There's several very good provisions in this legislation (3rd party payment processors, non-preferential treatment for 1st party apps), there are several that have a mix of upsides and downsides (sideloading is one--I personally like knowing that Facebook can't ask people to sideload some privacy destroying crap on iOS).
- Allow developers to integrate their apps and digital services directly with those belonging to a gatekeeper. This includes making messaging, voice-calling, and video-calling services interoperable with third-party services upon request.
- Give developers access to any hardware feature, such as "near-field communication technology, secure elements and processors, authentication mechanisms, and the software used to control those technologies."
Apps will use near-field communication technology and other mechanisms to track us (consider how many device related APIs have restrictions in web browsers for just this reason), and I think it's credible that the interoperability requirements are going to be used to smash end-to-end encrypted messaging. You can have a decentralized end to end encrypted protocol. Can you retrofit every existing messaging service to use it in the short-term? Probably not.
As an end user, the things that give developers maximum freedom are not necessarily the things that let me use my device with maximum freedom. I support people who want a FOSS device that is in no way locked down. I just don't want that, because I don't want to play systems administrator for an always on tracker in my pocket.
Can we stop pretending that Apple has the users best interest in mind? They just want to be the gatekeeper for lucrative applications/functions so they can charge for it. That they somehow convinced apple users that it's somehow in their interest just shows how good their marketing is.
Apple is a company, and it’s interested in making profits. Right now, its methods of making profits are slightly more aligned with what privacy conscious users desire than some other companies’, and that’s good.
Apple absolutely needs to be checked in other ways—-the fact that it’s selling advertising while setting policies that hurt other advertisers stinks to high heaven. Let antitrust rake them over the coals for that.
Apple sets a restrictive and privacy-centric set of rules for advertisers, which it then follows. The fact that this is a problem for other advertising companies is an indictment of those companies and their bleak surveillance-enabling business model.
Contrast this with the "use WebKit or go home" rule, which, like it or not, is favoring Apple's product over others. It's not like these advertising policies are "be headquartered in Cupertino", it's "if you want to track our users you must ask them first".
Exactly. This is the popup for app store personalized ads, which is a full-screen popup that forces you to choose one or the other before you can access the app. It's super transparent and easy to decline the personalization.
> unless you consider every instance of two buttons looking this way a dark pattern
The entire point of this pattern is to guide the user into a "default" option so using it for anything where the user is suppposed to provide informed consent is a dark pattern. The only places where it is not a dark pattern is where default choice actually aligns with the interest of the average user and I think that is hard to argue for a choice whose purpose is primarily to be allowed to better manipulate the user into spending more.
That pattern may be reasonable for "Are you sure" kind of requests for actions that the user explicitly wanted - because then there really is a sane default; we expect the user didn't click on some button by accident. But it's not reasonable to portray questions that are asking the user to agree to something they did not explicitly want; that's just trying to trick the user to make the annoying popup go away by clicking the big button. There's no sane default here, so none should be preselected (and ideally, the layout of confirmation dialogs and agreement dialogs would not be identical in the first place).
It's a dark pattern, and I really doubt it's accidental.
If you ever interview apple developers for other companies, or just inspect what is being sent to apple's servers constantly from their devices, you'll realize that apple is recording A LOT of very private info about their users.
Apple is very much a 'private from everyone but apple' company, they smartly just don't talk about it out loud. For their high level apps like TV and such, have things like privacy review. But their security, activation and map parts do record a lot of info.
Maybe that will work in practice but you have no way of knowing if it does. There is nothing really preventing Apple from sneaking tracking data through the notification channel (not to mention that centralized notifications are already a juicy opportunity to profile and track users) or retaining the data and sending it off when you do OS updates. Once a company has shown willingness to go against your interest you can't really trust them. The only real solution is to use software that respects you and increasingly that means only open source software.
If a large corporation officially advertises to enterprise customers a bounded, testable claim (e.g. traffic to these IP addresses is limited to notifications), then that claim can be subject to ongoing audit by the IT teams of multiple, independent, enterprises.
Verified accountability is far superior to trust. Step 1: vendor corporation makes a bounded, testable, claim.
This question is quite ambiguous about scope and definition. In the context of Apple’s tracking protections, tracking is defined as sharing identifiable information about a customer for advertising or marketing purposes. Nothing more, nothing less. Apple could collect all the information they wanted to about you from all their various products and services, and that wouldn’t be tracking. Under this definition, data they don’t make available for advertisement targeting or attribution isn’t tracking.
This is a great point. You could probably sum up Apple’s strategy as “capture the most lucrative market through initial quality/vanity, learn more about it than anyone else, then ring-fence it and protect it.”
They aren’t a monopoly as long as you don’t consider income demographics.
I think is whole platform-holder strategy is where antitrust legislation needs a significant update. We must recognize the inherent platform lock-in and the effective monopoly over the platform even if there are other platforms that the users could theoretically switch to and regulate the platform holders accordingly. Anything else would be akin to ignoring a monopoly just because alternatives are available in a different town or country.
The linked article lists a bunch of those. Most of that bullet-point list of required or conversely prohibited behaviors apply to Apple. And all of those are justified only by self-interest.
Incidentally, that doesn't mean the alternative has to be the wild west - that's a false dichotomy. Controlling access is fine; it's simply not fine that it's the platform that holds exclusive sway, especially if the answer is "only if we're the ones providing that app."
This thread is about Apple’s privacy rules for App Store developers, and it’s not plainly obvious which items in the EU proposal enhance those protections at all, but the person I was responding to was insinuating that those protections have self-serving flaws.
Is that distinction really helpful? The App Store has _rules_ some of which relate to user privacy, and some of which are in a grey area, and some of which don't relate to user privacy. Is needing to use Apple's payment provider a privacy protection? If you squint just right it might be.
I'm sure there are some subset of app-store rules that taken by themselves, without the context of the other app-store rules are not self-serving. But that doesn't mean the rules overall are - and that's the reality that competitors need to deal with. Unlike apple, they can't change the restrictions they need to comply with. Both in actually immediate sense, and in a more meta process sense Apple has an unfair advantage they can and do exploit to extract tolls from the interactions between users and third-party providers.
The fact that some of those protections also protect user privacy to the extent the user stays in Apple's walled garden is almost akin to blackmail: rather than trying to protect the user's privacy regardless, they've tied the user's privacy to the Apple ecosystem. It's all or nothing. Would be a shame if anything happened to that privacy of yours - are you sure you want to leave our walled garden? There aren't any other curated gardens (we made sure of that!), and your device unfortunately has no way to safely and conveniently opt in to risks worth taking, so it's our way, or the wild west out there... oh, and if you really want the wild west, we'll take your hardware too, you'll need to use android, and we use obvious UI patents to ensure it's inconvenient to switch a lot.
It doesn't take an evil, machiavellian plan to end up in a situation in which the rules are so slanted in Apple's favor. All it takes are lots of tiny by themselves reasonable features - but steps that are always tested against Apple's interests, since those get a voice in the decision-making process, and rarely tested against third-party interests. It may well be that Apple was well intentioned in its privacy rules, and that those rules truly do protect the user - yet still have those rules stifle competition in a way that also harms the user down the line.
That’s not what people are saying though. Whether or not apple cares about its users is completely irrelevant. The question is whether apples incentives align with its users better than other tech companies. The answer pretty clearly seems to be yes, apple makes most of its money by selling hardware, their incentive is to make a product people enjoy. Competitors make most of their money selling ads, their incentive is to lock users in while maximizing the number and effectiveness of ads served.
All good apart from this. Apple does this magnificently, ie closed hardware protocols. For example there are significantly better earphones than airpads pro (and some cost +-same), but good luck getting same level of integration over apple's proprietary protocols.
While rest of whole universe at least tries to adhere to open things so we users have freedom in how we design & evolve our electronic setup, they have basic support for stuff like bluetooth and superb for their proprietary protocol. If some random chinese company can make seamless aptx hd integration with their buds, so can apple. But it won't.
Thunderbolt vs USB. Again whole world vs Apple. It required... who else than our sluggish EU to come up with way to end this cable madness that would otherwise continue forever. Seen enough 40 euro frayed cables for one lifetime. For me this was a one of few breaking points between Iphone 13 pro max and Samsung S22 ultra. I am currently very happy user of the latter. That's hardware lock-in like hell.
Maybe you mean Lightning vs. USB? Well, it turns out that while a whole committee was designing 15 different and confusing standards over the past 20 years, Apple designed two, and they work.
Now it's suddenly "Apple vs. the world" because the USB committee managed to spit out a semi-functional spec that ... Apple was the first to actually go full in with their desktop offerings, pissing so many people off.
Apple was involved in Thunderbolt from the beginning (and from all accounts was a major driving force for Thunderbolt in the first place) and is part of the USB-IF. The only time it lagged in adopting a new USB version was because Intel was dragging their feet for USB 3.
Some people just cannot understand that they have different strategies for desktops/laptops and mobile phones and go with “Apple walled garden bad”.
> Apple was the first to actually go full in with their desktop offerings, pissing so many people off
And also more or less designed the connector, apparently.
I think USB 3.0 being renamed into USB 3.1 Gen 1 and then into USB 3.2 Gen 1 into just so that manufacturers can market their devices with the latest USB numbers should really count as false advertising.
"They just want to be the gatekeeper for lucrative applications/functions so they can charge for it."...on the platforms that they have developed, invested in and are maintaining, which also don't hold a market majority around the world.
"...they somehow convinced apple users..."...by making a product that fits Apple users' needs in a market that always had lots of competition, meaning that those who for whatever reason didn't want to use Apple products could always pick anything else.
That's not the point.
"Anti-competitive practices are business or government practices that prevent or reduce competition in a market.". The point of me mentioning that Apple is not the market majority was to emphasize that even with their current positions, Apple isn't capable of effectively reducing competition in the market of electronic devices, as is already proven not by legislative bodies but the market.
Just because there is someone with more market share than you does not mean that your actions can't squeeze smaller players than you (or, more commonly for apple, squeeze players in adjacent markets. See: Spotify vs Apple Music).
I thought Apple was the more profitable platform however, also to develop for, which would imply that anti-competitive practices could deform the market because developers would be forced to bow to Apple since that is where the largest part of their profits would be coming from?
Considering that the definition of "anti competitive practices" is beyond stretched at this point, it's safe to say that those very practices are one of the reasons iOS is profitable for developers: they don't need to worry about piracy as much as they do on Android, because Apple learned the key lessons of phone manufacturers of the past.
Apple turning the Music Player app in Apple Music allowed them to catch a huge part of the market that had never interacted with music streaming before. Extremely anti-competitive. IMO when they did that they should have immediately been forced by the EU to instead show a pop-up that also gave the option for Spotify, Deezer, Tidal etc.
While I agree that Apple had a severe advantage in the case of Apple Music, it's also pretty clear that the advantage manifested because consumers who would otherwise be unobtainable were enticed to buy into the offering. It was an uncaptured market.
As a byproduct it does give a measure of privacy so what's it to you if apple users just don't care about your idea of freedom? I hope this European legislation at least lets apple customers opt-IN to these new features or choose the old way of doing business. I would prefer to keep access footprints to a minimum to stuff like NFC, contacts, hardware APIs, apple pay, etc on my phone.
In theory you already have the choice of opting-in by choosing not to install apps that utilize NFC, hardware APIs, other payment processors, etc.
But that's if nothing changed. My concern is that if companies are given the opportunity to have their own stores, and their own payment processors, we're going to end up with de-facto-forced-install of a store and acceptance of terms, and it favors companies that already have a strong presence in the marketplace. I might want to use WhatsApp, but now I need to install Meta's store, and I'm required to give it access to a blanket set of permissions.
And guess who doesn't have the power/influence to get you to install a custom store: The small devs, the new entrants, the challenger apps.
In the EU privacy is assured by actual legislation in the form of the GDPR, and I expect Apple can get away with demanding compliance with that set of laws before putting something in the appstore if they really worry about privacy.
And you think words on a piece of paper are going to be enough? You can't legislate privacy into existence if you're constantly broadcasting all the data yourself. It's better to not broadcast the data in the first place, but that's not the route we've chosen.
Jobs didn't want apps on the iPhone at all and later insisted on having the App Store being the only way to distribute apps.
The only reason why we attribute today's Apple as "greedy" and not Jobs-era Apple as such is because you have fonder memories of him. Also, Jobs was a master of the reality distortion field and could explain things easier than today's Apple could. But none of that changes whether or not locked down devices are anticompetitive or not, just whether or not Apple's own fans are complaining about it.
Furthermore, there are pro-consumer justifications for Apple's uncompetitive behavior. In fact, that's Apple's whole defense against the antitrust inquiries it faces: the digital warlord's walled garden is for the protection of its serfs, and if the serfs don't like it they can surrender all their property and swear fealty to another digital warlord.
People seems to equate everything that Apple are doing today originate from Jobs. And therefore every single sin ( if you call it so ) means it was also Jobs idea.
What people dont realise it was the best model at the time. While Jobs approved the iPhone 6 design ( or a "bigger screen" iPhone ), he died during the iPhone 4 era. When Apple was about to repeat the same mistakes as it did in the 80s /90s.
As if Steve made iPod to only buy or listen music on iTunes. He got rid of Music DRM, single handedly.
It's not that Wozniak wished users ill, but, for all his technical skill, there's little evidence that he had a particularly good understanding of what users wanted or needed — his post-Apple career is basically marked by flop after flop.
Now, of course, it's all different, and his blockchain surely is going to revolutionize the world: efforce.io /s
And if anybody on HN actually read Apple's Annual report every single year before the iPod even came out, they would ( or should ) have know how Apple's money or profits works very differently from Steve to Tim Cook's era.
Apple makes peanuts from the App Store relative to phone sales. After they upped the cut for developers to between 70% and 85% and CC companies still get their cut, add customer service and app reviews and it simply isn’t that profitable.
What they benefit from is selling 1,000$ phones at a 30+% profit margin, because for the average consumer they simply work better. Which actually aligns incentives between customers and Apple quite well.
Apple's App store revenue is very substantial and likely has very low overall costs and microscopic per-unit costs relative to a hardware business like iPhone or Mac. Apple paid out $45 billion to developers in 2020 with $64 billion gross, which means they had as high as $19 billion in revenue from the app store commission alone.
Unfortunately Apple doesn't break out profit per category but we know that their net income for 2020 was $58 billion . As far as I'm aware we don't know operating costs for the App store, but I think its fair to say that the portion of the ~$19 billion that is profit is far from being "peanuts".
