Under the Radar

20: Improving the App Store, Part 2


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:03   I'm Mark Orment.

00:00:04   And I'm David Smith.

00:00:05   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:09   So last week we talked about kind of why Apple probably needs to improve the App Store in

00:00:13   broad terms, like, you know, challenging the question of like, does the App Store need

00:00:19   to be improved?

00:00:20   And it's sort of like, what kind of improvements might we see?

00:00:22   And last week we talked in kind of high level of mostly just like, why we think it really

00:00:28   does need improvement, why we aren't just being selfish and serving our own needs as

00:00:31   independent developers, trying to make the App Store more beneficial for us. I think

00:00:37   we argued well that Apple really should change it to benefit not only the developers, but

00:00:44   themselves and customers as well. I don't think the App Store is as good as it can be.

00:00:49   I don't think we've learned nothing from its eight years of existence that could inform

00:00:54   you know, directions it should try to take or changes that it should try to make. And

00:00:58   I don't think that the apps are as good as they can be for the customers that result

00:01:02   from the system that we have now. You know, like I recalled when I was getting on a plane

00:01:07   how I tried to download like a bunch of good games and they were actually pretty hard to

00:01:11   find. And there's so much on there that's just kind of crappy and simplistic and even

00:01:18   like outright hostile to users which is like, you know, shoving ads all over the place and

00:01:22   and tricking them into buying coins and everything.

00:01:24   And I think that there's clear evidence

00:01:28   that the App Store not only can be made better,

00:01:32   but should be made better.

00:01:34   But the actual specifics of doing that,

00:01:36   I think, are really tricky.

00:01:38   - But I think we can think about it and have some ideas.

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

00:01:43   following the App Store for, I think I've been making a,

00:01:47   my first app was submitted almost eight years ago now,

00:01:51   or whatever, I was there almost at the beginning,

00:01:53   and so I look at it and it's like,

00:01:55   I think I have some ideas.

00:01:58   - I think one of the most obvious

00:02:00   is to look at the editorial side.

00:02:02   'Cause right now, there's always the question

00:02:04   that people raise of discoverability.

00:02:07   And when people complain about discoverability,

00:02:08   what they're usually really complaining about

00:02:10   is they think their app deserves more visibility.

00:02:14   Trying to look at this from a neutral perspective,

00:02:16   not just saying that I think my app deserves more visibility,

00:02:20   I think the main problem the App Store has

00:02:23   with discoverability is that they have

00:02:26   this massive number of apps,

00:02:28   this unfathomable number of apps that they have to

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

00:02:35   and then they only have really a pretty small number

00:02:39   of places that you can browse those apps.

00:02:41   So there's the total surface area of discoverability

00:02:46   besides just search, which is a separate problem,

00:02:49   is kind of low.

00:02:50   You basically only have top charts,

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

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

00:02:57   But you have top charts,

00:02:58   and then you have the editorial picks.

00:03:01   And even though the editorial staff is,

00:03:04   from what it seems, massive,

00:03:07   because they have different editorial staffs

00:03:09   in different countries too.

00:03:10   So there's the amount of staffing devoted

00:03:13   to picking those 20 or whatever featured apps

00:03:17   on the front page every week,

00:03:18   plus all the little subcategories, plus all the collections,

00:03:20   plus doing that or some subset of that

00:03:22   in a whole bunch of different countries

00:03:23   and regions around the world,

00:03:25   that is not a small endeavor.

00:03:27   But the total result of that is that

00:03:30   when a customer goes to the app store

00:03:32   and looks through the editorial picks,

00:03:35   you can be through the entire editorial list

00:03:39   in like a minute and a half.

00:03:40   It takes so much human effort on Apple's side

00:03:47   to produce a relatively small number

00:03:49   of recommendations every week,

00:03:51   and every week is not that frequent.

00:03:53   So then you have the top charts, which is just like,

00:03:56   it just has the problem of basically the rich get richer,

00:03:59   where it's very hard to break into the top charts.

00:04:02   They tend to be self-reinforcing,

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

00:04:06   buy from the top charts and keep them going up even further.

