Under the Radar

Under the Radar 19: Improving the App Store, Part 1


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

00:00:01   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:03   Marco Arment

00:00:04   and I'm David Smith under the radar is

00:00:06   never longer than 30 minutes so let's

00:00:08   get started so today we're going to

00:00:11   unpack some of the things that we think

00:00:14   might make the App Store better and if

00:00:17   you were a listener to developing

00:00:19   perspective the show I did before this

00:00:21   one you might know that I look about a

00:00:23   year ago I did a long long series

00:00:25   actually two years ago I did a long

00:00:27   series about things that I thought could

00:00:29   make the App Store better and we both

00:00:31   kind of make it make our livings inside

00:00:34   of the App Store and so as you would

00:00:35   imagine we have a lot of concerns

00:00:37   thoughts goals like things we'd like we

00:00:40   think about in the abstract because it's

00:00:42   a place we spend a lot of time both as a

00:00:44   customer but also as a as a producer

00:00:46   it's easy I think for us to look at the

00:00:49   App Store and to just kind of like whine

00:00:51   about it to look at and say oh I wish I

00:00:53   did this I wish you did that like we all

00:00:55   have some kind of like pet things that

00:00:56   we think might make it better for

00:00:58   whatever that you know better might mean

00:01:00   to us but it's challenging it's

00:01:02   difficult for unless perhaps to take the

00:01:05   sort of like the step back and say you

00:01:07   know the App Store is the way it is you

00:01:10   know and whining about that isn't going

00:01:12   to change it we can look at it we can

00:01:14   learn from it and it's like our job as a

00:01:17   developers is to understand how we can

00:01:18   make a living inside of sort of it as as

00:01:21   it exists and hope that Apple is doing

00:01:24   things on their end to make it better

00:01:26   but from the outside it seems like you

00:01:29   know sometimes when I think of have the

00:01:30   office or too much I start to get sad

00:01:31   and I go and like I'm trying to be a

00:01:34   good student of the App Store and

00:01:35   understand like what's being successful

00:01:36   what's working you know go to the

00:01:38   top-grossing list which isn't

00:01:40   necessarily the most constructive place

00:01:41   because that's not really the kind of

00:01:43   apps I'm making you know but I go there

00:01:45   and I look at like them but the top mode

00:01:46   the top grossing app we're at right now

00:01:49   as a recording is clash Royale and I go

00:01:52   to its IEP list and it's like what would

00:01:54   you like to buy a fistful of gems a

00:01:55   pouch of gems a bucket of gems a barrel

00:01:58   of gem the mountain of gems or a

00:02:00   wagonload of gems is that really what I

00:02:02   thought you were Joe

00:02:03   that is that is the list of the top

00:02:06   in-app purchases in the top-grossing

00:02:07   half right now and it's kind of sad too

00:02:11   when I think about like I go to W

00:02:13   you see every year and almost always

00:02:15   they'll have like Apple will have a big

00:02:16   slide that talks about how much money

00:02:18   they've paid out to developers

00:02:20   last year it was something like 14

00:02:21   billion dollars or something and rather

00:02:24   than that being like exciting and

00:02:25   encouraging and being like yeah let's

00:02:27   you know let's let's do this guy's it

00:02:29   just kind of makes me sad because I look

00:02:31   at that number and I just think well I

00:02:32   guess that's a lot of wagons full of

00:02:34   gems just not great yeah I mean look

00:02:38   that that number you know outside of any

00:02:40   information on the distribution of those

00:02:43   stats like you know the median might be

00:02:45   a little more interesting although

00:02:46   honestly it we probably be pretty sad to

00:02:47   just in the opposite direction but yeah

00:02:50   I mean like when you have these these

00:02:52   mega hit games that are bringing in

00:02:54   hundreds of thousands of dollars a day

00:02:56   or more that that's that's roughly what

00:02:59   we're talking about here it's you could

00:03:00   be bringing in millions of dollars a day

00:03:02   from our perspective it's it's it's

00:03:04   really easy to look at that and be like

00:03:05   wow why am I even in the App Store if

00:03:07   that's what succeeds but that's you know

00:03:09   that's not a very productive way to look

00:03:11   at it or encourage me to look at it I

00:03:12   think a better way to look at it is we

00:03:14   aren't even playing the same game as

00:03:15   these people and the what we need to be

00:03:18   concerned about is is there a game that

00:03:20   we can play here like is there a spot

00:03:22   for us in the App Store where we can

00:03:24   succeed I think you know there's enough

00:03:27   apps by smaller shops that aren't

00:03:29   abusive games like this if there's

