Under the Radar

Under the Radar 20: Improving the App Store, Part 2


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:03   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:05   the radar is never long within 30

00:00:07   minutes so let's get started so last

00:00:09   week we talked about kind of why Apple

00:00:12   probably needs to improve the App Store

00:00:13   in broad terms like you know challenging

00:00:16   the the question of like does the after

00:00:19   need to be improved and it's so like

00:00:20   what kind of improvements might we see

00:00:22   and last last week we talked in kind of

00:00:24   high-level of mostly just like why why

00:00:27   we think it really does need improvement

00:00:28   why we aren't just like being selfish

00:00:30   and serving our own needs as independent

00:00:32   developers try and make the App Store

00:00:33   more more beneficial for us you know I

00:00:36   think we argued well that it we that

00:00:39   Apple really should change it to benefit

00:00:42   not only the developers but themselves

00:00:44   and customers as well that I don't think

00:00:47   the app store is as good as it can be I

00:00:49   don't think we've learned nothing from

00:00:51   it's eight years of existence that could

00:00:53   inform you know directions it should try

00:00:55   to take or changes that it should try to

00:00:57   make and I and I don't think that the

00:00:59   apps are as good as they can be for the

00:01:01   customers that that result from the

00:01:03   system that we have now you know I'd

00:01:04   like I recalled when I was getting on a

00:01:07   plane how I tried to download like a

00:01:09   bunch of good games and they were

00:01:10   actually pretty hard to find and there's

00:01:12   so much on there that's just kind of

00:01:14   crappy and and simple and simplistic and

00:01:17   and even like outright hostile to users

00:01:20   which is like you know shoving hands all

00:01:21   over the place and tricking them into

00:01:22   buying coins and everything and III

00:01:25   think that there's there's clear

00:01:27   evidence that the App Store not only can

00:01:31   be made better but should be made better

00:01:34   but the actual specifics of doing that I

00:01:36   think are really tricky but I think we

00:01:39   yeah you know we can think about it and

00:01:40   have some ideas like we've the nice

00:01:41   thing on the plus side is that we've

00:01:42   been following the App Store for I mean

00:01:45   I think I've been some making a you know

00:01:47   my first app was submitted almost eight

00:01:50   years ago now like or whatever you know

00:01:52   I was there almost at the beginning and

00:01:53   so yep me too I look at it and it's like

00:01:55   I think I have some ideas I think one of

00:01:58   the most obvious is to look at the

00:02:00   editorial side you know because right

00:02:02   now the you know there's always the

00:02:04   question that people raise of

00:02:05   discoverability and when people complain

00:02:07   about discoverability what they're

00:02:09   usually really complaining about is they

00:02:11   think their app deserves more

00:02:13   visibility trying to look at this from a

00:02:15   neutral perspective not just saying that

00:02:16   I think my app deserves more visibility

00:02:18   I think the main problem the App Store

00:02:22   has with discoverability is that they

00:02:26   have this massive number of apps there's

00:02:28   just this unfathomable number of apps

00:02:31   that they have to you know kind of kind

00:02:33   of sort through and surface somehow and

00:02:35   then they only have really a pretty

00:02:37   small number of places that you can

00:02:40   browse those apps that there's the the

00:02:42   total surface area of discoverability

00:02:45   beside just search which is a separate

00:02:48   problem is it's kind of low you

00:02:50   basically only have top charts and you

00:02:53   and you have top charts in different

00:02:55   categories so that helps a little bit so

00:02:57   but you have top charts and then you

00:02:59   have the editorial picks and even though

00:03:02   the editorial staff is from what it

00:03:05   seems massive because they have

00:03:07   different editorial stats in different

00:03:09   countries too so there's like the the

00:03:11   amount of staffing devoted to picking

00:03:14   those like you know 20 or whatever

00:03:15   featured apps on the front page every

00:03:17   week plus all the little subcategories

00:03:19   of the collections plus doing that or

00:03:21   some subset of that in a whole bunch of