00:04:09   So that system also only helps a very small number of apps.

00:04:14   And then you have search,

00:04:15   where search I think is really one of the only places

00:04:19   where most apps can be found.

00:04:21   But the search isn't that good in the App Store

00:04:24   and it has gotten less terrible over time.

00:04:28   I still wouldn't call it great or even necessarily good

00:04:32   but it is at least less bad.

00:04:35   But good searches are really hard

00:04:38   and as we see from web search which has similar challenges

00:04:42   but Apple has even less data in some ways

00:04:45   than what you have on web search to go off of.

00:04:48   Although they have a lot more data in other ways

00:04:49   that I'm not sure they're using.

00:04:50   But it seems like the overall discoverability

00:04:55   of an app in the App Store is pretty miserable

00:04:58   for almost every app, just because the number of ways

00:05:02   people have to see your app are so much smaller

00:05:07   than the number of apps in the store.

00:05:08   And I don't know, do you know,

00:05:11   what do you think would be a decent way

00:05:12   to address that problem?

00:05:13   So I think the most straightforward thing that I think they could do is the technological

00:05:21   solution, where there's more of a technological solution.

00:05:23   Things like search.

00:05:24   It makes me think of when I go to Amazon.com, right?

00:05:28   And I think Amazon sells several hundred million products.

00:05:34   But I find that I'm pretty able to quickly go through and find good, solid choices because

00:05:42   their search is more than just a text box that I put some words into. I put some words

00:05:48   in a text box and then I can go through and I can sort in a variety of different ways.

00:05:53   I can subdivide or there's further categories beyond just the highest level category. And

00:06:00   I could imagine an interface in the App Store that would let you have more fine-grain control

00:06:06   over what I'm searching for. That you have the ability to say like, "Show me..." even

00:06:11   just like obvious stuff like show me free or paid apps, show me apps that are universal

00:06:18   or iPhone only, show me apps that have reviews above a certain amount or are updated frequently

00:06:27   or whatever. Like there are various criteria beyond just a text box that you could do to

00:06:33   increase the ability to surface apps that are more specific to someone's needs. Because

00:06:40   Because I think that the search as it is now, for example, has the same kind of rich-get-richer

00:06:44   problem that sometimes I've benefited from in some of my apps, and sometimes I'm hurt

00:06:49   by in other apps, where if you're the top one or two search results, that's great.

00:06:54   That's a really powerful marketing tool.

00:06:57   But if you're not, you're just invisible as far as the typical user is concerned.

00:07:04   And that may or may not be good.

00:07:07   If you're somebody who's looking for something of a very particular kind, you just have to

00:07:11   do a lot of sitting there, sort of paging through the app store, doing things that it

00:07:15   should be able to do programmatically for you.

00:07:19   That side of it seems like that's a more straightforward, like that's a technological fix.

00:07:24   And then yeah, I think on the editorial side, I think putting more and more resources into

00:07:29   that seems like it can sort of only makes it better.

00:07:32   if you turn over the featured area more regularly. And also one thing I've always thought they

00:07:39   should do is taking the work that they put in editorial to whenever an app is featured,

00:07:46   indicating that the app was featured somewhere on that app's page, for example. Like right

00:07:51   now I think unless you are an editor's pick...

00:07:53   Yeah, editor's choice gets you that I think, right? But I don't think anything else does.

00:07:57   But that seems like one of those things, if it's almost like if Apple has taken the time

00:08:00   and effort to look at an app and say, "You know what? This is on the approved list."

00:08:04   They're saying that when they put it into the featured tab. Someone at Apple has sat

00:08:08   down and looked at it. Once your feature is over, obviously I can put that in my description

00:08:12   and say, "Featured by Apple in the Stay on Track Fitness category," and such and such.

00:08:18   But wouldn't it be great if there's a little thumbs up icon next to the apps that Apple

00:08:23   has said are really good? And as a customer, or like I was saying in search, of being able

00:08:29   to say has been featured, I think would be an interesting kind of a way to improve discoverability

00:08:35   of these apps that, you know, they're doing this work anyway, like they're spending that

00:08:39   time to come up with a weekly featured, but then once they, the app has been featured,

00:08:44   like that information just sort of disappears.

