apple, and 47% offer the products outside this marketplace. One of the reasons of such decisions is that Apple cuts a great percent of revenue, so it is obviously more profitable to generate income somewhere else.

Around 18% of app developers distributing their products just via App Store would like to promote this service to their family or friends and only 12% of developers selling their software outside the platform claimed they would recommend it to colleagues. So it is not a big surprise that just 31% of software developers are okay with 30% cut the App Store takes. So what is the real problem?

What about sandboxing?

Sandboxing here is a real deal breaker. This is a way Apple makes sure that apps from the App Store access only those system resources and data which they actually need, and nothing extra. This is the biggest complain and issue for developers, although this is good and convenient for us. The enormous amount – 71% of developers – stated that sandboxing has become a serious problem for their business. In last year this number was just 17%.

As a result, it appears that developers are happier with those improvements Apple has released before the review process. Only 26% of them described this as terrible or just bad and around 36% of developers stated it was good, very good or great. The same trends were noticed regarding the speed of app reviews, communication with the team and guidelines reviews. But it seems like developers are still not happy about that: 46% of them rate it as bad or just terrible.

What Apple needs to improve

When the developers were asked what the company can do to improve the review process of App Store, they said they would want more flexible rules for sandbox and better communication with the team. Only 14% asked for the reasons why the apps are rejected to get into the store. One of other recent improvements was the introduction in the App Store software subscriptions. Only 20% of developers have switched to this model of subscription and 48% claimed that these subscriptions impacted their business negatively.

The advantages of such subscription are increased revenue, great relationship with clients, improved quality of the product and the user base quickly growing. Among 80% of people who tried the subscriptions only 3% would not recommend this model. Among those who have not tried it yet, 50% would do it in the future and 19% would never do that.

Only 1/3 of developers used App Store for Macs

Thanks to negative opinions for App Store, 76% of developers for Mac OS are going to try distributing their products via this marketplace. When it comes to considering third party services for distribution of software, there are such platforms as DevMate (28% rated it as the best), FastSpring and Paddle (second place).

It is obvious that App Store for Macs is still being improved when it comes to processes of app reviews. But it is a terrible platform for developers, mostly due to the strict software guidelines Apple made and 30% cut from the revenue. For this reason the app developers are not looking to sell products via this marketplace and are constantly seeking for better ways of distributing their products.