00:03:23   different countries and regions around

00:03:24   the world that is not a small endeavor

00:03:26   but the the total result of that is that

00:03:30   when when a customer goes to the App

00:03:32   Store and looks through the editorial

00:03:34   picks there you know you can you can be

00:03:37   through the entire editorial list in

00:03:39   like a minute and a half it's not like

00:03:41   you know there's not it it takes so much

00:03:45   human effort on Apple side to produce a

00:03:48   relatively small number of

00:03:49   recommendations every week and every

00:03:51   week is not that frequent so then you

00:03:54   have the top charts which is just like

00:03:56   it just has the problem of basically the

00:03:58   rich get richer where it's it's very

00:04:00   hard to break into the top charts it

00:04:02   they tend to be self-reinforcing because

00:04:04   then people who browse the top charts

00:04:06   buy from the top charts and keep them

00:04:07   going up even further so that system

00:04:11   also only helps a very small number of

00:04:13   apps and then you have search where

00:04:16   search I think is really the one of the

00:04:19   only places where most apps can be found

00:04:22   but the search isn't that good in the

00:04:24   App Store and and it has gotten less

00:04:26   terrible over time

00:04:27   I still wouldn't call it great or even

00:04:30   necessarily good but it is at least you

00:04:34   know less bad but good searches are

00:04:37   really hard and you know as we see from

00:04:39   web search which has similar challenges

00:04:41   but Apple has you know even less data in

00:04:45   some ways than what you have on web

00:04:46   search to go off of although they have a

00:04:48   lot more data in other ways that I'm not

00:04:50   sure they're using but it seems like the

00:04:53   the overall discoverability of an app in

00:04:56   the App Store is pretty miserable for

00:04:58   almost every app just because the the

00:05:01   number of ways people have to to see

00:05:04   your app are so much smaller than the

00:05:07   number of apps in the store and I don't

00:05:09   know is it deep do you know like what

00:05:10   what do you think would be a decent way

00:05:12   to address that problem so I think so

00:05:14   the most the most straightforward that

00:05:16   thing that I think they could do is the

00:05:19   sort like on is like the technological

00:05:21   so that word there's like more of a

00:05:22   technological solution it's like things

00:05:23   like search I always makes me think of

00:05:26   when I go to amazon.com right and I

00:05:29   think Amazon sells like several hundred

00:05:31   million products but I find that I'm

00:05:35   pretty able pretty able to quickly go

00:05:38   through and find like good solid choices

00:05:41   because their search is more than just a

00:05:44   text box that I put some words into like

00:05:47   I put that anyway I put some words in a

00:05:49   text box and then I go through mean I

00:05:51   can go through and I can sort in a

00:05:52   variety of different ways I can

00:05:53   subdivide or there's further categories

00:05:56   beyond just the highest level category

00:05:59   and I could imagine an interface in the

00:06:01   app store that would let you have more

00:06:04   fine-grained control over what I'm

00:06:07   searching for that you know you have the

00:06:09   ability to say like show me even it's

00:06:11   like base obvious stuff like show me

00:06:14   free or paid apps show me apps that are

00:06:18   universal or iPhone only show me apps

00:06:20   that have reviews above a certain amount

00:06:24   or are have updated or updated

00:06:26   frequently or whatever like there are

00:06:28   various criteria beyond just a text box

00:06:31   that you could do to increase the

00:06:34   ability to surface apps that are more

00:06:36   specific to someone's

00:06:39   user sort of needs because I think the

00:06:41   search as it is now for example has the

00:06:43   same kind of rich get richer problem

00:06:45   that sometimes I benefit from and some

00:06:47   my apps and sometimes I'm I'm hurt by in

00:06:50   other apps where if you're the top one

00:06:52   or two search results that's great

00:06:54   that's sort of a really powerful

00:06:55   marketing tool but if you're not like

00:06:58   you're just you're just invisible as far

00:07:01   as the as far as yet the typical user is

00:07:03   concerned and that may or may not be

00:07:06   good like if you're somebody who's

00:07:08   looking for something ever very