Apple annual gross profit for 2021 was $152 billion.
That ~19B in 2020 is before CC fees on 64B or internal expenses. App stores have a lot of customer service and charge backs on relatively tiny purchases. Actually reviewing apps isn’t cheap either, and all the relevant IT adds even more expense.
Further they upped the developers cut to between 70% and 85% from the flat 70% in 2020. So sure they might make 3-5 billion from the App Store in 2021, but that’s like 2% of total profits.
Net income is, imo, a better number to use given the sheer amount of R&D that goes into developing Apple hardware that is necessary but unaccounted for in gross profit. further, if we are looking at 2021 their App Store gross revenue went to $85 billion.
> That ~19B in 2020 is before CC fees on 64B or internal expenses. App stores have a lot of customer service and charge backs on relatively tiny purchases. Actually reviewing apps isn’t cheap either, and all the relevant IT adds even more expense.
I don't disagree with any of that, but I don't think its anywhere near 2/3 of revenue after developer split. I don't have any evidence for that because Apple is very secretive about those numbers, but I think level with which they protect that information is evidence on its own. if Apple were making a piddly 3-5 billion on $65 billion in gross revenue they would be screaming it from the rooftops to (rightfully) justify their 30% cut as being reasonable.
> Further they upped the developers cut to between 70% and 85% from the flat 70% in 2020.
the app store is extremely top heavy with top devs being responsible for a huge amount of the revenue. The policy is great for small devs but the aggregate split is probably still much closer to 30% than it is to 15%.
Defending their cut based on expenses is a losing strategy because if they 2 billion dollars or 20 Billion anyone would love to have that income stream. Further stating their actual costs simply invite the idea of competition lowering prices.
Apple clearly wants to profit from the App Store, but just as important to them is maintaining the ecosystem and the mountains of cash iOS provides when change means risk.
Interesting plot twist you have there. No one at Apple ever actually said that of course but if it was true the distribution was made more expensive by preventing the use of apps on desktop computers.
However, anyone can seed from any system and that lots of people have unlimited plans and/or good wifi.
You could have a static store app with the phone manufacturer providing a feed with names, descriptions, pictures and checksums. Everything else could be distributed over a p2p network. Unpopular apps could be slow to download with the developers server having to patch holes to keep the file alive. Popular apps would have usable numbers to hint at their popularity.
Most apps need internet anyway. (Billing wouldn't be a problem.) I see a thousand pages arguing hosting for an app costs between 70 and 320 per month. I have no idea how true that is or how far apps can live from the average.
It does seem logical to assume with a reasonably smart distribution scheme p2p could also reduce that bill for somewhat more dynamic content.
I'm really impressed by how many useful and fun mobile apps were created. In the 90's I thought nothing was worth using on a mobile device. I was very wrong about that.
I now think it is equally wrong to think the 30% is not dramatically reducing interest in mobile development. Personally I wouldn't touch it with a 6 foot pole. I do web apps that are like websites, they have very limited access to the features of the device.
While I applaud these new regulations it is kinda lame it took them this long.
The near-field communication have a clear reason. Apple was only allowing access to their own banking app as a payment provider in shops. As I understand there was not even a way to get access with any kind of forms or such if you had a competing plastic card firm. That is pretty much the only reason that clause is the legislation.
> there was not even a way to get access with any kind of forms or such if you had a competing plastic card firm
What does this mean? Apple is not a payment processor. The banks sign deals with Apple put make their cards available through Apple Pay, but the payment still goes through the payment networks (visa, mastercard, amex) and the banks.
A example from Denmark would be MobilePay  which is the most use payment solution for mobiles in Denmark. They would like to make it possible to use NFC to transfer information about a transaction in shops, but cannot do that on Apple Phones. Instead they rely on QR codes and short number codes for payment.
They cannot in any way get NFC access on Apple devices as it is now.
Another and probably more relevant concrete example of the above is the Danish Dankort  which is a national equivalent of visa/mastercard/amex. Again they cannot use NFC for their app. Some banks have signed contracts that allows their users to use Dankort with Apple pay, but it is not all of them yet. I don't know if there is any fee or similar to Apple pay tbh, but if there is then NFC acces should not be monopolized by Apple.
They aren't a payment processor, they are a payment provider. You are correct that most banks have deals with Apple and thus cards are available, but Paypal, Venmo, Cashapp, Google Pay, etc. can't be used as a default payment provider for purchases on the iPhone.
Apple reportedly makes about 0.15% of each purchase through Apple Pay.
> Apps will use near-field communication technology and other mechanisms to track us
So, then do not allow any apps the NFC permission... problem solved.
The point is, Apple should not be the one dictating what users can and can not use;
Example: on macOS you can disable SIP. 99% of the people i know do not even know what SIP is, nor that this possibility exists. However, if we/Developers/researchers/etc. want it, they can choose to do as they like. Which is really useful.
Researchers should not be limited in finding (security) flaws, neither should users be limited by Apple to use their hardware as they wish.
The main problem is that users can be tricked to do it. Used to happen to my parents all the time on Android. They'd install random apps and the website will "guide" them how to install this app by going to settings and enabling "untrusted developers".
This is my issue with all these devs screaming at apple. Your customers chose a product for whatever reason. Don't like it? I don't care - respect their choices. It speaks volumes to me how much they will respect me and my privacy when they want to optimise for their own profits instead of my XP and privacy.
By that logic, Apple should only allow phone calls from callers they consider trusted, because any call originating from a non-trusted phone number may be a scam phone call, and someone may fall for it.
Do scam phone call exists? Yes. Do people fall for it? Yes. Does apple block all untrusted phone calls, with no opt-out, as a result of this? (AFAIK) No.
(I could also make the same or similar arguments for web pages, music, podcasts, books, movies, or even apps on their other OS and so on... but phone calls seemed the simplest one to present succinctly.)
That was ground already lost by the time Apple introduced a phone. Sort of like how they can’t lock down macOS in the same way. But given iOS was a fresh start they locked it down from the start so they didn’t have to claw that locked down experience back.
young children don't know any better. hell many teens don't. older people get dementia and go senile. Not everyone is tech savvy.
And selfishly I don't want to have to continually be on guard with my phone and worry about "making mistakes". Don't go forcing your world view on a product i have selected in large part because of the restrictions it places on developers, especially when you have the larger android ecosystem giving you it.
The problem is the older, senile or tech illiterate folk who can be coached into disable the blocks and installing spyware. You don't like it buy an android its literally that easy to avoid if you want the freedom.
that doesn't help the tech illiterate or senile parents who can be coached into disabling it to install spyware. And right now you can just not buy an apple device and have your choice while the rest of us can continue buying apple for our parents: win-win.
You can already restrict apps with a unique passcode today. Will work for senile parents or children.
However, as a sane, functioning adult, I don't have my choice on the iOS platform - I cannot use native Firefox. I cannot make my apps without paying the Apple dev tax. I cannot distribute to my circle.
People are easy to manipulate at scale. The idea that people are rational agents who can make educated decisions as consumers is deeply flawed. Yes, people _can_ make educated decisions, but more often than not, they don't have the requisite knowledge to make an informed decision. Letting those consumers get scammed because they aren't technical enough isn't a good solution to complicated problems.
With the same logic, setting sane defaults and putting “dangerous” options behind enough GUI options will give you the best of both - no (statistically) people will be motivated enough to press n menus deep for a setting, while the few that want full access to a very expensive device they supposedly own get to use it to its max.
Letting people decide what permissions on their apps is the middle ground.
The extremes are letting Apple decide what you can and can't run on your phone, or letting apps decide what you can or can't run on your phone.
That some people are too ignorant to set phone permissions is their problem. We still sell sharp knives even though people cut themselves all the time. Demanding Apple protect us is the digital equivalent of banning anything sharper than a butter knife.
> Can us common people get to decide what the common good is, or is that exclusively your choice?
This legislation is the result of democratic process - i.e. decided by the "common people", if indirectly.
> let the greater populace decide that by choosing that product
"The only legitimate power citizens have is that of consumers, not voters." - shall we also decide to only buy from companies that don't use child labor, and don't put toxic chemicals in food, and don't pollute, or are those areas something where legislation is legitimate, while reigning in anti-competitive practices for some reason is not okay?
> This legislation is the result of democratic process - i.e. decided by the "common people", if indirectly.
Do you know that for a fact? The EU is famously opaque to its voters. What is being done in the name of the voters is likely for the most part entirely unknown to said voters. Very likely many more EU citizens have “voted” on this issue in a more direct fashion by buying Apple products. Should we disregard their opinion in favour of the opinion of a few bureaucrats four levels removed from the common people?
> shall we also decide to only buy from companies that don't use child labor, and don't put toxic chemicals in food, and don't pollute, or are those areas something where legislation is legitimate, while reigning in anti-competitive practices for some reason is not okay?
Ehr, yes? Shouldn’t we decide to avoid bad companies? Reminder that this subthread is about not infantilising people. I do believe people make such choices all the time, to avoid child labour and what not. What’s more democratic than a vast majority of people making such choices without coercion?
> Very likely many more EU citizens have “voted” on this issue in a more direct fashion by buying Apple products.
Can you honestly tell what exactly they voted on? I voted for the good hardware and privacy-aligned actions, which did overcome their closed, proprietary-only software’s problems. By your logic, my vote should count towards the latter as a goal.
I can’t tell what the buyers of Apple products voted for exactly, but neither can you tell me what EU voters voted for when choosing their rep.
I mean here we have a law proposed by an unelected body (the European Commission), now being ratified by the European Parliament. The EP is elected (with ~50% turnout) but decides numerous issues (thousands? Tens of thousands?) in an election cycle. When voters elected their representatives how much thought did they spare to walled garden app stores?
Although both are indirect expressions of opinion, buying an Apple product seems to be a clearer endorsement for their model than voting in EU elections by a long shot.
Not sure if it is comparable. If the EU would ban Apple products than sure, but regulating the platform should not be only an Apple-issue. These private companies are so big that they have considerable impact on the public, so I think it is only fair that the public gets a say as well (in the form of indirect democracy, as we don’t have better).
> Censorship is something governments do, not private companies selling an optional product.
Since when? Private companies have exceedingly large powers and they are not chosen in a democratic manner by people at all. Apple could on a whim cut me off from most of my data or impersonate me, facebook feeds false information to whole countries, swaying public opinion.
At least most governments are more-or-less democratically elected.
This is why I've bought my mother in law and my mother (both retirement age) an iPhone SE.
Zero support calls since then. I don't have to worry about them installing some spyware crap on their phone, Apple is taking care of that. All I actually need to do is to educate them not to click on any link in any message, email or SMS. And not to buy anything over the phone.
> As an end user, the things that give developers maximum freedom are not necessarily the things that let me use my device with maximum freedom.
From the article's list, even the ones that are described with "allow users to" are firmly aligned with 3rd party developer's best interests, not aligned with the end user's best interest. There was once a time when these were roughly the same, but I don't think anyone can agree this is true anymore. It's gotten so bad that I'd guess that the platform owners' interests are more closely aligned with the end user's interests than 3rd party developers. It's more of a triangle though with nobody's best interests aligned.
> I personally like knowing that Facebook can't ask people to sideload some privacy destroying crap on iOS).
No company like Facebook requires app side loading on Android. The side-loading is used for other apps that one way or another couldn't be on Play Store. For example other stores (F-Droid is the most popular with open source applications) or other apps that one way or another are not allowed in the store.
Another example is GPSLogger, Play Store makes it very difficult to support older versions or Android. Author got frustrated and just moved to alternative store.
Smartphones would be far more useful devices and we would have a far healthier software landscape if developers could just access these features and deploy software as is. It is the official provisioned apps through proprietary stores that track users far more than apps you can download and install on other systems. Apple would deny this but they have a clear business incentive here.
Sure, the user would have the responsibility again but it is easy to explain to them that they shouldn't do anything they have no idea about.
> As an end user, the things that give developers maximum freedom are not necessarily the things that let me use my device with maximum freedom.
No, that is usually untrue and the distinction is arbitrary. The exception is malicious software perhaps but this is an edge case. But even with that the user can choose to just don't install software he doesn't know. You can be pretty sure the average FOSS device will track you far less than Apple or Google alternatives and it is not even close on pretty much all metrics. You also don't need to play administrator if you don't want to.
What tracks you is the random H&M app that has access to bluetooth you got provision through the app store.
All that already exists on Android and the negatives didn't happen (with modern android versions), on the contrary. My phone supports multiple payment vendors using nfc. I can have Tasker do magic with my phone etc.
Why not just have EU draw up specs on a phone that apple and android phone companies have to adhere to. Why allow any variance at all? Surely a one size fits everything approach would be best for the consumer, and designed by the EU government brain trust it would surely be the best?
> Simply only use the Apple app store and you will have the same phone you had before.
That's not really true. Apps you need and currently use may well be moved from the Apple app store.
For example WhatsApp. Some people have to use it, not because they want to. Some have to use it for work. One day they may have to install the Meta app store to get WhatsApp, and agree to permissions and access to their personal data that they don't like at all, because there will be no gatekeeping pressure from Apple on WhatsApp to not do that.
Maybe Chrome, the world's only browser by then that most sites are tested on, will require the Google app store with special advertisement and behaviour influencing hooks enabled. Don't like them? No Chrome for you and your banking website doesn't work on your phone.
Maybe the banking apps will move to SecurTrust Special Banking App Store With Device Verify(tm) too.
> Apps you need and currently use may well be moved from the Apple app store
This is isn't the case on Android.
> For example WhatsApp. Some people have to use it, not because they want to.
That's already a separate problem and hopefully also one that the EU will address. Imagine if to call someone you'd have to sign up with the same provider as them. That we allow this kind of mess in the the software world is pure insanity.
Legislation is simply lagging behind technology but that is an argument for updating legislation to deal with the modern world, not for letting a private company play judge, jury and executioner.
> Some have to use it for work. One day they may have to install the Meta app store to get WhatsApp, and agree to permissions and access to their personal data that they don't like at all, because there will be no gatekeeping pressure from Apple on WhatsApp to not do that.
If your work requires you to install something on your private phone that is not completely isolated than that should also be regulated. If its on a work phone then your work should be interested in restricting what the app can do.
No, because apps will be moved to other stores with less strict guidelines on permissions. Meta will for sure do it. They mentioned Apple as a major reason for their poor financial performance, after Apple introduced further restrictions on what they can and can't do. They've also been caught red handed before, and had their enterprise developer account disabled for abusing it to do things they weren't allowed to on end user phones.