00:08:46   I'm thinking too about like, about just the app page in general, like we also have a,

00:08:52   I think a fairly big issue of just horrible abuses of app metadata, and there are some

00:08:57   some rules around what you are and aren't allowed

00:09:00   to put in the description and your keywords

00:09:02   and your screenshots, but it seems like those rules

00:09:04   are fairly loosely enforced a lot of the time.

00:09:08   And so you have things like spamming up the description

00:09:12   of your app with like tons and tons of like testimonials

00:09:15   and stuff right on top and you have things like

00:09:18   spamming keywords of other app names of your competitors'

00:09:21   apps so that you turn up for their searches,

00:09:24   which has been, I think, against the rules

00:09:27   at the very beginning but is almost completely unenforced,

00:09:30   partly out of necessity of just like a scale issue there,

00:09:32   but it's still very, you know, mostly unenforced.

00:09:35   You have things like whether you're supposed to put text

00:09:38   and overlays on your screenshots or not,

00:09:41   the good correct thing to do is not to do that,

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

00:09:46   if you don't, I feel like.

00:09:47   Maybe just like some basic rule tightening

00:09:52   of what you can and can't put in your app metadata

00:09:55   and on that app page, I think would improve

00:09:57   the real world browsability a lot,

00:10:00   and would improve search, 'cause then like,

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

00:10:04   and everything, you won't have as poor

00:10:06   search results for things.

00:10:08   I don't know, do you think there's meaningful change

00:10:11   to be had there on the app pages?

00:10:13   - I think, it certainly seems like there should be

00:10:15   a ways to make that better.

00:10:17   And I think the consistency is, I think,

00:10:19   a big thing that I know I've always been frustrated with.

00:10:22   And it's like, I look at, say for example,

00:10:25   the watch apps, making watch apps now.

00:10:26   And right now, I believe your watch screenshot

00:10:31   can only show you the screenshot of the app.

00:10:34   And it's a rule that so far

00:10:36   they seem to be enforcing strongly.

00:10:37   And that used to be the case,

00:10:39   back in the case with the iPhone.

00:10:41   And then just over time, it stopped being the case.

00:10:45   And things like that,

00:10:46   like that consistency I think would be helpful.

00:10:49   And I think they did the same thing with app previews,

00:10:53   which I believe were originally only allowed to show in-app screens, but I've certainly

00:10:58   seen app previews now that show other things.

00:11:01   Really?

00:11:02   That wasn't even like a year.

00:11:04   And that I don't see as much, but it has the same type of problem.

00:11:07   It's like, it's the scale that app review is dealing with that, are they really able

00:11:13   to every time an app goes through review, evaluate every single screenshot in every

00:11:19   single country and the app previews associated with that for potentially many sizes. I look

00:11:27   at it and it's like, "That's just a really tough problem." But enforcing that I think

00:11:31   would be certainly helpful. And I like what they did, for example, with app previews.

00:11:37   I think that's a great way to improve. That's probably the biggest improvement for a lot

00:11:43   of apps in the App Store page from eight years ago, is being able to kind of show people

00:11:48   what your app will be like when you actually get it,

00:11:50   'cause if you don't have a trial or something like that,

00:11:53   for a lot of apps, a screenshot, a static screenshot,

00:11:55   doesn't really show you what the app is or what it's like.

00:12:00   If it's something that you kind of have to experience

00:12:02   or the motion and the animation

00:12:04   or whatever it is of the app is the important part,

00:12:07   having a way to show that is great.

00:12:08   But yeah, and I think there's those,

00:12:11   the things that I think about on the app page

00:12:13   is trying to more straightforwardly indicate

00:12:15   the customer, the overall quality of the app. And some of those things that I think about

00:12:21   on the App Store page is the way reviews reset every time you submit a new update.

00:12:25   Oh boy, reviews.