00:03:31   enough apps that do succeed that the

00:03:34   answer to that is is almost certainly

00:03:35   yes there is a spot but that doesn't

00:03:38   mean necessarily that it's easy to get

00:03:40   into one of those spots although it

00:03:42   might not necessarily need to be easy

00:03:44   but that also doesn't mean that Apple's

00:03:46   you know doing everything they can to

00:03:49   make sure the rest of the store is

00:03:50   healthy besides just that top grocery

00:03:52   list and there's lots of areas I think

00:03:54   for potential improvement that we're

00:03:55   gonna talk about yeah and I think it's

00:03:57   one thing everything that motivated I

00:03:59   think this discussion I wanted to sort

00:04:01   of talk about it now is that if the

00:04:03   first time in a long time I feel like

00:04:05   there's outward signs that the App Store

00:04:09   is going to be changing this year and

00:04:13   most significant of which is Phil

00:04:16   Schiller is now taking responsibility

00:04:18   for it which I mean I think Phil is

00:04:19   awesome and that's really encouraging to

00:04:21   me but even just the simple fact of

00:04:23   there's a change in leadership there

00:04:24   that there

00:04:25   a change in responsibility like in my

00:04:29   mind can only be better be good and I

00:04:31   think I'm encouraged that even Phil is

00:04:33   kind of publicly in a few random sort of

00:04:36   tweets or things when people are

00:04:37   bringing to his attention like there's

00:04:39   weird issues in the AppStore like a

00:04:41   private link in the show notes to a

00:04:42   tweet someone sent to him showing a sort

00:04:44   of like a featured area in the App Store

00:04:46   for the puzzle games and it's just full

00:04:49   chock-full of the 2048 clones and you

00:04:52   kind of have the ne his response to that

00:04:54   it's like that shouldn't happen we'll

00:04:56   look into it

00:04:57   thank you and the fact that he's that

00:04:59   kind of thing is even happening at any

00:05:01   level makes me encourage and so I think

00:05:04   we wanted to do for the rest of the

00:05:05   episode is to kind of think through what

00:05:07   are some things that we would like to

00:05:09   see done you know like we were if we

00:05:10   were sitting down in a room with Phil

00:05:11   and he was like you know as independent

00:05:14   developers what could I do to make the

00:05:15   App Store better for you like what would

00:05:17   that be and think through what what that

00:05:20   would actually be and things that we

00:05:21   could think about that would make you

00:05:23   know the App Store an objectively better

00:05:25   place both as a customer or as a you

00:05:28   know someone who makes their living in

00:05:29   it

00:05:29   so our sponsor this week is tap stream

00:05:32   you've invested months building your app

00:05:34   fought the good fight with Xcode and

00:05:35   have used Anna's log more times than you

00:05:37   care to admit now comes the really ugly

00:05:39   part marketing your app tap stream is a

00:05:42   company built by app makers who were

00:05:44   annoyed that the big guys like Zynga and

00:05:45   King had in-house marketing tools that

00:05:48   gave them an unfair advantage so they

00:05:49   had to change that tab stream assist you

00:05:51   at every step of the marketing cycle

00:05:53   start with tracking installs and

00:05:54   engagement to understand where to focus

00:05:56   your marketing dollars or attention tab

00:05:58   stream will also let you show new users

00:05:59   personalized welcome screens that speak

00:06:01   directly to them based on the marketing

00:06:03   campaign that brought them to your app

00:06:05   these screens are fully edited and

00:06:06   controlled from tab streams online

00:06:08   dashboard allowing you to ask for

00:06:10   newsletter signups give tips or free an

00:06:11   app currency to users acquired through

00:06:13   specific channels you can easily

00:06:15   implement iOS 9.2 style Universal deep

00:06:17   links in minutes and get to see all the

00:06:19   click data associated with each link tap

00:06:21   stream will even let you quickly add a

00:06:22   full referral program to your app

00:06:24   getting users to invite their friends

00:06:26   and receive rewards for successful

00:06:27   installs as developers we often bristle

00:06:30   when someone mentions marketing but

00:06:31   marketing doesn't have to be a dirty

00:06:32   word Tap dream suite of tools is built

00:06:34   for mobile developers by mobile

00:06:36   developers this means they're highly

00:06:38   focused on making the

00:06:39   is to use platform with tools that can

00:06:41   be deployed quickly you can get started

00:06:43   with the SDK in a few minutes and

00:06:45   implement any product within an hour

00:06:47   tap stream is offering all

00:06:48   under-the-radar listeners a 30-day free

00:06:50   trial and this is a big one a permanent

00:06:53   50% discount on their marketing Pro

00:06:56   account level this includes all platform

00:06:58   features and products including