00:07:09   particular kind you just have to do a

00:07:11   lot of sitting there go you know sort of

00:07:13   paging through the app store doing

00:07:14   things that it should be able to do

00:07:16   programmatically for you that's like

00:07:19   that side of it seems like that's a

00:07:20   straight more straightforward like

00:07:22   that's a technological fix and then yeah

00:07:24   like I think on the editorial side I

00:07:26   think it can like putting more and more

00:07:28   resources into that seems like a

00:07:30   conserve only makes it better that if

00:07:32   you turn over the featured area more

00:07:36   regularly and also one thing I've always

00:07:38   thought they should do is taking the

00:07:42   work that they put an editorial to like

00:07:44   whenever an app is featured indicating

00:07:46   that the app was featured somewhere on

00:07:49   that apps page for example like right

00:07:51   now I think unless you are an editors

00:07:52   pick

00:07:53   yeah editor's choice gets you that I

00:07:54   think right but I don't think anything

00:07:56   else does that seems like one of those

00:07:58   things if it's almost like if Apple has

00:08:00   taken the time and effort to look at an

00:08:01   app and say you know what this is like

00:08:03   on the approved list like they're saying

00:08:05   that when they put it into the into the

00:08:06   featured tab like someone at Apple has

00:08:08   sat down and looked at it like once your

00:08:10   feature is over obviously I can put that

00:08:12   in my description and say like you know

00:08:13   featured by Apple in the stay on track

00:08:15   fitness category in such and such but

00:08:17   it's like wouldn't it be great if

00:08:19   there's a little like sort of like a

00:08:20   little thumbs up icon next to the apps

00:08:22   that Apple has said are you know are

00:08:24   really good and as a customer were like

00:08:27   being able like I was saying in search

00:08:28   of like being able to say like has been

00:08:30   featured I think would be an interesting

00:08:32   kind of a way to improve discoverability

00:08:35   of these apps that you know they're

00:08:37   doing this work anyway like they're

00:08:39   spending that time to come up with a

00:08:41   weekly featured but then once they the

00:08:43   app has been featured like that

00:08:44   information just sort of disappears

00:08:46   thinking too about like about just the

00:08:48   the app page in general like we we also

00:08:51   have have a

00:08:52   a fairly big issue of just horrible

00:08:55   abuses of at metadata and there are some

00:08:57   rules around what you are what you are

00:08:59   and aren't allowed to put in the

00:09:00   description and your keywords and your

00:09:02   screenshots but it seems like those

00:09:04   rules are fairly loosely enforced a lot

00:09:07   of the time and so you have things like

00:09:10   spamming up the description of your app

00:09:12   with like tons and tons of like

00:09:14   testimonials and stuff on right on top

00:09:16   and and and you have things like

00:09:18   spamming keywords of other app names of

00:09:21   your competitors apps so that you turn

00:09:23   up for their searches which is it has

00:09:26   been I think against the rule since the

00:09:27   very beginning but is almost completely

00:09:29   unenforced partly our necessity of just

00:09:31   like a scale issue there but it's still

00:09:33   very you know mostly unenforced you have

00:09:35   things like whether you're supposed to

00:09:36   put text and overlays on your

00:09:39   screenshots or not the good correct

00:09:42   thing to do is not to do that but so

00:09:44   many people do it that you are at a

00:09:46   disadvantage if you don't I feel like

00:09:48   maybe just like some basic rule

00:09:51   tightening of what you can and can't put

00:09:53   in your app metadata and on that app

00:09:55   page I think would improve the

00:09:57   real-world browse ability a lot and

00:10:00   would improve search because then like

00:10:01   if you if you more strictly enforce the

00:10:03   keyword issues and everything you won't

00:10:05   have as as poor of search results for

00:10:07   things I don't know I mean do you think

00:10:10   there's meaningful change to be had

00:10:11   there on the app pages

00:10:13   I think certainly there should be a ways

00:10:15   to make that better and I think the

00:10:18   consistency is I think that a big thing

00:10:20   that I know I've always been frustrated

00:10:22   with and it's like I look at say for