And why Apple should be the arbiter of truth in the question? They are free to make the UX for enabling side-loading as inconvenient as they want (I haven’t heard anyone accidentally unlocking dev mode on Android for example), and presumably Facebook is not big enough to overcome that burden, effectively still forcing them to play by Apple’s rules. But why should everyone do so?
No, a device I bought from them is very much not their hardware, but mine, I should do as I please with it.
And can we just stop this “you can buy android” bullshit? 2 is not a choice, and there are fundamental reasons why a 3rd competitor can’t exist right now, so competition can’t produce a better product, hence we are left with market regulation by governments to not let this oligopoly get away with everything.
> No, a device I bought from them is very much not their hardware, but mine, I should do as I please with it.
This argument falls apart when the “device” in question is a car or PlayStation though? You most certainly cannot do whatever you please with a car for obvious reasons. You most certainly cannot install any game on a PlayStation unless Sony approves it.
More importantly, the pov you hold is a ableist attitude. A device that controls your communications (either to your bosses at work or loved ones at home) or that deals with your financial or health data can become a treasure trove to exploit among less tech savvy users.
A device a “less tech savvy user can do what they please” with is exactly the device that a mobile repair person in a store can convince the user to install BigEvil’s browser because BigEvil pays a commission to that repair person. Or that’s exactly the device the police or immigration customs agents can install spyware as a part of a “security check”.
Tech savvy users can do whatever they please with their devices. Feel free to jailbreak it and forgo any right to future software updates. After all, once you buy it — the device is yours. But you have no right to expect to receive continued support and features in the form of future software updates.
If apple has to drill holes in their hardware/software API for sideloaders, it is not the same. Known CCP agents like tiktok would love to sneak around any "securty/sandbox" and have more opportunities for attack.
> Allow developers to integrate their apps and digital services directly with those belonging to a gatekeeper. This includes making messaging, voice-calling, and video-calling services interoperable with third-party services upon request.
I would think this requirement is satisfied merely by providing a public API / protocol documentation for your protocol, to allow for third-party access and integration, not some weird backend integration that everyone has to support. This would have effects on business models of running chat services for free and it would have an effect on how they handle spam and abuse, but I honestly think both of these changes are likely to be for the better...
Now, I (importantly) have NOT read the actual law text yet, but given the high-level summaries I feel like a lot of people have been worried about this over nothing: having the ability to write a third-party iMessage client would ALLOW someone to build a server-mediated client for it, but I think that SHOULD be allowed, I don't think that in any way destroys the ability to create or use end-to-end clients and services, it would also allow people to build alternative e2e clients and even integrations (imagine a Samsung Android device shipping with iMessage support in their local client) without hurting the existence of end-to-end encryption.
My take on this is that they want iOS to integrate RCS directly into Messages, given tons of other features are already widely supported by the os . Google Messages (runs on top of RCS) currently only provides encryption when both sides are using Google Messages, so unless Apple and Google create a unified standard it won't be E2EE.
If Signal is forced to interoperate with e.g. WhatsApp, the end-to-end encryption of one or both will have to be compromised. If the integration is forced, then there’s no barrier for either app grabbing all the info from the other in plain-text.
> Facebook can't ask people to sideload some privacy destroying crap on iOS
That is arguably the responsibility of the OS and the user. Lots of ways to do that. Examples: Network, no network access unless use gives permission. App manifest lists up to 10 domains or "all". If "all", user is prompted "App would like to access entire network Y/N"?
What else is there? Camera access? Camera can be multiple permissions (a) User gives app full access (b) User gives app access only when app is active (c) User doesn't give access. Note: iOS already does a good job at this. I don't give the Messenger app access to my camera, nor do I give it direct access to photos, only selected ones.
Same with NFC etc. I'm guessing Apple will come up with clever ways to allow the user to limit access.
Bluetooth, no idea what they do here and I don't know bluetooth but I'd just guess devices have ids and the OS could require an app to list a limited id filter so an app can only talk to devices built for that app unless the user gives blanket permission
I suppose FB can put an app on another store that doesn't run without full access. If user says "no" then app says "can't run". That's fine. I won't run it. Individual stores are still allowed to enforce their own rules. I can't imagine Apple's store to not be the dominate store and therefore apps from it will be safer. (Unless someone steps up to make an even safer store ;)
I haven't read the DMA/DSA, so if this is actually written out in them then I'll happily be corrected here.
The way I see it, the EU probably doesn't really care if Apple keep ALL the restrictions they currently have on their App Store in actuality, as long as options exist on the platform.
So the solution to allowing access to NFC hardware will probably just be Apple opening up sideloading.
I personally hope that Apple implements sideloading in a way that allows those who don't want to use it to keep their device secure, and I'm confident they will.
Regarding the messaging platforms, I'm pretty sure the EU are not going to push us into a situation where E2E is broken, in fact, I was under the impression that the bills specifically required that E2E be maintained.
I'm worried that apps that does not honor user's privacy would just leave App Store and have users sideload their app. Sometimes users have very little choice about whether or not to use certain phenomenal IM/social apps since everyone is using them and it would be a problem if they can now force user to sideload their unrestricted/unaudited version.
Some might try this move, but my guess is that sideloading will involve enough friction that user retention will drop and developers will be heavily disincentivized from relying on it for distribution. In particular I expect that every update will require user action to re-install the new version of every sideloaded app, which is the reason most developers don't go that route on Android today.
Funnily enough that's exactly the reason why Epic sued Google - having to confirm every update and install through a scary dialog box was too anti-competitive for them.
Google responded by... actually, adding entirely new APIs in Android for sideloaded app stores to be able to update already-approved applications without extra permissions or approval. In fact, they even distinguish between "sideloaded app" and "installed app from a sideloaded app store" for security-sensitive things like custom accessibility handlers.
This still doesn't moot all of Epic's case, though. They want you to be able to download Epic Games Store from Google Play - i.e. no scary warnings or anything, just Google giving Epic a blanket sign-off on everything they sign off on. I'm not sure how I feel about this - it reminds me of the total and utter mess that was and is selling SSL certs to competing certificate authorities.
I absolutely agree, and I don't even fault Apple for trying to stop their shenanigans. I just want Apple to lose for entirely unrelated reasons from Epic's own nonsense.
Related note: Facebook's platform fees in their little VR chat thing are actually way worse than Apple's.
As far as I can tell or care, most tech companies that have anything resembling a platform inevitably try to suck the life out of it and kill it. Apple is unique in that they've carefully calculated and balanced how much money they can extract out of developers, but they're still playing the same digital warlord game that I would much rather do without.
 Horizon Worlds, I think? IDK it sounds like the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn
Maybe Apple will lift some of the App Store restrictions for Europe in order to reduce the need for sideloading. They certainly don’t want their customers to become used to sideloading all the time and stop primarily using the App Store.
It would indeed be bad if the requirement were to scream YOLO and allow all apps to always access potentially privacy eroding features like NFC. But surely the proposal isn't that - is it? If it's merely that the OS be required to be _allow_ NFC features just as it does for first-party apps, what's the risk exactly here?
I think these kind of special permission requests work at least sort of reasonably on web-browsers, and less brilliantly but acceptably on android. Yes, users will need to think before clicking OK, but the way those dialogs often work (and surely can work) means that they're no longer conveniently able to throw up take-it-or-leave-it modal dialogs. It's at least a little better than the nonsense that is an EULA.
But the real critical issue here is that we should not let ourselves be held hostage by apple. Yes, apple hasn't made it _at all_ easy to secure third party access to potentially privileged functionality. But... that's their _choice._ They choose to make a really high first-party moat, because that's convenient for them. But the alternative isn't throwing users to the wolves, it's actually thinking about how to limit access securely even while delegating access. If we have to wait until big tech decides to do that out of the goodness of their heart... we'll die waiting.
I think (and hope) the platform will still be allowed to pop up a “do you want to give this app permission to do Foo?” dialog, as long as it does so the same for all apps, independent of developer or app store it was downloaded from.
I also would hope the platform can still restrict browsers in what they can do, as long as that’s applied uniformly across all browsers, but I’m less certain about that.
Interoperability means that hardware and hardware related OS capabilities have to be accessible to third-party developers. End to end encryption isn't a hardware capability, it's software. Also, they only have to give them a mechanism to access it, they don't have to remove the already existing security mechanisms like notifying the user that an app has requested access to things user contacts or bluetooth. If users don't want to grant an app permissions that's not the fault of the platform developer.
There is nothing in this article which would prohibit the gatekeepers to extensively warn the user when accessing these features. Apple had tons of trust from its users. They can just say that this third party usage is dangerous one the first time and re - reporting bad usage later.
>Apps will use near-field communication technology and other mechanisms to track us
Ok, well, the EU mandates opening up this tech to apps, some apps then violate GDPR in various ways leading to big fines for those apps.
Now someone is going to say fines with GDPR have not been big enough, but I think they are slowly increasing (because really that is typical gov. policy, don't go in with big fines, start small, and later when hitting big you can say but we have been very reasonable), and also, just maybe the fines for people moving into a new field with predatory tracking from the get-go will get the big fines and be shut down quick.
No, they don't just "Find an obscure setting". A website tells them exactly where to look, exactly what to do, and they have motive to do it because they want whatever this app is promising. These kinds of scams are all over the place.
Open up your browser's developer console while on Facebook and you'll see FB's desperate attempt to get you to not start typing in commands.
How many Linux users run arbitrary shell commands they find online while trying to fix or install something? What about some curl command somewhere that downloads and executes whole scripts? And Linux users tend to be very technically oriented.
This is not FUD. We're there. This is happening today.
And it can happen today as well via a website. That’s why some countries mandate two-factor authentication for example, which is a proper solution, not this “let’s sell overpriced tamagotchis” security theater.
This works for me. I trust Apple a lot more than I trust some third party rando and I enjoyed watching Facebook whine about losing data tracking revenues and whiplash into Meta on their way to more people discovering that the world can live without them.
The concern is not a voided warranty. The concern is tech-illiterate users being able to install some random app they found on the web. They find a special version of Facebook and install it, and now their phone is compromised.
I saw a friend go through all the motions of sideloading an apk of a fake DHL app he got through a 'track your delivery' fishing email. He did the whole thing while complaining about 'How stupid DHL is', and 'How orwellian it is' for DHL to ask for screen record permission ...
The solution to that is teaching tech illiterate people not to do that. At some point you have to accept the reality that not every advanced system can be made safe. The approach to not have advanced systems is not sustainable. You end up with Candy Crush OS that negatively affects everyone. In my opinion people get scammed by that too.
In reality Apple could just implement a dummy mode. I bet a lot of people would decide against that an be completely fine.
They didn't back out on these: They were forced to give them up in the Netherlands. And then, when South Korea passed a similar law... Apple has announced the same tricks the Netherlands refused to accept as their plan to comply with the South Korean law.
You can bet they'll start playing the same games with the EU once this goes into effect. Regulating big tech requires not just passing the law, but a heavy handed enforcement that doesn't put up with delays and antics.
Yes, but there's few entities out there actually enforcing these kinds of laws. For example, if you ever use the manufacturer-sanctioned bootloader unlock on a Samsung phone, that blows a fuse in the phone that says "my warranty is void". Samsung refuses to service phones that have ever had their bootloaders unlocked, regardless of what was actually done to them. As far as I'm aware nobody has bothered to sue Samsung over this feature.
This had me thinking. This might be a weird take, but if nobody was bothered enough to file an official complaint against Samsung, and have it reviewed and pushed through the process, is it a significant issue in the first place ?
(Basically, I am making a "if a tree falls in a forest" argument)
Definitely -- I can imagine them making it some kind of faustian bargain, where in exchange for enabling sideloading, you void your warranty, never get any software updates again, can't connect to any Apple online services whatsoever, etc.
Tech companies seem to believe that it is a neat trick to mislead regulators, in my opinion this is a serious mistake: regulators hold the power to destroy you and playing 'clever' may give you bragging rights but ultimately it can doom your company. Underestimating the power of nation states is a pretty dumb strategy for any company that relies on the cooperation of the countries they intend to do business with.
You know the walled garden is put up with good reason -- to keep fraud and abuse out? And that very few are actually capable of doing such a job, and the software industry has continually demonstrated the lack of that capability.
The impact is: far fewer data breaches in the EU than before, fewer of them wiped under the carpet, security no longer seen as a cost but as an important element in the IT strategy and with a seat at the table during design, operation and decommission (and in many cases: at the C level). On the whole the change has been remarkable, the last four years have seen a sea change in how corporations look at data, security and compliance.
If all you associate with the GDPR is cookie consent dialogs then maybe these discussions are not for you?
That all sounds pretty rosy, and my BS-meter is pegged. I think it's just as likely that the corporations have figured out how to skirt the law and get everything they wanted anyway.
> If all you associate with the GDPR is cookie consent dialogs then maybe these discussions are not for you?
You realize that you are the unique one? Most people don't care about abstract concepts of digital privacy and just hit whatever button on that dialog that makes it go away. Who knows what they're opting in to, and they don't really care.
These are definitely the sorts of things we should factor into regulation lest we continue to pave that road to hell with shiny good intentions.
> > If all you associate with the GDPR is cookie consent dialogs then maybe these discussions are not for you?
> You realize that you are the unique one? Most people don't care about abstract concepts of digital privacy and just hit whatever button on that dialog that makes it go away. Who knows what they're opting in to, and they don't really care.
His point just went straight over your head. GDPR has nothing to do with cookie consent dialogues. That you think otherwise demonstrates that you don't know much about this topic, hence: "maybe these discussions are not for you?"
Incidentally, in my observation cookie consent dialogues is a pet peeve of people on forums like this, but not with the general public. It's something techies bitch about.
Apple's greed (in maintaining the egregious 30% commission for so long) is going to undermine their entire ecosystem.
If Apple moved voluntarily to 10% or 15% for all, there never would have been the industry pressure for this sort of regulation.
The EU would have been better to just mandate a maximum % commission for all digital marketplaces above a certain level of revenue. This new solution will get poked full of holes by Apple and lead to an inferior experience for consumers.
This is what beats the heck outta me. A company that is sitting on nearly 150B in cash somehow feels the need to pinch 30% commissions from developers till date. I understand this as an initial business model. I mean a 15% reduction in app revenues is not even a rounding error in Apple's P&L. What the hell are they thinking. The goodwill that they'd earn from devs will go a long long way and if they signal that their share will eventually go to zero over a period of 10+ years, that'll get more devs to embrace iOS. I fail to understand the current leadership at Apple.