00:06:58   analytics deep links app invites and

00:07:01   campaign Landers tap stream comm /ut are

00:07:04   for under the radar

00:07:05   once again that's tap stream comm /ut

00:07:08   our sign up today thanks a lot the tab

00:07:09   stream for sponsoring us and all of

00:07:11   relay event all right I think that one

00:07:13   of the biggest things I'd like to see I

00:07:14   just want to see signs of motion signs

00:07:17   that Apple believes that this isn't as

00:07:20   good as it could be and is willing to

00:07:23   take the steps to prioritize real change

00:07:26   and experimentation and improvement in

00:07:28   the App Store because the App Store is

00:07:29   now just under 8 years old for being

00:07:32   almost 8 it really has not changed very

00:07:35   much from the way it was launched there

00:07:37   have been small improvements here and

00:07:39   there but almost unchanged the entire

00:07:42   industry Apple included have we learned

00:07:44   nothing since it started you know

00:07:46   obviously we've learned something so I

00:07:48   think it's it's upon Apple 2 to just

00:07:51   show that like they're willing to make

00:07:53   changes over time as we learn what works

00:07:57   what doesn't what's healthy what's not

00:07:59   and so far we've seen very little of

00:08:01   that so that's what I my number-one hope

00:08:04   is not any any one particular change but

00:08:06   just I really hope that Apple just shows

00:08:08   signs of not being complacent not

00:08:11   thinking that what they have now is the

00:08:13   inevitable end and as good as it can get

00:08:16   I agree yeah and I think seeing and I

00:08:20   said nej in some ways it's any change

00:08:22   like there are certainly things that

00:08:23   like pet things that I would like and

00:08:25   we'll certainly talk about but just

00:08:27   having a sense that the App Store is

00:08:30   going somewhere and that I could explain

00:08:32   if I if I look towards might like my own

00:08:34   personal future of like should this be

00:08:37   the place that I'm making my living if

00:08:39   it seems like it's going getting worse

00:08:42   and worse or at least you know sort of

00:08:44   has plateaued at a not great level like

00:08:47   that's not an encouraging thing to look

00:08:49   forward to and to seek to kind of invest

00:08:52   my time and

00:08:53   in two versus something that seems like

00:08:55   even if it's just a slow incremental

00:08:56   process of getting better and better

00:08:58   that would be great that would be

00:09:00   encouraging like that would be in

00:09:01   motivating and something that would be

00:09:03   work you know make it feel more

00:09:05   worthwhile to put all the you know sort

00:09:07   of all the time and attention that I'm

00:09:09   putting into the App Store currently

00:09:11   yeah I mean that's because like I feel

00:09:14   like where it is now is not in a very

00:09:17   encouraging place for people like us

00:09:19   you know right now like we can get by

00:09:21   but it's hard and there's not a lot of

00:09:24   headroom it doesn't feel like it's it's

00:09:27   on its way up anymore it feels like it's

00:09:29   on its way down but at least for people

00:09:31   like us you know and it feels like we

00:09:33   have fewer and fewer options over time

00:09:35   of like how to make a decent living in

00:09:37   the App Store

00:09:38   a lot of this is just market forces at

00:09:40   work here a lot of this is not within

00:09:42   Apple's control to change by far the

00:09:45   biggest problem in the App Store for for

00:09:47   you know Indies to get by is just that

00:09:50   there's a massive amount of relentless

00:09:52   competition not only for exactly the

00:09:55   same things that your apps do like you

00:09:58   know I really support cast app there's

00:10:00   already a whole bunch of podcast apps

00:10:01   out there so that's problem number one

00:10:03   problem number two anything I do in mine

00:10:06   that that will be different or

00:10:08   noteworthy other people will be able to

00:10:10   do as well

00:10:11   you know nothing I'm not like I don't

00:10:13   have any kind of magical abilities that

00:10:14   nobody else can duplicate you know it

00:10:16   anybody can do the same things I do and

00:10:18   if you have an app that is popular at

00:10:20   all that will happen because number

00:10:23   three there are absolutely to Hans of

00:10:26   developers out there they all are trying

00:10:28   to make the same living out of the same

00:10:30   pie and the pie is growing but so is

00:10:31   that pool developers and then finally

00:10:33   number four there are lots of other

00:10:36   things competing for everyone's

00:10:38   attention all the time on their phones

00:10:39   as well so even if your app does pretty

00:10:42   well against other similar apps you're

00:10:44   also competing with literally everything

00:10:46   else they have available on their phone

00:10:47   which is everything in the consumer web

00:10:49   world right now basically he's so like