00:10:23   example the watch apps you know making

00:10:26   watch apps now and right now I believe

00:10:28   you you know your app your watch screen

00:10:30   shot can only show you the screen shot

00:10:33   like right of the app and it's a rule

00:10:35   with so far they seem to be enforcing

00:10:37   strongly and that used to be the case

00:10:38   back in the case of with you know at the

00:10:40   end with the iPhone and then just over

00:10:42   time it stopped being the case and

00:10:46   things like that like that consistency I

00:10:47   think would be helpful like to be

00:10:49   anything it's they did the same thing

00:10:50   with at previews which I believe were

00:10:54   originally only allowed to show in app

00:10:57   screens but I've certainly seen a

00:10:59   previews now that show other things

00:11:01   really that wasn't even like a year and

00:11:04   it's not that I don't see

00:11:05   much but it has the same type of a

00:11:07   problem it's like it's the scale that a

00:11:09   purview is dealing with that do they

00:11:12   really are they really able to every

00:11:14   time an app goes through review evaluate

00:11:16   every you know every single screen shot

00:11:19   in every single country and the app

00:11:21   preview is associated with that for

00:11:23   potentially many sizes like I understand

00:11:27   it's like that's just a really tough

00:11:28   problem but enforcing that I think would

00:11:31   be certainly helpful and I think there's

00:11:33   certainly I like what they did for

00:11:35   example with a previews I think that's a

00:11:38   great way to improve like it's probably

00:11:42   the biggest improvement for a lot of

00:11:43   apps that the in the app store page from

00:11:45   you know eight years ago is being able

00:11:47   to kind of show people what your app

00:11:49   will be like when you actually get it

00:11:50   because we don't have a trial or

00:11:52   something like that for a lot of apps

00:11:53   like this a screenshot a static

00:11:55   screenshot doesn't really show you what

00:11:58   the app is or what it's like you that

00:12:00   you if it's something that you kind of

00:12:01   have to experience or the motion and the

00:12:03   animation or whatever it is of the app

00:12:05   is the important part having a way to

00:12:07   show that is great but I and I think

00:12:10   there's those the things that I think

00:12:12   about on the app page is trying to more

00:12:14   straightforwardly indicate to the

00:12:15   customer like the the the overall

00:12:18   quality of the app and some of those

00:12:20   things that I could even I think about

00:12:21   like on the app store page is the way

00:12:22   reviews reset every time you submit a

00:12:25   new update a blurry reviews and so

00:12:28   interviews is a whole thing but like

00:12:30   that's one of the things that I look at

00:12:31   and I'm like when I launch a new app or

00:12:33   when we've been worst is when I launch a

00:12:35   new update like I am I try and get a

00:12:38   bunch of attention you know I do a big -

00:12:40   oh like and I try and get a lot of

00:12:42   people come into the App Store to

00:12:43   download my app and in the app suddenly

00:12:46   has no stars next to it it has never

00:12:48   abused yeah when you're studying all

00:12:49   that traffic to it and it's like why is

00:12:51   this like I understand why they did that

00:12:53   and it wasn't me and we we've I remember

00:12:56   when they implemented that policy it was

00:12:57   because they people would run into

00:12:59   issues we could have like a bad update

00:13:00   that would you know crash for everybody

00:13:02   you get you know hundreds of one-star

00:13:04   reviews you'd fix it and then all those

00:13:07   one-star reviews would still be there

00:13:09   like that's problematic in one way but

00:13:11   it's like you approach this like the

00:13:13   thing they always make sense to me is

00:13:14   like you should show if you don't have

00:13:15   enough reviews for the current version

00:13:17   then show

00:13:19   like the weighted average for the last

00:13:21   30 days or always show the weighted

00:13:24   average for the last 30 days or 90 days

00:13:25   or whatever like anything like that

00:13:28   where there is data if there is

00:13:30   information that we can show customers

00:13:32   like we can show if you've been featured

00:13:33   if we can show the kinds of reviews that

00:13:36   you tend to get we mean even like

00:13:38   they're there collecting all this data

00:13:40   with the new analytic stuff and iTunes