So the people that can make the company more successful are sales and marketing people, and they end up running the companies. And the product people get driven out of the decision making forums, and the companies forget what it means to make great products. The product sensibility and the product genius that brought them to that monopolistic position gets rotted out by people running these companies that have no conception of a good product versus a bad product.
They have no conception of the craftsmanship that's required to take a good idea and turn it into a good product. And they really have no feeling in their hearts, usually, about wanting to really help the customers.
They are there to earn money for their share holders (which to be clear isn't just rich people, it's pensions including pensions for fire departments etc). They must act in their share holders interests. Cutting their fees with no justifiable reason is not something they are going to do.
There's no conspiracy, companies are there to make money, that's it.
I see this, and it just makes me think that if they had, we'd be seeing posts that say, "Apple's greed (in maintaining the egregious 10% commission for so long) is going to undermine their entire ecosystem. If Apple moved voluntarily to 5% or 3% for all, ...".
30% is almost 1/3 of the app price! It is higher than income tax in most countries. It is stealing money from developers because their app is not successful due to being released on App Store, it is successful because it is a great product and people would buy it on whatever store it would be available. Developers were just unable to publish it in another store or use a different payment processor with lower fees.
The scale of the App Store, or iphone-vs-android in general, or even other markets such as semiconductor lithography - is just so mind-bogglingly massive in scale and cost, that the entire human race only has one or two entrants. It's not currently possible for new entrants to break in at all. Competition is simply non-existent.
If the barriers-to-entry are so high that you can't have real market competition, then regulation is the only option left.
Is "the market" going to magically provide all the substantial benefits of an Apple-run store for apps, too?
No. It's not. "The market" is going to say: sorry users, fuck that, y'all can just magically research all this and provide your own security and privacy from here on out.
Which is impossible, of course.
Result: much poorer user experience for the vast majority of users. Which is why Apple did it their way in the first place. No, it was not because of revenue. Anyone who says that is either lying or is incredibly lazy and hasn't looked up where Apple actually makes its money.
> The devices and platforms help Apple lock-in the consumer into its ecosystem. First, Apple achieves hardware lock-in with the devices. Then, it achieves software lock-in with operating system software, application software, and third-party software and apps. Then, iCloud helps Apple achieve the data lock-in.
Let's say Apple pockets all 30% as profit. Who is to say Apple should or shouldn't profit that much from the App Store? Who decides how much they should profit? I find the discussion around commissions shallow and entitled. We should discuss the fundamentals: market definition, competition, abuse of power, etc.
PS: In case I couldn't make it clear, my questions are not directed to parent comment.
> Let's say Apple pockets all 30% as profit. Who is to say Apple should or shouldn't profit that much from the App Store?
All of us. The very same society that gave Apple exclusive control over their "intellectual property" in the first place which allows them to pocket that profit without having to compete for it. The same society that pays for enforcing that exclusivity. Corporations like Apple and their business models are only allowed to exist because we think that suits us - and we should continuously reevaluate that decision and correct it when corporations do more harm than good.
I don't think Apple rests on any intellectual property or exclusivity rights in regard to App Store, but I agree with the general idea that society should be free to exercise its right to change course. Still, I don't think it's right to decide to use this right based on a company's gross margin. The decision should be based on society's fundamental goals.
We already have rules about how much control a single company can have over a market and what defines a market. The app store is clearly a market. Apple has an aggressive chokehold on it that artificially inflates prices and prevents competition.
As an obvious check - Amazon can't sell me ebooks through it's kindle app without Apple being involved and taking a 30% cut. That is market control and abuse.
Let's say you want to build a direct competitor to an Apple product. You can't because Apple actually won't let you do the things it's apps do if you want to be listed in the store. That's called market abuse.
But they're not billing on the basis of how much it technically costs them to provide these services. If we had a competitive ecosystem then we would expect Apple's prices for payment processing to be at least within an order of magnitude of (for example) Stripe's.
Of course security screening is expensive, but it's also not that expensive (e.g. a typical software company might have a 10-30% profit margin, so in some cases apple accounts for roughly half the operational expenses of a company – i.e. the company pays as much, or more, money to apple as it does to its entire payroll)
If iPhones had different app stores with 15% fees, then consumers would decide. I think the real issue here is consumers are gona get hyper confused and it wont be a better experience for anyone.
Every single app creator out there will now want their own "app store" and it's going to be a mess. 30% fee initially to capture that market was what our company factored in and grew exponentially with. A 15% fee is nothing if the market is fragmented.
> Every single app creator out there will now want their own "app store" and it's going to be a mess.
This is such an oft-repeated argument, yet overlooks that Android already allows sideloading and alternative app stores. If everyone-creating-their-own-app-store hasn't happened on Android, why would iOS be different?
1) Completely false for uBlock Origin; zero relationship
2) It's fully open-source so the above is verifiable
3) AdGuard and every single other (proprietary) adblocker for Mac and iOS includes content blockers, but also includes web extensions that request access to "all web page contents", including credit card numbers you type in, allegedly for the purposes of custom element blocking etc. (not open source, we can't check). Try installing it and see. Apple still allows web extensions that have complete access to all webpage contents (which is necessary for many legit extensions), they just block specific WebExtensions APIs that uBlock Origin requires. Literally zero benefit to privacy whatsoever, yet everyone buys the BS.
> You do understand that uBlock Origin has private, profit-generating relationships with advertisers.
That's uBlock without Origin. Careful where you download your ad blockers from.
Edit: I'd also love a DaisyDisk that works on iOS. It will never get permission to get on the app store. Of course, that kind of app IS a huge security issue so I'd be very careful where I get it from.
In addition to everything the others mentioned already, anything that's not a web browser that might at some point show NSFW content. Applications like Discord and Tumblr been forced to make ux-degrading changes to comply with this Victorian-era prudishness.
(and before you mention an application you know of that doesn't have this problem, remember that Apple's enforcement and reading of the rules compares unfavorably with nuclear particle decay)
Haha speaking of Apple stuff being Disney-ified, my phone stopped charging wirelessly. The solution to that is to restart it, but Apple hid that option under 3 layers of menus and I can never find it, so I asked Siri to "turn off this f--ing phone". She said "That's not nice" and did not turn off the phone.
And we would never have all the innovations in the market that Steam has brought to us if windows only allowed game installs through some Microsoft Games Market. Are you saying that would be preferable?
More likely, some apps will simply bypass the whole app store concept entirely. There are a lot of downsides to requiring every app install be intermediated by a third party, especially for internal or very niche apps where the app store isn't really adding any value because the provider is a trusted/known brand to the customer already (e.g. they may have a negotiated contract).
For consumer apps, there doesn't seem to be much appetite to do this on Android at least, though Telegram can be installed outside of app stores. It rolls its own update system and that seems to work fine.
Unfortunately, the App Stores tend to bundle both the store (i.e. curation and discovery) part and the on device package management part somewhat so apps installed outside the store will need to provide their own update mechanism. There is of course no real reason why there can't be a standard way to provide update channels that can be managed in a central package manager application without also requiring the store part, just so far no incentives for platform holders to separate these two.
And AFAIK Apple charges 15% if you earn less than a million in your net revenue, yet noone mentions that. Which, by the way, could be considered a sweetheart deal of its own, just like Steams tiered system. As for the Switch it's still 30% and to the developer it doesn't matter whether there's 5 percent going to the customer or not.
Apple only made that change after incredible pushback from their community, and it still doesn't address the real problem: Apple could be charging 2% and they would still have a monopoly on app distribution that deserves to be broken up. Steam isn't comparable, since it charges that 30% fee and competes against other distributors. Despite that, developers continue to choose Steam over alternative platforms like Itch.io or EGS. Likewise, Apple is free to charge whatever they want for their app store, they just need to compete with other service providers to ensure they're providing a fair deal.
Someone needs a tutorial on what "monopoly" means.
Controlling app distribution solely within your own platform is not a monopoly. You might wish it were. You might not like it; you might want it changed. But that doesn't magically mean you can call it a monopoly. It's not a monopoly.
If you open a market in the city, prevent any others from opening a market in the city, force all sellers to pay 10-30% to you, force all product makers to comply to your dictates about what can be sold or get kicked out then it's an effective and abusive monopoly.
Thankfully the EU in their wisdom has decided that Apple has abused their dominant position and we don't need to agree with your definition.
Except iOS devices aren't "markets in the city". It's a good thing that you decided to pick that as an example for this comparison (even though it's a bad example) as you have (on accident, i presume) contradicted yourself in a spectacular way. See, the aformentioned market is in...well, "the city" and chances are that that market is regulated by the city council/county laws/the laws of the country the market is in. The city provides infrastructure for the market as well as customers, perhaps some advertising...you get the idea. Hm, it seems that in that relationship, while AppStore is sure a market, the city that the market belongs to is...Apple? Whoops.
I hope that the wise EU is also going to decide that European car manufacturers and their infotainment systems are "abusing" their dominant position in their respective markets of manufacturer and model specific systems! Or that non-European companies should be able to provide "alternative software" to multi-billion euro manufacturing lines of European mega-manufacturers with the same disregard for any potential consequences, just to avoid any sort of "anti-consumer" behaviour. I sure hope so!!!(couldn't care less)
It originates from publishers. When Amazon was pressuring all the publishers to sell cheaper e-book versions for their Kindle, they were aggressively cutting prices to win consumers from competition. They'd then use their classic "70% of your purchases come through us, so lower your prices for Amazon or we will cut you from our store" to get more profits. The publishers obviously hated this, and especially seeing the brand damage of their brand new flagship type books on sale since it made them seem like they were in the bargain bin for not selling well. Since Amazon was a reseller, they could do whatever they wanted with the pricing.
Apple came in as a "savior" for the publishers and said that the publishers can set their own prices and take as much profit as they wanted... just as long as Apple got 30%. This 30% originally came from the music publishing industry (where they did set the price themselves, remember $0.99 songs?), went through books and now has been legacy'd onto apps. If nothing changes here it'll probably exist for metaverse stuff if they go there.
Steam's commision has also been (IMO rightfully) criticised but the situation is hardly the same because Steam doesn't (and can't) prevent other stores or direct app installations on the platforms it runs on so that 30% is much more justifiable as something the "free" market is willing to pay for the services Steam provides. Apple on the other hand doesn't even let anyone compete.
(Of course, Steam still greatly benefits from first mover advantage and network effects that IMO mean they should also be subject to more regulation, including being required to support alternate clients for all Steam services as well as federation for their social network and communication channels.)
They can't, because the platform it runs on doesn't belong to anyone in particular. It's absolutely not the same situation that Apple/console makers have.
No they shouldn't. Steam wasn't the first in digital distribution of videogames as some consoles offered similar system way before Steam. An argument can be made that "on demand" gaming options of the past can be considered the Steam of the past. And enforcing regulations for no reasons other than regulating on companies that are widely recognized as pioneers of their respective industries is the very definition of "punishing success".
Are you just reading the summary? It does force them to allow 3rd party apps and app stores too:
>A covered company that controls the operating system or operating system configuration on which its app store operates shall allow and provide readily accessible means for users of that operating system to choose third-party apps or app stores as defaults for categories appropriate to the app or app store
Remember that App Store revenue is also generated in the EU.
Let's assume that 15% of App Store revenue is from the EU. That would leave an additional $12.7 billion hole in Apple's pocket.
Worse, it would mean Apple's third-party developers lose about $30 billion in revenue. (Apple takes a 30% cut, so the total App Store sales volume is about $283B). Those developers would also lose all access to their existing users in those countries. It would be a massive black stain on Apple's reputation.
It's the kind of drastic move that you simply can't do as a platform provider unless your hand is absolutely forced by something like international sanctions.
And more importantly it would further erode their market share. It would be an absolutely insane move.
Much more likely they'll go the route of malicious compliance. You can side load apps but you can't add them to your home screen. You can set a third party voice assistant but it can't launch apps. Etc.
Will be very interesting to see how this plays out!
This would be very consistent with their prior actions. Apple's "opening move" with prior rulings and laws on in-app payment processing has been to require separate binaries locked to specific jurisdictions. The company genuinely believes that competition is consumer-hostile at best and outright dangerous at worst.
The question is, how far will Apple go to keep Americans from turning on "EU mode"? Will it just be the usual country toggle? Will sideloaded apps be geofenced to the EU with Location Services? Or will they start adding bootloader fuses for each jurisdiction so that you can't install the "EU sideloading firmware" on US-purchased iPads? Or all of the above? I hope the EU is ready to litigate whatever hoops Apple makes people jump through - because Apple loves inventing new hoops.
If by market leader you mean creating monopolies, or oligopolies, there are rules againstt that in place. So there seems to be some concensus of seeing those outcomes as non desireable. And those rules cover consumer protection and choice, Microsoft has some experience with that when it comes to Internet Explorer.
i foresee a fiasco in general, but a few stand out:
> Share data and metrics with developers and competitors, including marketing and advertising performance data.
with competitors? :))
> Allow developers to integrate their apps and digital services directly with those belonging to a gatekeeper. This includes making messaging, voice-calling, and video-calling services interoperable with third-party services upon request.
could have been solved easily if they proposed a working group to come up with the next video and messaging standard. right now i foresee the discussions we had back in mid 00s: we use our own video encoder. they use h263. and those other guys use vp9. good luck to the team writing a transcoder that works real time :))
> The Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires platforms to do more to police the internet for illegal content, has also been approved.
I don’t see why you are surprised by the sharing with competitors and the obligation of interoperability. That’s in line with what’s imposed on dominant player in an unbalanced market. Basically Europe is saying to gatekeepers that they can keep their platform but it will come with a lot of caveat from now on.
Asking for data sharing without specifying exactly which data is included and exactly which data is exempt is ridiculous. The standard for laws need to be far higher. Which metrics? Which data? If the lawmakers mean all data they are going to discover very quickly a lot of that data is subject to privacy standards. You can't for example share the data you use to train a personal assistant without sharing queries people have made of that assistant.
Oh please. Are any of these billion-dollar companies going to deliberately issue malware that allows them to record my passwords and empty my bank account? Side-loading will be a huge gift for scammers.
It doesn't. The parent premise - that Apple is going to be severely harmed financially by any of this - is something far beyond silly.
Apple will barely see a dent from it. Their profit juggernaut will keep rolling on almost exactly the same.
The parent comment in question - "and eat pretty heavily into their revenues" - is confusing their personal projected wishful thinking (obviously desperately wanting big tech to falter) with actual reality (the one where Apple has no serious competitive threats in smartphones for what they do, and as such they'll keep marching on just the same).