00:10:51   you're competing with those top grossing

00:10:53   games or like instead of listening to a

00:10:54   podcast they could choose to go play a

00:10:56   clash or whatever you know so you you

00:10:58   are competing with all of those things

00:10:59   because this this is the hot place to be

00:11:02   the the level of competition is just

00:11:06   immense

00:11:06   and ruthless yeah I mean I think I would

00:11:09   sir like before the show I went and took

00:11:11   a look at just trying to put quantify

00:11:13   just how big the AppStore is and how

00:11:16   much it's continuing to even grow and

00:11:19   honestly at the end of looking at all

00:11:21   this I just had tremendous sympathy for

00:11:22   the poor app reviewers because right now

00:11:24   in the App Store I think they're defined

00:11:27   a couple of conflicting numbers but the

00:11:28   number is somewhere in the ballpark of

00:11:29   around 2 million apps and it seems like

00:11:32   there's they're being added to the store

00:11:34   at roughly two thousand a day seems to

00:11:38   be the best number I could get kind of

00:11:40   looking around which means that during

00:11:41   this show like during 30 minutes of this

00:11:43   show something like 42 apps will have

00:11:45   launched and that's just new app that's

00:11:47   crazy

00:11:48   it doesn't let even updates like the

00:11:50   poor people in app review I don't even

00:11:51   know how that's like how to conceive of

00:11:54   the workload that those poor people must

00:11:56   have even you can't release apps that

00:11:58   quickly even me I mean I'm famous for

00:12:00   having lots of haves and I look at this

00:12:02   and it's like how like the first thing

00:12:04   that I think of that Apple needs to work

00:12:06   on is understanding if they're going to

00:12:08   do something about that early on in the

00:12:10   App Store they used to always get up on

00:12:12   stage and talk about they'd be you know

00:12:13   we now we have a hundred thousand apps

00:12:15   now we have five hundred thousand apps

00:12:17   we have a million apps like as though

00:12:18   having a big number were something

00:12:21   desirous and in the early stages maybe

00:12:24   it was to say like you know they really

00:12:26   when they were first building out the

00:12:27   App Store it was an important thing to

00:12:28   have lots of apps and to cover all the

00:12:30   different goals and things that people

00:12:32   might want to do on their phones but my

00:12:34   suspicion is at this point that all

00:12:36   those say 2,000 new apps every day I

00:12:38   can't imagine all of them or at least

00:12:41   even the majority of them are really

00:12:43   adding to the platform and making it

00:12:45   better and stronger and puts a

00:12:47   tremendous load I'm sure on the app

00:12:49   review team and so it means that like

00:12:50   you and I when we submit a bug fix

00:12:52   updates say like you know we have

00:12:53   something some problem in our half we

00:12:54   submit it we have to wait at least a

00:12:56   week to get it reviewed and out into the

00:12:58   store and I can't imagine so I don't

00:13:00   imagine some of that is coming from just

00:13:02   the sheer volume of junk and like that's

00:13:05   say 2000 is the right number it's like

00:13:07   2008 apps are being new maps are being

00:13:09   approved like how many what's the number

00:13:11   of apps that are getting rejected it's

00:13:14   just got it like there's got to be

00:13:16   things that Apple can do on that end and

00:13:17   I don't know if it's changing the review

00:13:19   guidelines making it so that there's

00:13:21   some kind of extra barriers to actually

00:13:24   submitting apps to try and make it you

00:13:25   know or being just sort of harsher

00:13:28   in-app review and having higher

00:13:30   standards understood from more editorial

00:13:33   opinionated side to make it so that

00:13:35   people get the answer so very quickly

00:13:38   you would expect that if the process of

00:13:41   just sort of putting sort of knock or

00:13:43   not high-level apps into the App Store

00:13:45   became unsuccessful after a while people

00:13:47   would stop doing that it would be a

00:13:49   waste of time and not really worth the

00:13:50   effort or something but if that's so

00:13:53   risky though like any anything they do

00:13:55   to try to make subjective judgments I

00:13:57   feel like is is just asking for trouble

00:14:00   because I mean they already have a lot

00:14:01   of these things now and they do often

00:14:02   get crap for making a bad decision

00:14:04   usually usually warranted anything they

00:14:07   do to try to sell like okay well now

00:14:08   your app doesn't have to just follow

00:14:10   these rules it also has to be like

00:14:12   worthy a little bit to some degree even

00:14:14   if it's just a minor degree this has to

00:14:16   be like worthy of being included in the

00:14:18   store it has to have value to somebody

00:14:20   and they already define that minimum