00:13:42   Connect like all the retention and

00:13:44   engagement data like they have a lot of

00:13:46   information about whether this app is

00:13:48   good it's like it's for surfacing

00:13:51   somehow that kind of information to the

00:13:53   customer to say people who download this

00:13:55   app really like this app like I don't

00:13:58   know exactly know how you show that but

00:14:00   if you have the data somehow indicating

00:14:03   that to the customer seems like a good

00:14:05   good use of it rather than it just kind

00:14:07   of disappearing into the ether the whole

00:14:09   star rating system I think really needs

00:14:11   a lot of help the the idea of first of

00:14:15   all you know star ratings are very

00:14:16   prominent in the app and many in the app

00:14:19   store and many things I think depend on

00:14:21   them like you know the I know search

00:14:22   ranking was but has been rumored to be

00:14:24   shifting with star rating obviously you

00:14:27   know apples are more likely to feature

00:14:28   something that has good ratings from

00:14:30   past versions and also just I think

00:14:32   buyers are you know or

00:14:33   getters are much more likely to download

00:14:38   an app that has good ratings under it

00:14:40   when they go to look at this page and

00:14:41   then and you know if you're looking for

00:14:43   an app if you reconnect it has that has

00:14:45   a few one star ratings and and the

00:14:47   reasons that the people site seemed

00:14:49   valid then that's a big turn-off and you

00:14:52   probably are going to reconsider buying

00:14:54   or getting that app so they do matter a

00:14:57   lot and the way they're implemented is

00:14:59   so mediocre I feel like this is a this

00:15:01   is an obvious area for substantial

00:15:04   specific improvements so obviously one

00:15:06   of the big ones is just quality control

00:15:08   like you see a lot of a lot of reviews

00:15:10   out there that really could have used

00:15:12   moderation like bye-bye app store staff

00:15:14   like I honestly I think they they might

00:15:17   want to consider a review before publish

00:15:19   model I know that's a big scale but

00:15:21   they're a big company this is a big

00:15:23   store you know you got it invest

00:15:24   resources sometimes also just you know

00:15:26   reconsidering the five-star system at

00:15:28   all

00:15:28   it's basically a one-star and five-star

00:15:31   system so why not consider it

00:15:33   system that is more just based on do I

00:15:35   feel good about this or do I feel bad

00:15:36   about this app and and rather you know

00:15:39   rather than have this trying to make

00:15:40   people quantify like well how good or

00:15:42   how bad do I feel because I think we see

00:15:44   over and over again those systems don't

00:15:45   work very well and they don't really

00:15:48   accurately represent what people are

00:15:49   thinking with this app and then the

00:15:51   obviou the other obvious problem of

00:15:52   having there be no way for developers to

00:15:55   respond to these things publicly or

00:15:56   privately and so you know I think

00:15:58   publicly would be the only way you

00:15:59   really need to I don't think you

00:16:00   necessarily need to give developers

00:16:02   access to privately contact reviewer I

00:16:04   think that could be an area for abuse

00:16:05   but publicly I feel like we should have

00:16:08   the ability to publicly respond to to a

00:16:10   bad review you know and and because a

00:16:12   lot of times the bad review is not valid

00:16:15   or is unfair or is inflammatory or you

00:16:18   know so it's some other problem that

00:16:19   doesn't qualify it for removal but

00:16:22   that's by Apple necessarily but that is

00:16:24   not really a fair representation so it'd

00:16:27   be nice as a developer to be able to

00:16:28   respond to those so that when people

00:16:30   look at it they can see how you

00:16:31   responded or if you responded and I'm

00:16:34   saying this I know it would be more work

00:16:35   for us like I'm giving I'm giving us

00:16:37   more homework but I think that's really

00:16:39   important homework if they're gonna if

00:16:40   you're gonna keep having the system and

00:16:41   have it be as prominent as it is then I

00:16:43   think it's it's a little bit

00:16:45   misrepresentative

00:16:46   very frequently right now just because

00:16:47   of all the all the inherent flaws with

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00:18:16   real AFN so the last area that it seems