Apple clearly does have serious competitive threats to what they do, it doesn't even have majority market share in the EU. But it also won't threaten their revenues much. On platforms where users and developers do have a choice from day one (Android), the app store is sufficiently useful that most devs do choose to stick with it. It seems unlikely that Apple can't make the app store competitive on its own terms.
That would be a strategic mistake even if it made short-term sense (which it probably doesn't) because it would leave a big hole for to fill that could be leveraged to compete with them later in the US.
They still (rightfully, IMO) can charge third parties for getting access to their customers, just as super markets charge for getting stuff on their shelves, or as amusement parks take a cut for the right to sell ice cream.
Now, as to what’s reasonable there? That will be a separate discussion. So far, Apple has put the bar at over 20% for countries that have passed similar legislation, likely on the argument that payment processing need not cost more than credit card companies charge (a few percent, in the EU)
> They still (rightfully, IMO) can charge third parties for getting access to their customers, just as super markets charge for getting stuff on their shelves, or as amusement parks take a cut for the right to sell ice cream.
Super markets charge for use of shelf space and logistics. The customers don't belong to anyone. The super market can't prevent you from opening a store next door to sell to the same customers directly. Similarly, I don't see any problem with Apple charching for hosting, downloads, payment, curation etc. but it should not be their place to sell permission fro what you are allowed to install on your own device just as it would be ridiculous for Ikea to control what you can put on your shelf.
It won't eat into any revenues. In the Netherlands Apple charges 27% commission on any revenues paid into external payment systems . And what is the EU exactly going to do - ban Apple from charging for access to their software APIs ? That seems like one step from banning charging for software as a whole.
I don't mean payment providers, I mean Apple device APIs like HealthKit, WeatherKit, SwiftUI, CoreML, ARKit, etc. Nobody is stripping all that out (there aren't even real competitors for a lot of these things).
There's still plenty of money to be made until the law comes into effect, the regulatory bodies become active, the cases are prepared, rulings are made, all of the layers of appeals have gone through, the regulators have decided whether the new measures are in compliance, it becomes a repeat offense, etc.
For many (most?) users, Apple's restrictions, especially sideloading, protect users from bad actor app owners (looking at you, Facebook). To me, allowing sideloading is like allowing chemical weapons to be used in war. Yes, it's a new tool and capability at your disposal, but it's also available to every powerful and unscrupulous participant.
Millions of people downloading .exe files everywhere are why we have an infosec industry. I trust indie developers on the App Store because of the restrictions and the review process. I’ll never side load a small developer’s app. And I worry that major players (I.e. Facebook) will require side loading so they can be free of the App Store rules about privacy.
So people with Android where sideloading has been a normal thing for many years have been dangerous? Could they harm other people by creating their own app and installing it on their Android without paying anyone a yearly subscription?
It used to be normal in the past that people would OWN a computer and they would run ANY software on it. Why should we allow a greedy company like Apple to change that? Both android and ios implement sandboxes and apps can't gain complete access over the device in most cases so I don't see any security benefit.
More like a chemistry lab to everyone. Most won't even touch the thing because it requires too much knowledge and is intimidating. Some will doubtlessly use it to "make meth" and get burnt or blown up. But some will also use it to produce better understanding or accomplish a task on their own using their own expertise.
As soon as side loading or their own app stores are allowed, all sorts of companies may require that. Maybe most big companies will stick with Apple's.
As an iOS developer, hardening the 10k-ish apis that exist in iOS will be mostly impossible to do in a short term given the attack vectors would now be outside of Apple's control, probably resulting in incompatibilities and bugs. Android is a horrible platform already given the myriad of different OS versions that exist (and often are not updated by the users) that you have to support.
I also wonder what the law requires as to switchover to the new rules, new OS releases or going back X versions or something? Is there are time frame?
Imagine also being an app developer and having to build/test releases for multiple app stores that include different payment gateways. Without a solid and secure API environment in the OS, how do you manage that with screwing up? iOS has always been easy to do since you only have to support one major OS back. A couple jobs (like 7 years) back our Android app was a nightmare to manage, as we had multiple OS release/phone suppliers that rarely got bug fixes in at all and never at the same time, making fixing/testing some things a nightmare. Might be better today, but I remember how much of a pain it was.
Happy that I might be able to install something else than Safari. I want the Gecko engine on iOS. Sad that being in UK probably means we'll ignore it because "Brexit." I got a text the other day telling me that, since we've left the EU, roaming charges are back. Hurray!
Without making this about politics, this is a great step forward. Still unsure how Apple & co. will make their proprietary video and messaging platforms "interoperable". I doubt they'll be writing an RFC any time soon.
> Happy that I might be able to install something else than Safari.
I hope you like Chrome then.
> I want the Gecko engine on iOS.
It will probably exist in some official capacity (not just the open source wrappers like IceWeasel or whatever they call it) but it will probably get about as much love as it does on Android which is to say not much at all. Also the market share will be <1% if I had to guess which means no developers are going to test on it and might even just user-agent sniff and block you. Chrome/Google will use all their properties and power to push users to install Chrome and it will become the defato browser for all of desktop and mobile. I'm not looking forward to that.
Same here, only positive feedback. ublock origin keeps all ads at bay so internet looks like a very usable place (aka same as on my desktop). I mean just for removing all youtube ads I would install it on my socks if possible
It used to be very common for individual developers, or small teams, to publish native programs. WinZip, Winamp, 7Zip, TreeSize, Tag & Rename, Beyond Compare, Nero, PuTTY, all just off the top of my head.
It is very, very possible to create performant, maintainable native software with no larger a developer team than it takes to build web software. We're just collectively too lazy to try.
Which might sound well on paper but would be hell to actually do. iMessage and Signal are not 1-to-1 in their feature set nor is iMessage a superset of Signal. Also I find it odd that you are pushing for shoving a square peg in a round hole vs signal actually writing a native mac app. I'm not sure why it's iMessage's "fault" they have the "only" native messaging platform app for macOS.
> "will make their proprietary video and messaging platforms "interoperable"
Because it's Europe, and also FaceTime and such aren't anywhere near as popular over there, it is possible that Apple will just pull them from the market there. You can't be forced to provide interoperability with a service you aren't operating.
Whatever the result, this does mean iOS 16 is going to have many "features" that Apple didn't announce...
> it is possible that Apple will just pull them from the market there.
It's also possible that pigs will sprout wings and fly away from manure piles everywhere. Apple is the same company that backdoored iCloud for China so they could operate domestically and make money from the CCP, though. The idea that they'd stop serving the entirety of Europe because of some evil legislation is a complete joke.
So far everyone complaining about app lockouts have been laser-focused on phones, because they're general-purpose and thus easier to legally justify sideloading on. Nobody wants to talk about game consoles - to open them up would almost certainly require revisiting DMCA 1201 and removing the prohibition on circumvention tools. The US Copyright Office wouldn't entertain extending the current "mobile devices" jailbreaking exception to consoles, and Epic Games had to do all sorts of mental gymnastics to explain why Apple was a monopolist but Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony weren't.
 Or your local equivalent.
And yes, you do have a local equivalent, unless you are living in Iran, Afghanistan, or North Korea.
> to open them up would almost certainly require revisiting DMCA 1201 and removing the prohibition on circumvention tools
This is a non-sequitur. If there were a new law that requires Sony and Nintendo to offer side-loading on their platforms, they would have every right to do so, as they own the copyright of those platforms. The DMCA protects copyright holders from the actions of others, it puts no limits on their own actions. If Sony wanted to break into your PS3, you wouldn't have any standing under the DMCA to sue them about it (of course, there are other laws that protect your data, your past contracts etc).
That's section A of DMCA 1201 that you're thinking of. There's also section B that forbids circumvention tools and that's way broader than the first part. The law distinguishes between breaking DRM, which can be OK in certain circumstances, and telling people how to break DRM, which is always illegal if you can allege some path from your tool to piracy.
And, believe me, it is actually pretty difficult to give someone a homebrew installation vector that does not also give you the ability to just pirate games at all. While there have been some homebrew scenes that deliberately added barriers to piracy, there's also been cases where piracy was the only hack you could even pull off. Remember: if you have the ability to install your own code, then you can also install someone else's. Whether or not a jailbreak or homebrew installer would be considered a DMCA 1201 circumvention tool is something a judge would have to decide, but it's close enough to the line that I wouldn't personally touch exploit development.
 Off the top of my head: before A9LH/B9S, 3DS homebrew launchers could only run a custom executable format... though this was moreso for compatibility with the GPU DMA exploit they were using first and antipiracy was just a bonus.
The Wii scene was also extremely opposed to piracy thanks to Team Twiizers pushing hard against it.
 Also off the top of my head: the whole mess with 360 drivechip hacks that sucked all the talent away from actual homebrew enablement.
Both sections of the DMCA don't protect against tools (and trafficking of tools) that can make piracy easier in an indirect way or somehow pave the way for ease of access to pirate conduct. What they only forbid is circumventing copyright protection systems that protect a specific work. Same goes for the anti-trafficking provisions.
The statue reads "without the authority of the copyright owner" in the end. That sentence implies that the bypassed protections must protect a specific copyrighted work, not copyright in general. Otherwise there would be no "copyright owner" to authorise the bypassing as the law is currently written.
They're talked about a fair bit tbh. All sorts of proposed legislature often goes to pains to say "except game consoles". The role of game consoles was brought up a fair bit in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit.
For no good reason. Both are effectively media consoles with the streaming apps available, and the xbox has a browser just the same as Apple, you can do your banking from it if you so choose (and some people saw that appeal a while ago). The only difference is the form factor and the price point where the consoles are sold near-cost - apple would throw in $500 worth of rare earth material if it meant they could keep their app store revenue model.
Sony, MS, and Nintendo already allow games to be purchased from other retailers, and always have. (See, for example, Game Stop, Best Buy, Target, etc.) Even digital downloads can be purchased from other retailers (i.e., Amazon).
Thus, their in-console storefronts are just one of several options that players can use to purchase games.
In contrast, the only way to get iPhone apps is through the App Store. No side-loading, third party stores, etc.
Sony gets a cut of every new PS5 game sold through all those third party vendors.
Do you think the same setup on the iPhone would satisfy regulators? Roughly, this would mean Epic (for example), could set up an app store but every program they sell would have to be signed by Apple and Apple would probably still get their 15-30% fee.
If the regulators are fair, then soon you will be able to write a PS5 or iPhone game and give it to your friends to play.
No, it's quite different. With the consoles, publishers are paying for the right to use the console maker's commercial IP (i.e., the Playstation or Xbox logo on their marketing materials) and technical IP (access to software APIs for using the hardware functionality). They do not pay royalties to the console makers for each sale. (Source: I work for a video game company and deal with these contracts...)
Quite importantly, publishers don't have to pay the console makers if they want to (a) reverse engineer the console firmware so they can make use of the hardware (b) don't use the console maker's IP in their marketing materials (see Sega v. Accord, still good law), and (c) sell through retailers other than the console storefront. However, consoles are now complex enough that reverse engineering would take longer than the commercial life of the console, so it's cheaper and quicker to just pay the console maker the platform fee.
With Apple, you aren't allowed to use their commercial IP for marketing your app, period, but you can use the APIs without paying for inhouse apps. However, there are no alternative marketplaces for apps; even in-house apps must go through the AppStore.
> Quite importantly, publishers don't have to pay the console makers if they want to (a) reverse engineer the console firmware so they can make use of the hardware (b) don't use the console maker's IP in their marketing materials (see Sega v. Accord, still good law), and (c) sell through retailers other than the console storefront.
Don't modern consoles all have signature verification? You would still need the company's blessing to even allow your game to be executed on any end user's system no matter how that executable was produced, right?
Both consoles will run unsigned executable files, but you may need to reverse engineer your own solution for getting those files to run in a user-friendly manner.
There is software created for earlier PS and Xbox consoles (for example, Kodi on the Xbox, Linux on the PS). It simply took a few years for third parties to understand the hardware well enough to write their own code to run on the consoles without using the console makers' IP.
That's not relevant to this discussion, because the choice is (a) recreate everything yourself from scratch vs (b) pay monopolistic rates because there are no alternatives.
But on that note, a common refrain of iOS developers is what a PITA it is to make apps for iOS given the inferior quality of Apple devtools. Meanwhile, developers generally praise the ease of programming for the PS5.
Of course it's relevant because this discussion is about removing app store restrictions from consumer devices.
You're saying there are lots of places for developers to sell PS5 software but that's irrelevant if you still need Sony's blessing and have to pay Sony some type of fee. From a distribution perspective, PS5 developers are not better off than iOS developers. There's no way, AFAIK, for a developer to release a title on either platform without jumping through hoops.
No, you don't need Sony's blessing, unless you want to use Sony's software and marketing IP. Unlike Apple, you can reverse engineer the PS5 hardware if you want, and in fact, that is the whole reason that the console market is structured the way it is.
See Sega v. Accolade for more information, but in a nutshell, the console maker can't prevent unlicensed games from running on the hardware. However, they don't have to make it easy to run unlicensed games, and they can make devkits and other IP contingent upon legal agreements that forbid using those tools/docs to develop solutions that don't require a license. (This means that the publisher would need to acquire commercial units to go the reverse engineering route.)
Have you read the PS5 TOS? It's pretty restrictive. You aren't allowed to run any unauthorized software on it nor can you reverse engineer the software. Even if you were to avoid touching the OS, there's still the firmware that's covered by this. What you are claiming can't practically be done and AFAIK, nobody is using the PS5 in this way.
I don't think you can say with a straight face that the PS5 is more open than the iPhone. I can point you to a bunch of write-your-first-iOS-app tutorials that you can complete after a relatively small investment of time and money. The app you make can only be given away through Apple's app store but it sounds like that's changing. Sounds like Sony's going to have to change as well.
Edit: I should add, you can also give people your source code and they can compile it and install the executable on their phone. Is there an analogous process on the PS5? AFAIK, individuals can't register as PS5 developers. Only companies with a current domain name can access any PS5 developer info.
A TOS governs your use of the PS5 software, not the hardware, and there are a few decades of court cases on these points. Moreover, reverse engineering is a fair use issue that can't be prohibited with a TOS and there is a case exactly on point.
Yes, but you can't get a devkit for a console without Sony/MS/Nintendo approval.
No devkit, no game. Dunno if they still gatekeep the physical products.
Apple takes the $99 developer license and that's it. You get full access to all tools and the App Store. Releasing a new version doesn't cost you anything extra.
I wouldn't even know how to go about creating an Xbox or PS game. Who do I contact, where do I pay and how much? What rules do you have to follow to get your indie game on the Playstation Store or XBox Store?