00:14:22   functionality rule which is you know

00:14:24   vague and that just refers to a level of

00:14:26   functionality what if there was also a

00:14:27   level of minimum quality again that

00:14:30   there have been rules that are kind of

00:14:31   eluded this and the guidelines since the

00:14:32   beginning but they haven't really been

00:14:34   enforced very much the problem though is

00:14:36   that this isn't just like Phil Schiller

00:14:38   making those decisions this is probably

00:14:40   hundreds of employees in a preview

00:14:43   whoo-hoo all have to be making the

00:14:45   decisions constantly they're not gonna

00:14:47   be able to kick every one of them up to

00:14:48   a manager for approval so you're gonna

00:14:50   have to have to come up with rules that

00:14:53   can be consistently enforced with a with

00:14:56   a large staff the more room for

00:14:57   subjectivity there is the harder it is

00:15:00   to achieve consistency and they already

00:15:03   have issues with this anything they do

00:15:05   to make the rules to basically raise the

00:15:07   bar of their minimum quality standards

00:15:08   they're gonna get so many more

00:15:11   problematic rejections

00:15:12   so much more bad press about problematic

00:15:14   rejections and they're gonna have people

00:15:16   like us complaining so it's it's a hard

00:15:18   balance to strike I don't think they've

00:15:20   struck the right balance yet you know

00:15:22   certainly raising the bar is is

00:15:24   challenging

00:15:25   oh sure yeah I mean and I look at that

00:15:26   and it's like I don't and no Envy how

00:15:29   they would make the decision but it

00:15:30   seems like it's either you have to

00:15:32   take the approach of like the Google

00:15:34   Playstore like the bar is like is this

00:15:37   basically functional and not malware

00:15:39   kind of at least conceptually I mean I'm

00:15:41   not a Google Play expert but the app

00:15:43   review process there is much more

00:15:45   streamlined and straightforward as it

00:15:46   says best I understand it where you have

00:15:48   very lowest low bars and you know you

00:15:51   approach the sort of problem almost more

00:15:53   on the like on the demand side rather

00:15:56   than the supply side like you just let

00:15:57   anybody who wants to have an app be in

00:15:59   the store if you do that you just need

00:16:01   to build the store itself like the

00:16:03   front-end into that such that users can

00:16:06   very easily and quickly get away from

00:16:08   things that aren't great and only and

00:16:11   are driven towards things that are good

00:16:12   because I think you could probably say

00:16:14   like the best the ultimate goal of the

00:16:15   app store like if you had to try and

00:16:18   boil it down is that any time a customer

00:16:20   downloads an app they're getting a good

00:16:23   experience like that would be seeing a

00:16:25   reasonable goal for what the app store

00:16:26   is trying to do that a user says I have

00:16:29   a need or I want to be amused or

00:16:31   entertained or whatever it is and they

00:16:33   go to the App Store now the things that

00:16:35   they find there are going to give them a

00:16:38   positive experience and you know there's

00:16:41   a lot of things that the Apple could do

00:16:42   for maybe on the editorial side to

00:16:44   dramatically you know improve that

00:16:46   structure where right now you know of

00:16:48   the in the App Store app like there's

00:16:50   the featured area the top charts area

00:16:53   and the explore area the featured area

00:16:55   they certainly I think they do a pretty

00:16:57   good job like there are very rarely

00:16:58   things in that first tab of the App

00:17:00   Store that I look at and I see and that

00:17:02   I'm like if someone downloaded that that

00:17:04   they're gonna have a bad experience if

00:17:06   the in the top charts area it's starts

00:17:10   to get a lot more questionable and

00:17:11   there's a little bit of like cell

00:17:12   filtering of that that obviously people

00:17:14   in order to get beyond one of those

00:17:16   lists lots of people had to have they

00:17:18   thought that your app was good but it

00:17:20   starts to get more questionable and then

00:17:22   you get into the Explorer tab like that

00:17:23   poor third tab in the App Store app

00:17:25   which has been three or four different

00:17:27   things over the last eight years and

00:17:29   just feels like it's always turning over

00:17:31   and it never quite finds its way but you

00:17:33   know like that's the place that you will

00:17:35   start to very quickly kind of get into

00:17:37   areas where it's the quality or at least

00:17:40   the the robustness of those apps or it

00:17:43   becomes more and more problematic as you

00:17:45   go and say

00:17:46   maybe if apical can't fix it on there

00:17:48   like on the review side maybe it's just

00:17:50   let's just focus on editorial its staff

00:17:52   up dramatically really go through the

00:17:55   app store and it's like if we think