00:12:26   And so reviews is a whole thing, but that's one of the things that I look at. And when

00:12:32   I launch a new app, or even worse, is when I launch a new update, I try and get a bunch

00:12:38   of attention. I do a big 2-0. And I try and get a lot of people coming to the App Store

00:12:43   to download my app, and the app suddenly has no stars next to it, like has no reviews.

00:12:48   Yeah, when you're sending all that traffic to it.

00:12:50   It's like, why is this like—I understand why they did that. I remember when they implemented

00:12:56   that policy, it was because people would run into issues where you'd have like a bad

00:13:00   update that would crash for everybody. You'd get hundreds of one-star reviews, you'd

00:13:05   fix it, and then all those one-star reviews would still be there. That's problematic

00:13:10   in one way, but it's like, you approach this, like the thing that always makes sense to me is

00:13:14   like you should show, if you don't have enough reviews for the current version, then show

00:13:18   like the weighted average for the last 30 days, or always show the weighted average for the last 30

00:13:25   days or 90 days or whatever. Like anything like that where there is data, if there is

00:13:30   information that we can show customers, like if we can show if you've been featured, if we can show

00:13:34   the kinds of reviews that you tend to get. They're collecting all this data with the

00:13:41   new analytics stuff in iTunes Connect, like all the retention and engagement data. They have a

00:13:46   lot of information about whether this app is good. It's like surfacing somehow that kind of

00:13:52   information to the customer to say, "People who download this app really like this app."

00:13:57   I don't exactly know how you show that, but if you have the data, somehow indicating that to

00:14:03   to the customer seems like a good use of it,

00:14:06   rather than it just kind of disappearing into the ether.

00:14:09   - The whole star rating system, I think,

00:14:11   really needs a lot of help.

00:14:13   The idea of, first of all, star ratings

00:14:16   are very prominent in the app and in the app store,

00:14:19   and many things, I think, depend on them.

00:14:22   I know search ranking has been rumored

00:14:24   to be shifting with star rating.

00:14:26   Obviously, Apple's probably more likely

00:14:28   to feature something that has good ratings

00:14:29   from past versions.

00:14:31   And also just, I think, buyers are,

00:14:33   or getters are much more likely to download an app

00:14:38   that has good ratings under it

00:14:40   when they go to look at its page.

00:14:41   And then, if you're looking for an app,

00:14:43   if you reach an app that has a few one-star ratings

00:14:46   and the reasons that the people cite seem valid,

00:14:50   then that's a big turn off

00:14:52   and you probably are gonna reconsider buying

00:14:54   or getting that app.

00:14:56   So they do matter a lot

00:14:58   and the way they're implemented is so mediocre.

00:15:00   I feel like this is an obvious area

00:15:02   for substantial specific improvements.

00:15:05   So obviously one of the big ones is just quality control.

00:15:08   Like you see a lot of reviews out there

00:15:11   that really could have used moderation,

00:15:13   like by App Store staff.

00:15:15   I honestly, I think they might want to consider

00:15:17   a review before publish model.

00:15:20   I know that's a big scale, but they're a big company.

00:15:22   This is a big store.

00:15:23   You know, you gotta invest resources sometimes.

00:15:25   Also just reconsidering the five star system at all.

00:15:29   It's basically a one star and five star system.

00:15:32   So why not consider a system that is more just based on,

00:15:35   do I feel good about this,

00:15:36   or do I feel bad about this app?

00:15:38   And rather than have this trying to make people quantify,

00:15:41   like, well, how good or how bad do I feel?

00:15:43   Because I think we see over and over again,

00:15:45   those systems don't work very well,

00:15:46   and they don't really accurately represent

00:15:49   what people are thinking with this app.