What part of "reverse engineer" do you not understand?
The point of paying the platform fee is that you can make games for the console with the assistance of the console maker. If you don't want to pay for the convenience, you can spend time and money reverse engineering an OS that will run your game(s).
Also, the Apple fee isn't just $99. It's $99 plus 30% of every transaction through the app. Forever.
The console platform fee is a (non-linearly) scaled fee based on physical units shipped and wholesale price (between 5% and 30%, with the % getting larger at smaller wholesale prices), and does not apply to sales through the console storefront (MS and Sony waive the platform fee and take their earnings on the delta between the wholesale price set by the publisher and the retail price set by the store).
Who do I contact, where do I pay and how much? What rules do you have to follow to get your indie game on the Playstation Store or XBox Store?
Both Sony and MS have published this information on their websites for over a decade, and promoted indie games for over a decade, so I don't think I need to assume that comment was made in good faith. But since you're too lazy to do a 1-second google search, here are the results for you (in both cases, literally the first result: https://www.xbox.com/en-US/developers/id, https://partners.playstation.net/)
I took a quick look at the Playstation partners page. They require the following:
* Official company registration document, such as a Certificate of Incorporation.
* Latest Annual Return / Financial Statement.
* Copy of your entry on a commercial register (or equivalent) within your country or region.
* Passport (sole traders only).
* Your static IP address in IPv4 format
* Your private domain email address (public domains such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc. aren't accepted). Your email address must include your name.
* Your product pitch
Basically they can just decide they don't like your pitch and not allow you in.
Same for the Xbox store. You send an "application" and they may or may not accept it. At least Xbox doesn't want your product pitch beforehand. There is a "very modest one-time cost" though, no idea what's their idea of modest.
I'm really looking forward to seeing this EU ruling to extend to consoles as well.
The PS5 hardware is already profitable (well, the more expensive one at least). Well, it was before the inflation ramped up at least. But still, even if sideloading was possible on the PS5, PlayStation Store revenue would not dip down to nothingness.
I'd be OK with the current locked down consoles not existing. Having people buy two or three functionally almost identical devices so that they can use all the software they want is wasteful and not something we should protect as a society.
If an up front $2000 fee is too much for people to bear then console manafactuers can offer loans directly instead of hiding them in the game prices - that way people will at least be informed about what they are paying.
> Has there ever been a console where, over the life of the console, the hardware was sold for a loss?
All of them.
Speaking about PS5 specifically: there's quite a few advancements in there that you're not thinking about, the kraken decompressor that can run at native NVME speed in hardware and load assets directly into video memory has no PC equivalent. Though PC vendors are trying to do NVME<->GPUMem these days, it still can't do effectively 9GBit like the PS5 can (theoretically).
Even ignoring those architectural advantages and the R&D; last time someone did a cost comparison of an equivelant PC (a year ago) it was $1,600: https://gamerant.com/ps5-specs-pc/
It is an urban legend that all consoles are sold at a loss.
Some manufacturers, in creating an appealing multi-year technology platform, might temporarily sell at a loss. The PS 5 for example was reported to sell at a loss for the first three months.
Secondly, a reporting that a console is sold 'at a loss' initially may be talking console development, initial tooling, and partner contracts for custom parts in account. They may not be speaking of raw manufacturing costs for individual unit parts and labor.
>> Has there ever been a console where, over the life of the console, the hardware was sold for a loss?
> All of them.
Are you serious? The Wii has sold more than 100 million units over the past ten years and you think it's been a net loss for Nintendo?
PS5-to-PC comparisons are hard to do in a meaningful way. It's like saying a Toyota Camry is sold at a loss because if you build one part-by-part it's going to cost $100,000+ rather than the $30k a dealer sells them for.
If you take those PC specs and contact a manufacturer with a plan to order 20 million units, they are going to come in at quite a bit under $1600.
The first run may very well be sold at a loss, but almost every console has eventually turned a profit.
I say almost because the XBox 360 may have been unprofitable over it's entire manufacturing run due to extraordinary warranty costs (red ring of death). I've read that it may have cost Microsoft more than a billion dollars, but I don't know if that's true or if that was enough to net Microsoft a loss over the 11 years it was sold.
Sony in particular does this. For the first X years of its life, Playstation is sold as a loss.
They generate revenue through game sales and then a decade later as hardware components become cheaper and scale increases they start to make money on the consoles as well.
If they can't generate revenue through game sales the entire console model would be upended and hardware prices would rapidly increase. No company can take the risk to lose billions without a guarantee of future revenue.
> No company can take the risk to lose billions without a guarantee of future revenue.
Apparently the Nintendo Switch was never sold at a loss.
Does it really matter though? They shouldn't be allowed to abuse consumers for the sake of their business model. If it were true that they were selling consoles for an expected loss, that would act as a barrier to new competitors entering the market.
Should companies like John Deere be able to prevent third-parties from doing maintenance on farm equipment because John Deere's business model relies on that revenue stream?
The differences between the PS5 and an equivalent PC build from components account for substantial improvements in price/unit; your article doesn't include an actual price breakdown so it is difficult to call out exactly where the costs come from, but:
- Tightly integrated motherboard, designed and built in-house, including the CPU, GPU (integrated to CPU), RAM and comms removes a bunch of middlemen, with all of their testing, development and integration costs (which add substantial overhead on a home-built PC).
- Thanks to the above, thermal and power management get a lot easier, which reduces power and cooling costs.
- Economies of scale and long life-cycle planning let you make large orders of parts (at Sony's scale, economies where the manufacturer is producing to your demand) at lower unit costs, including manufacturing large numbers of custom parts (such as the case and power supply) with design features that minimize cost (rather than allowing home assembly). I wouldn't be shocked if any given part for the PS-5 were getting manufactured in quantities an order of magnitude greater than any of the SKUs in the comparison PC.
People buying consoles are not buying them for epic frame-rates or 8k resolutions..
I bought my console because I absolutely despise Windows, and despite being a gamedev myself I cannot convince other gamedevs to work as linux for a target.
Even then, the amount of effort fighting my operating system and the spotty support you would get (even on windows) is troubling.. because PC's generally are running a complicated workload at varying degrees of state.
I buy a console game, it's going to work and if it doesn't I'm going to get my money back. My time is too precious to waste on excessive debugging to access entertainment.
Ironically the PS4's insane update sizes and slow storage adapter nearly caused me to go over to PC.. So it doesn't always work, admittedly.
By "double the graphical power" you mean it has more compute units, not the clock speed, memory or bandwidth, which tend to be more important in my experience.
I agree with the sentiment, but in my experience that's just not true.  The PS4 and PS5 are nice and pain free. The Switch even more so, because the games will run right off the cartridge without needing updates. They have available updates, but the version shipped on the cartridge is 100% playable.
 With the exception of the XBox because Microsoft can't get their shit together.
Your Windows + Steam experience sounds a lot smoother than mine if all you have to complain about is updates.
I experience breaking updates all the time on PC. "Wait, why is this game crashing now?" "Wait, why have all of my settings been reset?" "Wait, why has the framerate tanked since the last update?" "Wait, why isn't my controller working anymore?"
All of these happen to me on Steam games. It's infuriating. I'll happily take the console experience of updates that don't break things.
Disagree. “Trivially easy” must be set in common sense to the average consumer. It must be something that they can do easily without any guides or tutorials. Changing my name on Xbox is trivially easy. This is not.
Disagreeing with your disagreement. How "easy" a tech-related task is to accomplish is determined by the users skills and experience, as well as software/hardware usage patterns that they've learned over the years.
Official guides/tutorials for enabling/disabling various functions exist for Google Play/AppStore too. Does that mean that one of the easiest ways to acquire apps that have ever existed is...not easy? Because there really isn't much difference between following a "how to login into my Apple/Google account" tutorial and "how to enable an XBox feature".
I'm 100% confident that if Apple told EU they were complying with the new law, with a system where you either have to run only sideloaded apps or only official App Store apps at any given time, but could reboot from one to the other, the EU would say "very funny, here's your fine".
There is a developer mode so maybe that's their angle; right now nothing changes for regular apps but I can see a future API where banks, competitive games, etc. check to make sure you're not running any sideloaded code (not that that's a big problem, as iOS 15 is still unjailbroken due to the extreme advancements in the OS security model).
> And even if you're a die hard fan of closed computing, nothing bad will happen. You'll simply pick Safari, never sideload an app, and pay with Apple Pay. We can coexist.
This is the important point. Just like with decentralized VS centralized debate, starting out with one of them, decides if you can even have the other one.
If you have a decentralized foundation (like HTTP), you can always add centralized entities on top, if that's favorable (like Twitter). But the other way is not true, you can't build decentralized things on a centralized foundation.
If you have open computing on mobile devices, you can always opt-in to just stay within one ecosystem without being hurt by the openness. But the other way around is not true.
This is naive and assumes that there aren’t bigger, badder actors to deal with - Facebook, Google, and others can and will abuse their position. This will make the iPhone worse for everyone, especially if chrome manages a dominant position and developers can stop supporting safari. It will probably make my Mac worse, too.
I still haven’t heard a single good reason why people who want sideloading can’t just use Android. iPhone isn’t even close to dominant in Europe.
> This is naive and assumes that there aren’t bigger, badder actors to deal with - Facebook, Google, and others can and will abuse their position. This will make the iPhone worse for everyone, especially if chrome manages a dominant position and developers can stop supporting safari. It will probably make my Mac worse, too.
That's why we have regulation, which is quickly ("quick" in terms of legislation at least) coming now.
If the only reason people use Safari today instead of another browser, is because they are forced to use Safari, even if there is a better one, isn't that kind of messed up in the first place?
How would the openness make your Mac worse?! You think your Mac is worse today because you can install any applications you want? You think your Mac would become better if Apple disabled application installation outside of the App Store?
> I still haven’t heard a single good reason why people who want sideloading can’t just use Android. iPhone isn’t even close to dominant in Europe.
I have a iPhone, and I'd like to be able to use whatever application I want on it. I'd also like to be able to develop applications on it, but my desktop is Windows and Arch Linux, so today I can't. I love the Apple hardware, but I hate the UI and that I'm not able to even open it up like a normal USB device to transfer files. The UX of Apple stuff is really horrible (even if you buy into the whole ecosystem), but the hardware is very nice.
So I'd like to be able to finally own the device I buy from Apple.
> If the only reason people use Safari today instead of another browser, is because they are forced to use Safari, even if there is a better one, isn't that kind of messed up in the first place?
The vast majority of people generally don't think a browser is 'better' outside of the chrome - tab functions, bookmark syncing, password management, etc.
IMHO when people complain about Safari, it is usually web developers who wish they could block MobileSafari and just mandate everyone use Chrome. I've certainly seen developers do that for desktop Safari (most notably Google).
Again, if the only reason people are using your browser is because they are forced to, you're doing something wrong.
Just because Chrome or Firefox could use their own rendering engine, doesn't mean the majority of iPhone users would switch to it. People who use Safari today would continue to use it even if Chrome/Firefox could switch their rendering engine.
The way I see it, you enjoy a walled garden where many people are competing to provide you with apps. But they have to follow Apple's directives.
The EU is also such a walled garden where companies have to follow the rules.
In essence, nobody is forcing anybody. If you don't want Apple's control, buy an Android phone. If Apple doesn't like the EU's control, it shouldn't sell in the EU.
So when you say "hands off my phone" I say "hands off MY phone". You don't like the EU's regulation. I don't like Apple's regulation.
You might say that Apple should be able to do that because it is a private company. But that private company brought in more net sales in 2021 (366 billion) than my country's GDP (Romania, 288 billion). I have more choice in moving countries (26 other countries in the EU) than phone platforms (basically 2).
Facebook and Google were both previously caught using enterprise certificates on iOS to ship software to consumers outside the store, that would capture network traffic destined for other sites and information on what third party native applications were run.
The problem a lot of iOS users have with offering side loading is that the store, for better or worse, is serving the role of a regulatory body saying things like 'you must get consent to track the user', or 'you must allow users to delete their account and any stored information'.
Unfortunately, the EU does not appear to be planning to add regulations to protect user privacy, nor are they properly enforcing existing regulations like GDPR.
They are really just moving power around to other large corporations - e.g. letting banks use NFC without paying Apple their 0.15% Apple Pay commission, or letting Facebook track the user in ways that Apple does not allow.
Google and Facebook are subject to legislation as well. If Apple worked with lawmakers to set good privacy precedents for these companies, then you might have an argument. Instead, all we proved is that private corporations feel no obligation to play nice with their competitors, so now our legislators have to fix it for us.
> Hands. Off. My. iPhone.
You don't own a damn thing. Only Apple (and evidently, governments) makes the choices on "your" iPhone.
> And even if you're a die hard fan of closed computing, nothing bad will happen.
Just a concerned user. Wrong. All websites will work in Chrome only, with whatever features Chrome has added. One Browser for all. All apps that feed on user data will move from under App Store to sideload/alt stores, to escape Apple privacy restrictions. To start with.
It's like a two-party system, when both parties are messed up, each in their own unique manner. One might be subjectively much better than another (subjectively = for a specific individual and their beliefs), but they still suck and you wish there would be someone else who'd not just have the good bits but also not have that stupid stance on the bad ones - again, for subjective "good" and "bad" of a particular individual.
This is how it is with Android and iOS. They both suck, just differently. And there are people who are much more happy with iOS overall - it sucks less for them - they're not going to be happy with Android, even though openness is something they see as a good thing. So your solution is simply not working for them.
I don't know how big this group is. If they're large enough to influence and impose a political will to pass this legislation - I'd guess, quite a lot of people. So I don't think it would be "worse experience for everyone". Especially because everyone who're happy right now won't suddenly get a bunch of scummy apps sideloaded and Apple Pay and browser replaced.
Also, I don't think they're all developers. One sure doesn't have to be a developer to wish for something their phone cannot do for purely non-technical reasons.
>You'll simply pick Safari, never sideload an app, and pay with Apple Pay. We can coexist.
This isn't even slightly realistic.
It's a mistake to believe that these changes won't have run on consequences for developers. This isn't an outcome where you can have your cake and eat it too. It's not like everything will stay the same, except now developers have a bunch of extra freedoms. That exhibits no ability to think even one-step ahead of what these changes will bring about.
We already know two dominating outcomes of these changes: 1. the path of least resistance for companies/developers (driven by cost), 2. Evasion of unpopular app store rules that solely exist to protect consumers from nefarious predatory apps (driven by profit).