00:17:56   these apps aren't good like we're you

00:17:58   know maybe it's like we just flag them

00:17:59   as such and we say like you know this is

00:18:01   a bee app and it's not going to show up

00:18:02   into certain places or it's going to be

00:18:04   very be prioritized and the way that

00:18:06   people can find it but it's still there

00:18:08   like I don't know is that better I hope

00:18:10   they would do something like that behind

00:18:11   the scenes though I figured they

00:18:12   probably aren't but if they did it would

00:18:15   probably not be wise for us to know

00:18:17   about that because I think that would

00:18:20   cause issues you know ultimately what we

00:18:22   what we want Apple to do is to make it

00:18:24   easier for apps like ours to to be

00:18:28   successful and and to be found by people

00:18:30   in the app store but it's worth

00:18:32   challenging the assumption that our abs

00:18:34   are better you know like it likes sure

00:18:35   if you look at what's actually in the

00:18:37   App Store and if you look at that top

00:18:39   grossing list and you see what succeeds

00:18:40   it's probably hard for Apple look at

00:18:42   that and think they have to do anything

00:18:44   differently than what they're doing now

00:18:46   in in like content choosing or or or

00:18:49   steering the rules in such a way to

00:18:50   encourage or discourage different types

00:18:52   of apps than what they're getting now

00:18:53   because what they're doing now is

00:18:55   working very well just not people like

00:18:58   us but it's working very well for some

00:18:59   people and it's working very well it by

00:19:02   many metrics for apples customers in the

00:19:05   way that people are downloading a bunch

00:19:06   of apps they are playing these games and

00:19:08   putting their coins in it does work for

00:19:11   a lot of people now just not us so is

00:19:16   that really a problem like do you think

00:19:17   Apple sees it as a problem and do you

00:19:19   think it actually is a problem it's a

00:19:21   tough question it's really hard to

00:19:23   separate obviously the my own personal

00:19:26   views and business from like sort of

00:19:28   just like the more objective if this was

00:19:30   not what I did and I was just a you know

00:19:32   someone who just went to the Apple store

00:19:33   bought an iPhone and opened up the App

00:19:36   Store like and it is definitely a trap

00:19:38   and I think you're sort of pointing good

00:19:39   right to point it out is of the in these

00:19:42   types of discussions in our community

00:19:43   that you can very easily slip into the

00:19:46   very subjective just like indie apps are

00:19:49   better kind of a mindset and you end up

00:19:53   with like well it's like if there's not

00:19:54   a vibrant independent community of app

00:19:57   of app makers that some

00:19:59   like the world is a sad and terrible

00:20:01   place and you know and you could argue

00:20:03   in some ways it's like you know smaller

00:20:05   companies tend to take bigger risks and

00:20:06   so more innovation happens or those

00:20:08   types of kind of more justifications in

00:20:10   some ways what I hope is that if Apple

00:20:13   is happy with the majority of sort of

00:20:16   successful businesses in the App Store

00:20:17   or a lot of the money for the App Store

00:20:19   whatever coming from those types of

00:20:20   games and being or even just being game

00:20:22   focused in general that the majority si

00:20:24   gets its games and big companies like

00:20:26   Thea in the top ten grossing apps there

00:20:29   are other things that aren't games

00:20:30   there's things like Spotify or like

00:20:32   services like that big companies the

00:20:34   reality may be it's like and like the

00:20:36   hard thing to say to myself is maybe

00:20:38   that's fine with Apple and they're

00:20:41   totally cool with that and in some ways

00:20:42   their actions thus far are ready to

00:20:44   indicate that they are and there's the

00:20:47   you know the introspection I'm saying

00:20:48   like if that's the reality it's like am

00:20:51   I just in the wrong place at this point

00:20:53   it's like it's not something that I

00:20:54   really want to make a change about I'm

00:20:57   not saying like oh I want to get out of

00:20:58   the App Store but it's like and I look

00:21:00   at that I'm like maybe at some point I

00:21:02   will have to though because it would

00:21:05   just sort of not be economically viable

00:21:07   to do what I do and that would make me

00:21:09   sad but yeah like it's it's not up to me

00:21:12   to decide what goes into the App Store

00:21:13   or what apps should you know should the

00:21:16   App Store be geared around making viable

00:21:18   obviously I'd like for it to be more

00:21:20   viable for me and I think you could make

00:21:22   a reasonable argument that it's

00:21:24   important to have some base level of the

00:21:27   smaller developers like us kind of

00:21:28   filling in cracks and pushing boundaries

00:21:30   and when new things come out you know