00:18:19   like we couldn't wait into thinking

00:18:21   about a better App Store without

00:18:22   discussing would be around

00:18:24   thanks business models mmm around I mean

00:18:28   the things that are perennial e-topics

00:18:30   that come up for this

00:18:31   so obviously that you think about things

00:18:32   like trials or paid updates those types

00:18:36   of questions or even just the way that

00:18:39   in-app purchase kind of has become and

00:18:42   is are things that I think there's

00:18:45   certainly room for improvement like I

00:18:47   remember a couple years ago and I wrote

00:18:48   my big towards a better UPS App Store

00:18:50   thing the thing that I was noticing even

00:18:52   back then is the strange thing around

00:18:56   trials the difference between like

00:18:58   trials and refunds where like the App

00:19:00   Store has this very ambiguous refund

00:19:02   policy like I've gotten refunds for apps

00:19:06   that I get downloaded and was totally

00:19:08   different than what I actually expected

00:19:09   it to be based on you know the

00:19:10   description I saw in the app page see

00:19:12   our discussion five minutes ago

00:19:14   and you know I've it says you know live

00:19:17   for a refund and I got it like okay

00:19:19   that's great but if you go into the App

00:19:20   Store like the actual like terms and

00:19:23   conditions like that massive thing you

00:19:24   sign every time you update anything like

00:19:28   deep in there like it says that there

00:19:29   aren't any refunds it says best I can

00:19:31   tell and like having ambigĂș and big you

00:19:33   around that in some ways is problematic

00:19:36   like if there are refunds for people who

00:19:38   don't like apps they download then

00:19:39   basically you have trials but if you

00:19:42   don't make that public or don't make it

00:19:44   obvious and easy to do then it's not

00:19:47   really a trial and so I think about

00:19:49   things like that like if there are if

00:19:50   they'd really don't want trials and

00:19:52   don't have any refunds but I think they

00:19:53   do and so why don't you make that

00:19:55   process more straightforward and obvious

00:19:57   like I love the thought I think and I

00:19:59   know this is what a couple of other apps

00:20:01   do of you download an app and if you

00:20:04   delete it within a certain period of

00:20:06   time you get a refund for it as though

00:20:09   you know it's like you it has this

00:20:10   built-in trial mode and the duration for

00:20:13   that in many ways to me like I don't

00:20:15   really mind too much exactly what that

00:20:17   is like it could probably be fairly

00:20:19   short and I'd be happy

00:20:20   it could be fairly long and I'd be happy

00:20:22   I mean maybe developers can choose that

00:20:24   which might be even better

00:20:26   yeah I mean I think ultimately I think

00:20:27   it has to be optional because there are

00:20:29   so many abuses of those systems for

00:20:31   those do is I think Windows Phone was

00:20:32   the one that was the big one where like

00:20:35   you know you would like you try to like

00:20:37   you basically have a large incentive to

00:20:39   get all the value could out of an app

00:20:41   within a short period of time and then

00:20:42   delete it and claim a refund so for

00:20:44   things like games it was especially

00:20:45   problematic where like you just try to

00:20:47   beat the whole game and like you know 24

00:20:49   hours and then all right delete it I got

00:20:50   every I want a refund like and that it's

00:20:52   so that that kind of system being

00:20:53   applied without choice to everybody is

00:20:56   is obviously not good but it'd be great

00:20:58   to have that as an option that you could

00:21:00   opt into and especially if you could

00:21:02   even set the duration because then yeah

00:21:03   that is free trials if it happens

00:21:05   automatically at least and and so that

00:21:08   is you know I think with looking at

00:21:11   things like trials and upgrades which

00:21:13   we'll get to in a second I think this

00:21:15   this won't solve the problems I

00:21:17   mentioned last week about just there

00:21:19   being way too many apps in the storage

00:21:21   that they're being tons of competition

00:21:22   it won't solve that problem but it will

00:21:25   make it easier for the apps that can get

00:21:28   some kind of attention and towards them

00:21:30   to both get new customers or new users

00:21:33   and then to stay healthy to sustain the

00:21:36   business because I think if you look at

00:21:38   the App Store one of the biggest

00:21:40   problems it has and this is something

00:21:41   Apple should care about because it's

00:21:43   affecting their product lines is there

00:21:45   are so many formerly great apps that

00:21:48   have just fallen into disrepair no

00:21:50   longer being maintained because the

00:21:52   developer just couldn't make sustainable

00:21:54   revenue from them enough to justify

00:21:55   ongoing maintenance and ongoing

00:21:57   expansion so then you have issues like

00:21:59   Apple launches the iPad pro and a ton of