00:15:50   And then the other obvious problem

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

00:15:55   to respond to these things publicly or privately,

00:15:57   and so I think publicly would be the only way

00:15:59   you really need to,

00:16:00   think you necessarily need to give developers access to privately contacted reviewers, that

00:16:04   could be an area for abuse. But publicly, I feel like we should have the ability to

00:16:08   publicly respond to a bad review. Because a lot of times the bad review is not valid,

00:16:15   or is unfair, or is inflammatory, or it's some other problem that doesn't qualify

00:16:21   it for removal by Apple necessarily, but that is not really a fair representation. So it

00:16:27   nice as a developer to be able to respond to those so that when people look at it, they

00:16:31   can see how you responded or if you responded. And I'm saying this, I know it will be more

00:16:35   work for us. Like I'm giving us more homework, but I think that's really important homework.

00:16:39   If they're going to keep having the system and have it be as prominent as it is, then

00:16:43   I think it's a little bit misrepresentative very frequently right now just because of

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00:18:18   - So the last area that it seems like we couldn't wait

00:18:20   into thinking about a better app store

00:18:22   without discussing would be around business models,

00:18:26   around the things that are perennially topics

00:18:30   that come up for this.

00:18:31   So obviously you have to think about things like trials

00:18:34   or paid updates, those types of questions,

00:18:38   or even just the way that in-app purchase

00:18:40   kind of has become and is are things that I think

00:18:45   there's certainly room for improvement.

00:18:46   Like I remember a couple years ago

00:18:48   when I wrote my big Towards a Better App Store thing,

00:18:50   The thing that I was noticing even back then is this strange thing around trials, the difference

00:18:58   between trials and refunds, where the App Store has this very ambiguous refund policy.

00:19:04   I've gotten refunds for apps that I downloaded and it was totally different than what I actually

00:19:08   expected it to be based on the description I saw on the app page, see our discussion

00:19:12   five minutes ago, and it says, "I applied for a refund and I got it."

00:19:18   Okay, that's great.

00:19:20   But if you go into the App Store, the actual terms and conditions, that massive thing you

00:19:24   sign every time you update anything, deep in there it says that there aren't any refunds.

00:19:30   It's as best I can tell.

00:19:31   And having ambiguity around that in some ways is problematic.

00:19:36   If there are refunds for people who don't like apps they download, then basically you

00:19:40   have trials.

00:19:42   But if you don't make that public or don't make it obvious and easy to do, then it's

00:19:47   not really a trial.

00:19:48   And so I think about things like that.

00:19:49   Like if they really don't want trials, then you don't have any refunds.

00:19:53   But I think they do, and so why don't you make that process more straightforward and

00:19:57   obvious?

00:19:58   Like I love the thought, and I know this is what a couple of other app stores do, you

00:20:02   download an app and if you delete it within a certain period of time, you get a refund

00:20:09   for it.

00:20:10   As though it has this built-in trial mode.

00:20:12   And the duration for that, in many ways, to me, like I don't really mind too much exactly

00:20:17   what that is.

00:20:18   could probably be fairly 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,

00:20:25   which might be even better.

00:20:26   - Yeah, I mean, I think ultimately,

00:20:27   I think it has to be optional because there are so many

00:20:30   abuses of those systems for those doings.

00:20:31   I think Windows Phone was the one that was the big one

00:20:34   where you'd try to, you'd basically have a large incentive

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

00:20:41   within a short period of time

00:20:42   and then delete it and claim a refund.

00:20:44   So for things like games, it was especially problematic

00:20:46   where you'd just try to beat the whole game

00:20:47   in like 24 hours and then all right, delete it,

00:20:50   I want a refund.

00:20:52   And so that kind of system being applied without choice

00:20:55   to everybody is obviously not good.

00:20:58   But it'd be great to have that as an option

00:20:59   that you could opt into.

00:21:01   And especially if you could even set the duration

00:21:03   'cause then yeah, that is free trials

00:21:05   if it happens automatically at least.

00:21:06   And so that is, you know, I think with looking at things

00:21:11   like trials and upgrades, which we'll get to in a second,

00:21:13   I think, this won't solve the problems I mentioned

00:21:17   last week about just there being way too many apps

00:21:21   in the store and just there being tons of competition.

00:21:23   It won't solve that problem, but it will make it easier

00:21:26   for the apps that can get some kind of attention

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

00:21:34   and then to stay healthy, to sustain the business.