00:21:33   it's like well I've made my business in

00:21:35   a lot of ways about watching Apple and

00:21:37   how they push your new technology out in

00:21:40   there and their phones or in the in iOS

00:21:43   looking for new opportunities and as

00:21:45   soon as I can jumping on those and being

00:21:47   able to take advantage of being smaller

00:21:49   and being able to make those kinds of

00:21:50   decisions that maybe bigger companies

00:21:52   can't

00:21:53   and that seems like a good thing but

00:21:55   it's certainly for my it's like it's

00:21:56   very selfish and self-centred to say

00:21:58   like if the App Store doesn't make my

00:22:00   business model work then you know it's

00:22:02   not good the way that the App Store

00:22:05   bothers me now that with like what

00:22:06   succeeds and what doesn't you know not

00:22:07   only from from just like a you know an

00:22:10   obvious like envy that those aren't my

00:22:12   apps in the top

00:22:13   grossing position but what bothers me

00:22:15   that I think might be relevant here to

00:22:17   Apple and to the users is that the the

00:22:20   apps that succeed today I think make the

00:22:22   iPhone look a bit like a cheap flea

00:22:24   market it is not it is not like a high a

00:22:28   high fashion or a high quality branding

00:22:32   angle that we see now today with like

00:22:35   all these you know basically like casino

00:22:37   games that isn't there not this is not

00:22:40   like a classy great experience for a lot

00:22:43   of people and it doesn't it doesn't make

00:22:45   Apple's products look good to know that

00:22:47   most people are using them most of the

00:22:49   time to like you know throw coins into

00:22:52   and into a psychologically abusive game

00:22:54   that their friends and family made them

00:22:57   like obligated to play like I don't know

00:23:00   it and you know obviously people you

00:23:02   know it's a little bit snobby to me to

00:23:03   say because like obviously a lot of

00:23:04   people do enjoy these games and are

00:23:06   perfectly fine with that and I and I

00:23:07   don't want to diminish their enjoyment

00:23:09   of those but do you think from Apple's

00:23:11   point of view do you think that's really

00:23:12   what they want the iPhone to to be in

00:23:14   practice like do they do they care and

00:23:17   does that really fit the way they want

00:23:19   to brand this device I wouldn't think so

00:23:22   like I mean this is the funny thing of

00:23:24   you know I was in a fan of Apple before

00:23:26   I was an Apple developer like I and the

00:23:30   thing that I think is so it's like that

00:23:33   a fundamental level when I try and think

00:23:35   of the things that I associate with

00:23:37   Apple and with you know sort of thick

00:23:39   they're brand more generally is that

00:23:41   there's a certain amount of trying to be

00:23:44   more like it's more aspirational in the

00:23:47   sense of they're trying to make it

00:23:48   better they're not just trying to make

00:23:50   like the they're not trying to just make

00:23:52   a basic works is sufficient is fine

00:23:56   phone like they're trying to make the

00:23:58   best of anything and in most of the

00:24:01   things that they do that whether or not

00:24:04   they hit it or not is a whole other

00:24:05   question but you know their goal their

00:24:07   mission is to make the best and to have

00:24:12   you know when you go into an Apple store

00:24:13   that you always come out with a good

00:24:15   experience like it's not they're not

00:24:17   trying to be mediocre or sufficient

00:24:19   they're always trying to be better and

00:24:21   if you would apply that kind of mindset

00:24:24   to the App Store you

00:24:26   imagine you'd end up with a different

00:24:27   app store you'd imagine if you know it's

00:24:29   like if they're willing to take that

00:24:30   risk of you know they don't make the

00:24:34   hundreds of different very variations of

00:24:36   the iPhone they try and make one that's

00:24:38   really really good and is the best and

00:24:40   in the same way it's like they rather

00:24:41   than trying to have all the different

00:24:44   you know it's like you go into an Apple

00:24:45   store it doesn't feel like going into

00:24:46   Walmart it's like the App Store is much

00:24:49   more like going into Walmart or

00:24:50   something like that

00:24:51   or where you're yeah but it's that kind

00:24:53   of a feeling right it's like you go in

00:24:55   and you see a charger whatever it's you

00:24:57   know some some iPhone accessory on the

00:24:59   wall of an Apple store and you expect

00:25:02   that that is going to be good Veit you

00:25:04   know it meets a certain basic level of

00:25:06   criteria and versus if you go into a you

00:25:08   know the Walmart er you go into Amazon

00:25:10   and you're presented with probably 10

00:25:13   times the number of choices you have a

00:25:15   much harder to you know decision and

00:25:17   you're in a harder position to make that