For example (1) your idea of a user being able to have control over their device is naive. Users won't have a reasonable choice to not side-load/use a 3rd party app store when the app is required by their employer, or insurance company, or bank, or medical/insurance provider, or state services. These will come about naturally because it's the easy way of getting around app store procedures, quality control, limitations. I.E. It'll cost less to produce these apps, so they will come out naturally from economic factors even before simplicity/laziness/frustration with app store operators are considered.
For example (2), We already see how technology is being abused to closely monitor employees, customers and students to the point of unreasonableness. These will now extend into ones phone, when previously such apps weren't possible due to being forbidden by the various app stores. Imagine insurance companies requiring the user to have an app installed so they can negate your insurance on an AI-driven whim: if it detects a medical condition (such as visiting an abortion or sexual health clinic, or the detection of AF through the accelerometers), or if the user drives too fast, or visits dangerous areas/countries, or conducts any kind of risky activity that AI can accumulate from text messages, location history and on device sensors. The sky is the limit, and the idea that you'd just change insurance company is naive: they'll all do it, and they'll price their products so you don't actually have a choice.
However we don't even need to peer into the future to see what happens if the reins are taken off, we saw how app testing certificates were abused to trick users into installing privacy evading/tracking apps. It's so naive to pretend that this isn't going to happen now, especially if all it takes is a click on a website.
We have these new changes, but we don't have the corresponding consumer protections, nor any realistic way of enforcing them even if we did. There is no equivalent authority to regulate apps. It's like the bad old days where anyone can make and sell a medication, we'll need the app-store equivalent to the European Medicines Agency.
And to think, people were worried about AirTags. Keep your phone close and trust no ones app suggestions, as now the phone can be effortlessly turned into a keylogger, an audio + visual listening bug, a live location tracker and any app can trivially scrape the phones contents: photos, contacts, credit cards the list of possibilities are endless, because by design smart phones were made to be carried around, contain more sensors and personal information and rely on protection bits provided by the various app store so apps wouldn't have trivial click-through access to protected silos of information. (Why do we know this will be a problem? Because it was already a problem.)
So now we get to see this all unfold, as if it wasn't completely predictable.
Desktop computers remain less restricted because one can’t close pandora’s box after opening it.
The fact that we have so many of these protection on smartphones is because of lessons learnt with desktop PCs - after a steady stream of viruses, ransomware and other forms of scams. What should have happened is a change to how approvals were made on the app stores for the European region, not removing the main source of protection for users.
> “I would never trust a giant multinational…”
But you use their hardware, their OS, their network stack… and this won’t change with these rules. So if you’re not trusting of these companies you shouldn’t have a relationship with them and should already be using unique hardware from a smaller vendor whereby you could satisfy these preferences. You absolutely do have a “choice”.
This regulation is 5+ years overdue, but legislation always lags behind market conditions.
If the US/other countries follow suit there will probably be a big unintended effect though: the diminishing of open web standards and Google getting final say about what will work on "the web" and what won't.
With Firefox diminishing, Safari is the last bastion against a Chromium-only web.
There are lots of Chromium forks, but they own the project, and I doubt even Microsoft would take on any significant divergence from the upstream code base, considering the development velocity.
I would predict (native) Chrome graining a very sizeable market share on iOS within five years, driven in part by web app developers being happy to finally just focus on Chrom(ium) and add "works best Chrome" banners.
What I see, as a web dev, is that finally Apple will have to keep Safari/iOS up-to-date with Safari/macOS, and that in turn up-to-date with all other browsers. I.e., they will no longer be able to artificially hamstring the web in order to prevent web apps from competing with their App Store.
They certainly have the money to keep pace with Chrome, and I certainly don't want to put up banners saying "works best in [anything but Safari]", which has been the case for many years now.
“They certainly have the money to keep pace with Chrome”
This point has been made before. But Chrome is a moving target. I actually am skeptical that Apple can spend more money on WebKit than Google can on Blink.
The way Chrome rose to prominence was by implement brand-new web standards faster than anyone else. If the question is only, “what engine supports the most websites,” I suspect Chrome will increase their development pace in order to try to extend their lead.
I predict Chrome will come to iOS with working uBlock extension on day one, and that will be the last day I use Safari.
I'm not even a fan of this regulation (I think it's sour grapes on the part of the EU because they have utterly failed to compete in this space) but I loathe the browser experience, with its lack of working ad blocking, on iOS.
Chrome doesn't have extension support on android. While there are many popular chrome forks on android, none of the ones I'm familiar with add support for ublock, rather they have some inferior adblocking experience instead. Firefox on android does have extension support, which while limited, does support ublock0.
The "Chrome's only dominant because Google's advertising it on their web properties and bundling it with Java's installer!" narrative is BS.
Apple is heavily advertising Safari on sites like reddit since a few months ago. They're also abusing macOS notifications to promote Safari. There's no Windows XP-style "browser choice" screen on Mac or iOS; Safari is bundled (I know macOS isn't a monopoly, but bundling is bundling). Apple has more money than Google to advertise Safari wherever they want, including Google properties that obviously sell ad space.
But ultimately Safari is losing because it's inferior. It keeps shipping with critical bugs. IndexDB constantly gets broken, partially fixed, then broken again in another update. You couldn't play DRM'd videos in Safari and use Apple Music (on a completely clean install) for a long time. There was an issue in Big Sur's public release where Safari crashed if you moved a tab, and lost all your open tabs when it reopened; they took weeks to fix that. They kneecaped uBlock Origin while using the "privacy excuse", when all it meant was forcing people to switch to proprietary adblockers that still had full access to all webpage contents (see my other comment). Apple only has themselves to blame if Blink becomes the majority on iOS.
You also forgot that Safari is also unavailable on non Apple devices (I think it was previously many years ago iirc) which means its market share is restricted to Apple devices. Even if Apple advertises Safari, it can only be used on those Apple devices.
Meanwhile, Chrome can be installed on just about everything.
> They're also abusing macOS notifications to promote Safari
When you say "abusing" do you have a more recent reference than 2014?
> Apple has more money than Google to advertise Safari wherever they want
Google for a while put a Chrome banner on all their properties when you connected with a non-Chrome browser. This is something they obviously could afford since it was free for them to run that program.
Apple will probably try to deal with requirement to not require developers to use WebKit by allowing alternate web browser engines in European Union only - a developer would be required to provide WebKit version of an application or else it would be only available in European Union. That wouldn't violate Digital Markets Act, as Digital Markets Act only applies to European Union.
It's fun how Android users are so excited on behalf of Apple users in terms of letting Apple users install custom apps from outside the App Store. Being an Apple user for more than 15 years, I couldn't be more happy with the fact that Apple has vetted the applications you find in App Store.
Also, naturally, App Developers are excited. Well, perhaps you should think about the users - we don't care about you having to pay a cut. However, we really appreciate the experience from the App Store. Want to cancel a subscription? Just navigate to the one and only place where you can browse everything and cancel with a single tap.
I once purchased an Android device so see what it was all about. I found most of the apps were completely crap and the once that were good, were essentially just a copy of the iOS app. To be fair, this was many years ago.
I really hope that somehow someone interacts at a high level and gets the part about the App Store removed.
IF the consumers of Apple - for instance me - would like this part changed, perhaps we could instead put our money elsewhere, rather than rely on politicians to pro-actively deal with this.
>you can keep using app store, so I don't understand the issue
Apps with massive following that are into the idea of violating privacy rights will leave App Store and its restrictions, and will be available only on third party app stores where they can do whatever they want.
Imagine Facebook leaving App Store and becoming available only on Meta Store (or whatever they would call it). Oh, and they dont have to abide by Apple's privacy rules anymore. Oh, and you also got no choice now if you want to continue using it.
I personally don't use FB, but it was a solid example, and it can apply to any other app. Facebook is almost definitely cheering now at this decision, because I remember they had a pretty bad earnings call last year after Apple added additional privacy restrictions to iOS/App Store. But worry no more, FB is back in the game as soon as they can release their unrestricted version on a third party app store.
"More choice available", in this scenario refers not to my personal choices, but to more ways for companies behind those large apps to avoid privacy considerations and restrictions of the platform.
Tl;dr: FB has only two options now - abide by the current privacy rules of App Store or not have an app for iOS at all. With third party app stores being available, FB has a new and way juicier option - publish a version in their own app store with zero restrictions. Why would they even consider the official App Store and follow the restrictions. Consumers lose a solid option here.
I can't for the life of me figure out why everyone cites Facebook here. Nobody is forcing you to download the Facebook app. It's perfectly usable inside a web browser, nevermind the fact that a sideloaded version of Facebook could still leverage the same security benefits provided by iOS' sandboxing model. At this point you're basically arguing that Apple should be the one who dictates what privacy should look like... which isn't the case. If you feel strongly that Facebook's data collection should be regulated more closely, you should take it up with local legislation. That's how systematic improvements like this EU bill get drafted, and it's how we force big companies to play fair instead of expecting other privately held businesses to hold them in check. That's not how antitrust action works.
> I can't for the life of me figure out why everyone cites Facebook here. Nobody is forcing you to download the Facebook app. It's perfectly usable inside a web browser, nevermind the fact that a sideloaded version of Facebook could still leverage the same security benefits provided by iOS' sandboxing model.
I'll see if I can help.
1. A lot of people feel forced to use the Facebook ecosystem - there are groups and markets that are only accessible to Facebook users, let alone the ability to stay up to date with family and friends. Facebook/Meta also provide internet services in some countries, making them utterly unavoidable
2. Facebook has caught in several privacy abuses in the past, including one that used enterprise certificates to side-load a non-reviewed app which set Facebook as a VPN to monitor internet traffic and app usage.
3. There is no guarantee that Facebook will continue to allow full accessibility via a browser if they have sufficient benefits to installing a native app. See Reddit heavily pushing for their native app over the browser on mobile, or Google blocking whole services (or essential features for some services, such as the ability to edit Google Docs) to "encourage" people into native apps.
4. There are many security and privacy features of the App Store that come not from technical measures but from Apple acting as a quasi regulatory enforcer. For instance, application developers must ask for consent for tracking, and the setting chooses whether an advertising identifier is released. But the App Store contract limits _all_ cross-party tracking methods without this consent, including things like sharing device fingerprinting and IP addresses with third parties. These protections only exist for iOS users because of Apple's ability to block publication.
1. They can use Facebook on desktop, or again, the mobile app.
2. Past misbehavior means greater scrutiny would be put upon Facebook, especially if they launch an unprecedented new product as high-profile as a competing Meta app store.
3. Regulators can and will act against Facebook for such restrictive behavior as well. People who want to use Reddit on mobile have the option of Apollo.
4. Apple still controls their devices from an OS level. They can enforce plenty of security and privacy features from there. On MacOS already, apps that aren't on the Mac App Store must still undergo notarization. Why do you doubt Apple's ability to execute? The App Store is not the final word on security.
I would agree in the sense that the only way this gatekeeper regulation works is if regulators set additional rules and regulatory scrutiny to all non-gatekeepers allowed to distribute applications outside the existing platform controls.
The three concerns I have about that is:
1. I do not know if regulators are equipped to understand such technical details (see the rough parts of this legislation)
2. Abuses move at internet speed, while corrections will move at bureaucratic speed.
3. It is drastically harder to regulate businesses outside your country. A shady side-loaded app may not be something that can easily be blocked
Notorization does not enforce security or privacy features on macOS. Security features are either enabled across the operating system or are opt-in based on the selected entitlements. A "gatekeeper" presumably will not be allowed broad limits entitlements on side-loaded apps or apps sold in a third party store.
There are relatively few enforceable privacy features at the software level. Trying to create them is a cat-and-mouse game between the platform and developers.
The way Apple platforms achieve privacy is a mix of technical measures and business measures - ignoring business requirements to gather user consent is a way to get your company banned from the App Store.
> A "gatekeeper" presumably will not be allowed broad limits entitlements on side-loaded apps or apps sold in a third party store.
You're presuming that, but if Apple does indeed have valid privacy and security reasons for setting such limits, presumably they will also make the case to regulators. I suppose it all comes down to having faith in our democratic institutions will act on behalf of the public's interest.
> There are relatively few enforceable privacy features at the software level.
Then what is the point of App Store review if it can't even do that? Is Apple so powerless over its own platform that it can't harden its security model with further updates?
No. I believe this whole debate makes assumptions about what Apple can and can't do, and it seems eminently foolhardy to believe that manual review is somehow the only way in which Apple can control its own operating system and provide security.
> The way Apple platforms achieve privacy is a mix of technical measures
And certainly, Apple is capable of far more technical measures than you and I can dream of.
> I can't for the life of me figure out why everyone cites Facebook here
Probably because they got caught abusing enterprise certificates to sideload a spyware app:
"Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data."
The concern is that e.g. Facebook will use their might to push a less-privacy-respecting app store, or use the threat of that to get Apple to loosen privacy protections. Google will almost certainly promote Chrome the same way they have everywhere else, and gain a lot of traction mostly from users who just did it because Google said to and they clicked "OK", not because they actively want Chrome (same as how they took over the desktop).
The main argument against the first concern seem to be "there aren't any successful alternative app stores on Android (seems there are in China, but OK, let's allow that) so it doesn't matter", but 1) iOS is a different market—far more lucrative per user, far more spending by users so the ecosystem is less ad-dependent, and with more restrictions on bad behavior by apps than Google imposes and 2) if that's true, why is it important to do this in the first place?
The main argument against the latter is... well, I haven't seen anything even as good as the above. Just "yeah but I hate Safari because I'm a web app developer, so I don't care if Google owns the entire web as long as it means I can use Bluetooth from the web browser on iOS"
Replying to myself since it looks like the replies are making mostly the same point.
> what if fb wants an exclusive, no privacy App Store for itself?
What about it? Let them do that. Let the consumers decide? I chose Apple only and only for better privacy controls in the OS, not in the App Store.
> dominance of chrome
Chrome won because Firefox and IE were worse. A lot of improvements in Firefox are thanks to competition. Safari is still number one browser on MACOS. I agree with the point that google might make things incompatible for non chrome users. Then they will be hit via these same regulations.
With sideloading, developers with market power will be able to force iOS users into worse conditions than the standard App Store. You can bet that FB will get everyone onto their sideloaded version ASAP, and I doubt it will respect the "Ask App Not to Track Me". Then, once everyone has figured out sideloading with FB, the bar will be lower for other apps and suddenly the consumer protections of the App Store are weaker for everyone.
It has been like this on the desktop since forever and some apps are still not available from app stores like Adobe creative suite and it has worked fine.