00:21:37   Because I think if you look at the App Store,

00:21:39   one of the biggest problems it has,

00:21:41   and this is something Apple should care about

00:21:43   because it's affecting their product lines,

00:21:45   is there are so many formerly great apps

00:21:48   that have just fallen into disrepair

00:21:50   and are no longer being maintained

00:21:51   because the developers just couldn't make

00:21:53   sustainable revenue from them enough

00:21:55   to justify ongoing maintenance and ongoing expansion.

00:21:58   So then you have issues like Apple launches the iPad Pro

00:22:01   and a ton of iPad apps are not ever updated for it.

00:22:05   And then that might hurt sales of the iPad Pro.

00:22:08   So this is something like Apple should care

00:22:10   about these kinds of things

00:22:11   because those are really hurting them.

00:22:14   So the question is, are they doing everything

00:22:17   in their power to ensure that developers have the tools

00:22:22   they need and the methods that they need

00:22:26   to build sustainable businesses to keep their apps

00:22:30   and the app store and the platform healthy enough?

00:22:33   And I think the answer for that so far is obviously no.

00:22:36   There's lots Apple could do that they're not only not doing

00:22:39   but that it seems like they've never even tried

00:22:41   or don't think they need to try.

00:22:43   And of course, trials and upgrades,

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

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

00:22:49   through various app store hoops to jump through.

00:22:51   You can kind of do it within app purchase to some degree,

00:22:54   but there's a lot of restrictions around it,

00:22:56   and a lot of things that don't work very well

00:22:57   if you try to do it that way,

00:22:59   and a lot of ways that customers can get really mad at you

00:23:01   and give a whole bunch of one-star reviews,

00:23:03   like if you try to do a paid app upgrade

00:23:04   by just having a second app and you replace the first app,

00:23:07   like that's a quick way to get

00:23:08   a whole bunch of people to hate you.

00:23:09   And so I feel like if Apple implemented these things

00:23:14   as first class citizens, these actual,

00:23:17   well-functioning trials and upgrades,

00:23:19   they'd be way better for the customers

00:23:21   and for the developers, and so we'd have more of them

00:23:24   so we could have better apps,

00:23:26   'cause we'd have more ways to make sustainable income.

00:23:28   - Yeah, and I think the reality is,

00:23:30   the thing is, just like we were saying around,

00:23:34   we just wanna see change here.

00:23:36   I can't imagine that the business model

00:23:39   that the App Store was conceived of all those years ago,

00:23:42   and still makes the most sense now.

00:23:46   And so yeah, I'd love to see even--

00:23:48   I could see any system they have,

00:23:51   I could imagine there being a reluctance

00:23:53   to do it because of the possibility for abuse,

00:23:55   for example.

00:23:57   But it's not like the current system, which is essentially

00:24:00   in-app purchase driven, is devoid of abuse or opportunity

00:24:04   for abuse.

00:24:06   And so yeah, it would be very interesting

00:24:08   to be able to do things like proper paid upgrades or having trials that are time limited or

00:24:15   those types of opportunities. Because I think the thing that it also speaks to is there

00:24:22   are different--it seems like from my experience, it seems like there are different customers

00:24:26   in the app store. There are people who are much more--like, I never download a paid app.

00:24:33   I've never paid for an app in my life. I only ever download free apps. There are some people

00:24:37   that I know and have met, that's their mindset, and that's totally cool. I'm having a problem

00:24:43   if that's the way they see the app store as something that they just want to be there

00:24:48   as a free add-on to their phone. Great. But I think there are also many people who I've

00:24:53   met who view the who are delighted to pay for apps, who would prefer if they are presented

00:25:00   with a free or a paid option for something that seems somewhat equivalent, they'll take

00:25:04   the paid one, both because they like the concept of supporting the person who makes it more

00:25:11   directly, maybe they feel like it'll be better supported down the road, they like to feel

00:25:15   like they paid for something, they don't like ads, whatever it is, they have reasons for

00:25:18   doing that. And creating tools for developers to capitalize on those people is in a good

00:25:28   way, not like capitalizing on them sounds like kind of skeevy, but if your customers

00:25:34   are looking and willing to pay for a big upgrade to the software that they've been using for

00:25:40   a year, having a mechanism to do that that isn't going to annoy them seems like a good

00:25:45   thing.