00:25:19   choice because they haven't curated it

00:25:21   for you they haven't looked at it and

00:25:23   said we think these are the best or

00:25:26   these are the ones that you should try

00:25:27   and I would hope if they did the same

00:25:30   kind of mindset on to the App Store that

00:25:32   you could end up with a better

00:25:32   experience in a better place like

00:25:34   overall and one that would fit I think

00:25:36   students like the Apple brand better you

00:25:39   know like the Google Play Store I think

00:25:40   makes sense for Google like that sort of

00:25:41   they're things like we you know we index

00:25:44   all the information everywhere like

00:25:46   they're sort of mindset around having

00:25:48   the store that isn't strongly curated in

00:25:50   the same way like it seems like that

00:25:52   would be a better fit potentially but an

00:25:54   Apple could potentially take the other

00:25:56   to take the other extreme and say like

00:25:57   you know what this is where we're gonna

00:25:59   go and I think that would fit for them

00:26:00   and you know ultimately obviously I

00:26:02   would like that I think I would - I mean

00:26:05   like I was getting on a plane recently

00:26:07   and I wanted to download a whole bunch

00:26:08   of like new good games and seeing what

00:26:10   was actually successful in the top

00:26:12   charts and and just trying just trying

00:26:14   to find good games for myself to play on

00:26:16   the plane like if nothing else the App

00:26:18   Store should have tons of good games

00:26:19   right but it honestly had a lot of

00:26:21   trouble finding any that had any kind of

00:26:23   depth whatsoever most of them are like

00:26:24   you know really like stupid simple like

00:26:28   shallow things that like you play it for

00:26:30   10 seconds like oh that's all it is okay

00:26:32   like it was actually really hard to find

00:26:34   good stuff I I feel like I feel like we

00:26:36   need better stuff in the App Store and

00:26:39   we need Apple to

00:26:40   to think about how they can how they can

00:26:42   get better stuff in there how they can

00:26:44   incentivize and sustain the development

00:26:47   of better apps not just more apps yeah

00:26:50   and I think there's some big problems

00:26:52   here around like it's like the old what

00:26:54   they caught the broken window problem

00:26:56   mm-hmm you know where you have if you're

00:26:58   in a neighborhood if you had a house

00:27:00   that has you know has derelict and has

00:27:03   some broken windows in it like it starts

00:27:06   it has it has this different other thing

00:27:09   it's like oh it starts to affect things

00:27:11   that even aren't just that one house

00:27:12   it's like if the bar and the expectation

00:27:15   for going to the App Store isn't high

00:27:17   enough it's gonna have knock-on effects

00:27:20   to lots of other apps and other people

00:27:22   like you end up with customers who have

00:27:24   different have different expectations

00:27:25   they'll look at the App Store and say I

00:27:27   you know it's like you're more tense

00:27:30   like things like I think about like

00:27:31   their discussion last week or about

00:27:32   pricing where it's harder in some ways

00:27:36   to make a set into to convince someone

00:27:38   to have a paid a friend app and to

00:27:40   download it and in some of that I could

00:27:43   imagine he's coming from a place of a

00:27:45   there's a tremendous competition which

00:27:47   is I've sort of always it's gonna have a

00:27:49   downward pressure on pricing but also

00:27:51   like if you don't have good expectations

00:27:56   that what you're downloading is going to

00:27:57   be good is going to be worth it because

00:28:00   you've been burned before like that's

00:28:03   going to discourage you from going in

00:28:04   going ahead and downloading other apps

00:28:06   and paying for them upfront and so you

00:28:08   end up with you know more free apps and

00:28:09   if your app is free then you have

00:28:11   different like you enter this there's

00:28:13   kind of vicious cycle because the amount

00:28:15   of time that you're able you sort of

00:28:17   sort of can justify putting into

00:28:18   something if you expect to only be able

00:28:20   to make money back from it you know

00:28:23   either from consumable and a purchase or

00:28:25   even just like if you're just putting it

00:28:26   out with ads in it like you're sort of

00:28:29   the value of each customer to you and

00:28:31   for the the downside of having a

00:28:33   customer have a bad experience like it

00:28:34   just continues to shrink down in kind of

00:28:36   this negative cycle exactly all right

00:28:41   well we're out of time today I think

00:28:42   we're gonna continue this discussion

00:28:43   next week and with maybe some specific

00:28:46   suggestions on like how Apple can really

00:28:48   make the App Store better specific areas

00:28:50   that might be worth experimenting with

00:28:52   so thanks a lot for listening

00:28:54   we will talk to you next week bye