00:22:02   iPad apps are not ever updated for it

00:22:05   and then that might hurt sales of the

00:22:07   I've had Pro you know like so this was

00:22:09   something like Apple should care about

00:22:10   these kinds of things because it is

00:22:12   those are really hurting them

00:22:14   so the question is you know are they

00:22:17   doing everything in their power to to

00:22:20   ensure that developers can that

00:22:23   developers have the tools they need and

00:22:25   the methods that they need to build

00:22:27   sustainable businesses to keep their

00:22:30   apps and the App Store and the platform

00:22:32   healthy enough and I think the answer

00:22:34   for that so far is is obviously know

00:22:36   there's lots Apple could do that they

00:22:38   have that they're not only not doing but

00:22:39   that it seemed that they've never even

00:22:40   tried or don't think they need to try

00:22:42   and of course trials and upgrades I

00:22:44   think are the two big examples of that

00:22:46   and you can kind of simulate trials and

00:22:48   upgrades through various app store hoops

00:22:50   to jump through you can you can kind of

00:22:52   do it with in-app purchase to some

00:22:53   degree but there's a lot of restrictions

00:22:55   around it and a lot of things that don't

00:22:56   work very well if you try to do it that

00:22:58   way and a lot of ways that customers can

00:23:00   get really mad at you can give a whole

00:23:01   bunch of one-star reviews like if you

00:23:03   try to do a paid app upgrade by just

00:23:05   having a second app and you replace the

00:23:06   first app like that's a quick way to get

00:23:08   a whole bunch people to hate you and and

00:23:10   so I feel like if Apple implemented

00:23:13   these things as first-class citizens

00:23:15   these you know actual well-functioning

00:23:17   trials and upgrades they'd be way better

00:23:20   for the customers and for the developers

00:23:22   and so we'd have more of them so we

00:23:25   could have better apps because we'd have

00:23:26   more ways to make sustainable income

00:23:27   yeah and I think the reality is the

00:23:30   things like just like we were saying

00:23:32   around like we just want to see change

00:23:35   here like I can't imagine that the

00:23:37   business model that was sort of that the

00:23:39   app store was conceived of you know all

00:23:41   those years ago and still think makes

00:23:44   the most sense now and so yeah I'd love

00:23:46   to see even like I could see there's

00:23:49   anything any system they have I could

00:23:51   imagine there there being a reluctance

00:23:53   to do it because of like the possibility

00:23:54   for abuse for example but it's like it's

00:23:57   not like the current system with which

00:23:59   is essentially in-app purchase driven is

00:24:02   devoid of abuse or opportunity for

00:24:05   business right and so like yeah it would

00:24:08   be very interesting to be able to do

00:24:09   things like proper paid upgrades or are

00:24:14   having trials that are time limited or

00:24:15   those types of opportunities because I

00:24:18   think the thing that it also speaks to

00:24:19   is there's there are different you know

00:24:23   it seems like there it seems is the for

00:24:25   my experience it seems like there are

00:24:25   different customers in the App Store

00:24:28   there are people who are much more like

00:24:30   the kind of like me I never download a

00:24:32   paid app I've never paid for an app in

00:24:34   my life I only ever download free apps

00:24:35   like there are some people that I know

00:24:37   and I have met who that's that that's

00:24:39   their mindset and like that's totally

00:24:42   cool like I'm having a problem if that's

00:24:43   the way they see the App Store as part

00:24:45   of you know as something that they just

00:24:47   want to be there sort of as a free

00:24:49   add-on to their phone great but I think

00:24:51   there also may be many people many who

00:24:53   I've met who view the who are delighted

00:24:56   to pay for apps who are in who would

00:24:59   prefer if they are presented with a free

00:25:01   or a paid option for something that

00:25:03   seems somewhat equivalent they'll take

00:25:04   the paid one both because they like that

00:25:07   in sort of the concept of supporting the

00:25:10   person who makes it more directly maybe

00:25:12   they feel like it'll be better supported

00:25:13   down the road like they'd like to feel

00:25:15   like they paid for something they don't

00:25:16   like ads whatever it is like they have

00:25:18   reasons for doing that and creating

00:25:20   tools for developers to you know

00:25:24   capitalize on those people and it's like

00:25:27   in a good way not gonna like

00:25:29   capitalizing on sounds like kind of

00:25:30   skeevy but like having if your customers

00:25:34   are looking or and willing to you know

00:25:36   you pay for a big upgrade to the

00:25:38   software that they've been using for a

00:25:40   year having a mechanism to do that that

00:25:42   isn't going to annoy them like seems

00:25:44   like a good thing and that isn't going

00:25:46   to hurt the people who like free apps