00:25:46   And it isn't going to hurt the people who like free apps and only want free apps if

00:25:50   if paid apps can have paid updates or things of that kind,

00:25:55   because they're just totally different markets.

00:25:59   And so giving developers tools to do that

00:26:01   seems like a good way to make sure

00:26:03   that they're taking advantage of every opportunity

00:26:05   they have for revenue, because revenue's so hard

00:26:08   to get in the first place that giving us more options

00:26:11   and choices seems like it'd only be a good thing.

00:26:13   - Well, and part of the power of the App Store

00:26:15   when it first launched, and part of the power it still has,

00:26:17   is before the App Store, everything was just

00:26:20   web-based and paying for things on the web sucked so much

00:26:23   that it was just really hard to ever get someone

00:26:25   to pay for something on the web because they would have

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

00:26:28   their payment information and it was just this clunky

00:26:30   process, most people would just say,

00:26:31   ah, nevermind, they'd abandon it.

00:26:33   Whereas with the App Store, they had the credit card

00:26:35   already on file from the iTunes store and they could just

00:26:38   type in a password and bam, it's bought.

00:26:40   Now it's even easier with Touch ID.

00:26:42   So part of the, we've seen already that if you make it

00:26:45   easy to pay for it, people are more likely and more

00:26:48   willing and happier to pay.

00:26:50   Not everybody will, but more people will.

00:26:53   So if they, you know, right now we have all these methods

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

00:26:57   or swapping, you know, a new app for an old one

00:27:00   to try to kind of simulate trials and upgrades,

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

00:27:06   if Apple built those in as first-class citizens.

00:27:09   So I think we would actually get more money.

00:27:12   We would actually do better, and customers and developers

00:27:14   would all be happier if Apple did these things

00:27:18   because we could make more because it would be easier

00:27:21   and it would work better.

00:27:23   - Yeah, and ultimately I think customers,

00:27:24   like ultimately, it seems like you can ultimately

00:27:28   hopefully wind anything Apple-related

00:27:30   back to customer sat, right?

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

00:27:35   a lot of other, the way Apple thinks.

00:27:38   And customer satisfaction is something

00:27:41   that you could see a lot, like improving the tools around

00:27:45   the business models that are available to developers, improving. That if you create

00:27:51   opportunities for a developer to make a good, stable living, their apps are going to be

00:27:57   updated more regularly. It's sort of like you were saying, when new platforms come out,

00:28:01   people will adopt them. That's only good for developers, that's only good for customers.

00:28:08   And if it doesn't work, maybe they'd try all these things and in the end it wasn't the

00:28:12   answer. I'm not completely convinced that adding paid upgrades would somehow dramatically

00:28:18   and catastrophically improve things for a developer, sustainability. I think there's

00:28:23   a good chance it would help things. Maybe it won't. But trying seems like a way that

00:28:30   having never tried or just saying like, "Hmm, maybe that would work, maybe it won't. If

00:28:34   it's not for sure, let's not do it." That's not helping anybody. And that's where I hope.

00:28:39   feel as if whoever hears this or is sitting down, running up to W2DC and thinking about

00:28:45   things he wants to change in iOS 10, hopefully these are things that they're thinking about.

00:28:50   Thinking about ways that they can make things better for developers, better for customers,

00:28:54   and ultimately, even in their own self-interest, make people have more affinity for their platform.

00:29:01   Because there's an app for that.

00:29:04   one of the marketing campaigns that I think really helped cement the iPhone as what it

00:29:09   is today. And it's all about the apps in that campaign.

00:29:13   Exactly. Well, I hope we see some improvements here. I really do. I'm hopeful that under

00:29:20   new leadership, maybe we will. And I really am looking forward to seeing the results of

00:29:24   that. So that's all the time we have for this week. Thank you very much for listening, and

00:29:29   we'll talk to you next week. Bye.

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