00:25:48   and only want free apps if paid apps can

00:25:51   have paid updates or things of that of

00:25:55   that kind because they're just totally

00:25:58   different markets and so giving

00:26:00   developers tool to do that it seems like

00:26:02   a good way to make sure that they're

00:26:04   taking advantage of every opportunity

00:26:05   they have for revenue because revenue is

00:26:07   so hard to get in the first place that

00:26:08   like giving us more options and choices

00:26:11   seems like it will only be a good thing

00:26:13   well and part of the power of the App

00:26:15   Store when it first launched a part of

00:26:16   the power it still has is you know

00:26:18   before the after everything was

00:26:19   web-based and paying for things on the

00:26:21   web

00:26:22   sucked so much that it was just really

00:26:24   hard to ever get someone to pay for

00:26:25   something on the web because they would

00:26:27   have to jump through all these hoops of

00:26:28   entering their payment information and

00:26:29   it was just this clunky process most

00:26:31   people would just say a never mind

00:26:32   they'd abandon it

00:26:33   whereas in with the App Store they had

00:26:34   the credit card already on file from the

00:26:36   iTunes Store and they could just type in

00:26:38   a password and bam it's bought now it's

00:26:40   even easier with touch ID

00:26:42   so part of the you know we've seen

00:26:43   already that if you make it easy to pay

00:26:46   for it people are more likely and more

00:26:48   willing and happier to pay not everybody

00:26:51   will but more people will so if they you

00:26:54   know right now we have all these methods

00:26:55   of making of trying to use in-app

00:26:56   purchase or swapping you know a new app

00:26:59   for an old one that to try to kind of

00:27:00   simulate trials and and upgrades but

00:27:03   they're all worse than the way it would

00:27:06   probably be if Apple built those in as

00:27:07   first-class citizens so I think we would

00:27:10   actually get more money we would

00:27:12   actually do better and customers and

00:27:14   developers would all be happier if Apple

00:27:17   did these things because we could make

00:27:19   more because it would be easier and it

00:27:21   would work better and ultimately I think

00:27:24   customers like ultimately it seems like

00:27:26   you know you can ultimately hopefully

00:27:28   wind anything Apple related back to

00:27:31   customer sad right like that is

00:27:33   ultimately the thing that seems to drive

00:27:35   a lot of weather the way Apple thinks

00:27:37   and customer satisfaction is something

00:27:40   that you could see a lot like improving

00:27:43   the tools around the business models

00:27:46   that are available to developers

00:27:47   improving that if you create

00:27:51   opportunities in you know for a

00:27:54   developer to make a good stable living

00:27:56   their apps are going to be updated more

00:27:57   regularly and stuff like you were saying

00:28:00   within you know when when new platforms

00:28:01   come out people will adopt them like

00:28:03   that's only good for developers there's

00:28:06   only good for customers and if it

00:28:08   doesn't work like maybe they'd try all

00:28:10   these things and in the end it wasn't

00:28:12   the answer right like like I'm not

00:28:14   completely convinced that adding paid

00:28:16   upgrades would somehow dramatically and

00:28:18   catastrophically improves things for a

00:28:20   developer sustainability I think there's

00:28:23   a good chance that would help things

00:28:25   maybe it won't but trying seems like a

00:28:29   way that like having never tried or just

00:28:31   saying like hmm maybe that would work

00:28:32   maybe it won't and if it's not for sure

00:28:35   let's not do it it's not that's not

00:28:36   helping anybody and so that's where I

00:28:38   hope like you know if Phil Schiller ever

00:28:40   hears this or is sitting down you know

00:28:44   running up to WTC and thinking about

00:28:45   things he wants to change in iOS 10

00:28:47   hopefully these are the things that

00:28:49   they're thinking about thinking about

00:28:50   ways they can make things better for

00:28:52   developers better for customers and you

00:28:55   know

00:28:55   ultimately even in their own

00:28:56   self-interest make their people you know

00:28:58   more have more affinity for their

00:29:00   platform because you know it's like the

00:29:02   the app there's an app for that was that

00:29:04   one of the plan to serve the marketing

00:29:06   campaigns that I think really helped

00:29:07   cement the iPhone you know as what it is

00:29:10   today and it's all about the apps you

00:29:12   know in that in that campaign exactly

00:29:14   well I hope we see some improvements

00:29:17   here I really do I'm hopeful that you

00:29:20   know under new leadership maybe we will

00:29:21   and I really I'm looking forward to

00:29:23   seeing the result of that so that's all

00:29:26   the time we have for this week

00:29:27   thank you very much for listening and

00:29:28   we'll talk to you next week bye