It has created new business opportunities for anti-virus companies initially but the need for those diminished over time as OS-level "defender apps" and overall 3rd-party app handling got better.
I don't see any problem here. If Facebook forced users to install spyware and spy on users without their consent FB itself would be fined by regulators. And you can always use the web FB version if you are afraid of using their app or stop using FB completely.
Google already does this in its iOS apps. When tapping a link in e.g. Gmail, it won’t just open your default browser, but instead open a menu asking you to choose your default browser or Chrome. It has a “remember this choice” toggle but it shouldn’t be there at all… just obey the OS default browser setting.
That's good. Choosing a default iOS browser is completely undiscoverable to average users, and unlike on Mac, can't be done within the browser itself.
Try installing Chrome/Brave/Edge on iOS. They'll suggest setting them as default, and kick you to the Settings app. It's supposed to bring you to the Chrome/Brave/Edge app settings within Settings.app, where you can set the default browser; but 50% of the time, it'll fail, and will just open the Settings app without bringing you to your browser settings (you'll just be staring at whatever you were last doing in Settings.app, whether that's iCloud settings, manage storage, whatever you were last looking at). That bug has been there literally since Apple introduced default browser settings on iOS; maintaining it is clearly deliberate.
It would be great if Apple built an identical menu to Google's into iOS when it detects multiple browsers are installed, and let users easily choose their default browser. Even better would be Windows XP-style "browser choice".
It's bad because it means that the moment that third party engines are allowed on iOS, Google apps are going to be strongly accelerating Blink/Chrome hegemony. Apple should be required to fix problems with the default browser settings pane while Google should be barred from promoting or favoring Chrome with its other apps and services.
> Google apps are going to be strongly accelerating Blink/Chrome hegemony
Because they give the user choice?
Again, this isn't just a problem with the "default browser settings pane". The first time an iOS user clicks a link, the OS should give them a list of all major browsers (like Windows XP was forced to by the EU) so that no browser is favored over another. That would be fair.
Google's browser menu isn't a response to Apple's unfair default browser setting practices, but to Apple bundling Safari with iOS and unfairly advantaging it. Platform owners' browsers should ideally not be inherently favored, regardless of the platform's marketshare.
If they're pushing a browser that the user doesn't have installed, it's more than giving the user choice, it's blatant cross-promotion.
As I said, the UI iOS provides should be fixed (including a selector when the user taps a link) but at the same time, Google should not be able to use the install base of its various other apps to bolster adoption of Chrome.
I just checked and yes, the "Safari" option pushes an SFSafariViewController onto the navigation stack, which is for all intents and purposes proper Safari. Google cannot see anything you do in it because it's handled entirely out-of-process and even uses a different container (cookies, etc) than the main Safari browser.
FWIW, Google apps also ignore the default browser setting on Android in favor of their embedded Chrome instance, and consistently "conveniently reset" the internal setting that would make it use the default browser.
Android is too fragmented to having any pushing power for one company (other than Google and even Google’s pushing power is low but that’s due to a different matter). The experience too fragment , the API’s too fragmented. iPhone’s unified experience makes it easier for pushing power to come to play. If Facebook leaves the App Store and opens a new one and uses the epic games strategy to pull in developers, users will go there privacy be dammed. Privacy regulations should have came out before this.
There are some edge cases where the app stores don't allow desirable applications to be distributed.
One example would be e.g. NewPipe (an open source third party ad-free YouTube client) on Android. Another would be alternative browsers or programming language interpreters on iOS (the rules on the latter changed repeatedly).
Termux is also being distributed outside of the Play store due to some restriction and IIRC not feasible on iOS due to the App store restrictions.
Newpipe is amazing, if iOS users had access to it then YouTube might actually be forced to improve their mobile app. Out-of-the-box, you get video downloading, PiP, background playback, and so much more. No need to pay Google a dime for the best YouTube features on the market.
You can get PiP and background playback with a simple JS snippet in Shortcuts
let v = document.querySelector('video');
v.addEventListener('webkitpresentationmodechanged', (e)=>e.stopPropagation(), true);
I travel back and forth between App Store regions frequently, and some things are only available in one place or the other. I’d also like the ability to actually use a different browser, not just reskinned Safari. There would probably also be some interesting open source stuff you could install.
This wouldn't happen if Apple decided to cut their Apple tax to 15% or something. They already knew that this 30% is not sustainable. 15% would be still considerably higher than usual payment processors' but something justifiable given their massive investment into the platform.
But instead of taking this path, Apple decided to exploit this 30% tax for competition against other service providers. This is obviously unfair advantage, so sooner or later this kind of regulation was expected to come. I'm still not sure if Apple really believed that they could stop this kind of regulation, but they built their entire business structure based on a brittle assumption that they could retain full control on their ecosystem regardless of political landscape. Now they're going to pay the price of making a wrong bet.
15% is low enough that the increased convenience and number of users who are payment-ready is worth it.
And that's as it should be. Apple should compete based on what they actually provide (a user friendly platform with a network effect), which is profitable enough, not from artificially gatekeeping their users.
> but they built their entire business structure based on a brittle assumption that they could retain full control on their ecosystem regardless of political landscape. Now they're going to pay the price of making a wrong bet.
Do you really believe that you see or understand something that decision makers at Apple hadn’t considered?
Why do you think Apple's decision makers would make the same decision to mine based on the same information? I'm pretty sure that Tim clearly understood the trade-off and his leverage was on a more predictable path via more market controls. You gotta understand different people make different decisions even with the same input.
funnily enough i was working on apps that did this back in the mid 00s. it was horrible. the standards simply couldn’t keep up. the clients couldn’t keep up. in the end it was better for the end user not use those standards and instead we rolled our own.
could be different story today but i don’t think so. just the video call feature would be an absolute mess to standardise. hell, even emojis would open up a can of worms. payments between contacts? contacts themselves? i fear this would end up being the mid 00s again.
Or rather: developers were so up their own backsides that effectively refused to cooperate. Obviously you go faster if you don't have to talk to anyone, and everybody loves lock-in. Which is why this legislation is welcome.
I generally believe Apple, Google and others should be able to profit from creating some of the most useful, innovative and technically challenging products in human history (remember multi touch was not an affordable thing before Apple).
But, 15 years (since original iPhone) is about enough to reward the innovation. Beyond that point, it is the role of government to open up platforms to enable the next generation of competition and creation, otherwise things start to get stagnant.
That said, there aren’t a ton of things left that can’t be done without Apple approval (or rather, tons of things but not tons of value being blocked). Free speech seems like the big one and I do think it’s good for that to be officially supported (and require court orders to block rather than Apple/Google orders).
I would be a bit worried about the the ability of the EU to regulate privacy as swiftly and effectively as Apple. If I go to a clinic, they ask me to side load an app while I’m sick, and that app has no real privacy protections…
Probably on balance, this will be good for free society, and come with the natural knock on effect of more freedom to harm yourself as well.
Will that be regulated, though? It looks to me like the EU is just taking steps to give companies freedom (by allowing sideloading) but no steps to regulate that freedom (by enshrining app privacy into law).
The problem with these big companies is that they tend to produce useful stuff for the average consumer only. But if they were broken up into smaller companies that created stuff that other businesses can use to build more products, I think we would have a more modular economy with far more choice than the current duopoly offers.
If you’re producing consumer devices you need scale. Huge scale. Niece companies catering to specific audiences sounds great but without scale, the prices would be an order of magnitude higher than you’re used to paying. Modularity itself is costly as integration is one of the main factors driving down consumer devise prices.
You need scale for the hardware part but not nearly as much scale for the OS and barely and for the apps. That's why these should not be tied together, so that we can have specialists Apps and operating system that do not have the scale to afford their own hardware platform.
People don’t choose iPhone because they want those things, they choose iPhone because they want to be protected from them.
Look at the Lumenate app that was just on hacker news yesterday:
- Android users are complaining about having to create an account to use it
- iOS users just pushed a button and didn’t even have to share their email or make a password
- iOS users who subscribe have one place to manage their subscription, know that Apple will remind them _before_ the subscription auto renews, and know that they won’t be trapped or tricked into continuing to pay.
I don’t know why people on HN think somehow third party payment services are going to be better for Apple’s users than Apple has been. And I don’t know why HN users are so eager to ignore the disaster that the install-exe-from-internet computing mode has been for security.
If you hate Apple so much, use an Android, but once again, keep your grubby hands off my iPhone. I hate that Europeans are trying to make my quality of life worse, like they have been for years with cookie popup bullshit.
then don't install third party apps on your iPhone and only install Apple software? Like I literally cannot understand the thought process behind this. Someone needs to physically restrain you from installing an app that you don't want?
Nobody is forcing you to do anything, other people just get more options. People here on HN support this because people here like software freedom instead of being treated like infants.
Running any executable you want on your device is the foundation of free personal computing without having third parties control what you can do with your machine. Nobody is putting their hands on your iPhone, it's the other way around, Apple doesn't get to put their paternalistic hands on mine from now on.
> then don't install third party apps on your iPhone and only install Apple software? Like I literally cannot understand the thought process behind this. Someone needs to physically restrain you from installing an app that you don't want?
Because not everyone understands tech very well. There will be tons of social engineering campaigns to make you install the app you don’t want. And enough of them will succeed. And have succeed on Android.
We might also see a shift where big players will not release their apps for App store, because they want to collect more data from you. I think for example Apple’s cross app tracking notification is dependent on the app store policy.
It is really complicated problem. Giving a stock Android for some non-tech user is much more risky than giving stock iPhone at the moment.
When there are too many features, the user is the biggest risk. While HN audience might not be in part of that, a major population is.
People have been using laptops and desktops (including from apple), on which they can run their own software, for literally decades. Closed systems are new, not open ones. My 60 year old boomer father who has 9 years of education can find his way around on the command line. Yes, people don't understand tech very well any more because we're giving them crippled tech, and treat them as if they are helpless. It's the paternalism that makes people illiterate, not the other way around.
It's such a belittling attitude. Only the chosen HN users and managers in Cupertino with their high IQs can control their devices, everyone else must be handed toys lest they might do something wrong. Replace user with voter in your post and you have the bog standard authoritarian argument for banning half of all newspapers.
And as for privacy, the EU has the strongest privacy protections on the globe for a reason. We passed privacy regulation so we don't need to rely on Apple to run a sort of protection racket.
Thank you, reading through most of this thread I feel like I've been dropped into some crazy world where freedom and security are somehow now mutually exclusive, and the user has become an infantile ignoramus who must be diligently protected from herself by the altruistic benevolent dictator, fearlessly and selflessly defending them from the nest of vipers that is every other company/developer/person. war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. I couldn't have imagined this level of elitism, arrogance, and paternalism if I had tried.
It reminds me a lot of this famous CS Lewis quote:
> “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
As long as there are options (Android), then iPhone is just a product for specific group.
I don’t get it why everything should be the same.
Is iPhone so good the everyone is mad because they can’t sideload an app?
A lot of iPhone’s success is based on to that very thing that you can’t sideload and paying is easy. Different products for different people.
If it was as limited as you say, I would agree, just use a different product. That's what I've done for years by using Android.
However this philosophy is being extended to nearly everything nowadays. Apple is a leader and has proven that extreme authoritarian and lockdown works and few people will complain. As a result, nearly every company that makes mainstream products just follows their lead. For example the removal of a headphone jack, after which basically all Android makers (even OnePlus) followed suit.
Despite the much held opinion on HN of the lockdown beinga feature rather than a bug, the vast majority of people I talk to just use apple because the hardware is nice and everyone else uses them and there is social stigma around being a "green bubble". I don't think Apple's success is because of the draconian policies.
The reason why I care so much and think this ideology is harmful is not because I want to side load an iphone. If apple were just a niche product maker, then I couldn't care less what they do. Unfortunately that is not the case. What apple does directly affects me even though I don't buy apple products.
Personally, I agree that it has negative impact for global business strategies, if everyone follows it. If Apple success, why not them? But then choices are reduced and global state is getting worse.
But I also understand very well, why Apple has made changes.
> Apple is a leader and has proven that extreme authoritarian and lockdown works and few people will complain.
This is the major reason. We are in minority here in the HN. The most of the world is happily using their phones, and for that the business is based on.
It is not that exploitative as it could be, but there is danger for that.
If the App store fulfills their needs and payment is easy, people are happy. Only tech people care something more.
> For example the removal of a headphone jack, after which basically all Android makers (even OnePlus) followed suit.
This is quite natural evolution. If you look at the size from the chip this jack requires, it is natural thing to remove, at least if you want to make phone thinner and replace that portion from the chip with something else.
You can use adapter anyway to continue using the jack. Charging is the only problem, unless you buy adapter which allows plugging the charger at the same time.
> apple because the hardware is nice
Until Apple made its in-house chips, it was far away from Android hardware, in terms of chips and screens. People used to select iPhone for the software and usability alone.
> People have been using laptops and desktops (including from apple), on which they can run their own software, for literally decades. Closed systems are new, not open ones. My 60 year old boomer father who has 9 years of education can find his way around on the command line. Yes, people don't understand tech very well any more because we're giving them crippled tech, and treat them as if they are helpless. It's the paternalism that makes people illiterate, not the other way around.
Yes. And because it was so challenging, totally new industry around anti-virus engines appeared because of that. And fight is still going. It has got better for sure since the beginning, but we still have hundres of thousands machines as part of botnets, because someone downloded something unsuitable from the internet.
But how many times have you heard iPhone malware in the news, other than vuln based? How many times iPhone has been part of the botnet? I can’t even recall a day.
If you can’t sideload iPhone, why you are using it? Just go with Android as it is perfect for your needs. If you are already using Android, why even bother to complain about iPhone. You are not forced to use it.
iPhone could be good for other people’s needs. Not everything has to suit for everyone. People from the large majority don’t even know about sideloading or even find use for it.
1. Lets say I already have a payment service provider I have negotiated with for my app. In India, for example, we have Unified Payment Interface that has zero fees for upto ~$1500 (USD) per transaction. Why should I be forced to use Apple's service? I am looking at this move by EU to push for change in Apple's behavior globally.
2. No one is forcing thirdparty app stores on users. You can continue to roam within the Apple walled garden appstore for eternity and no one is stopping you. It is only Apple that is forcing out thirdparty app stores from their rent-seeking monopoly and restricting consumer choice and developers' freedom in the garb of protecting users.
> People don’t choose iPhone because they want those things, they choose iPhone because they want to be protected from them.
Hey, it’s me. A person that choose iPhone for a different set of things and absolutely don’t want to be “protected” from sideloading an open source YouTube alternative, or an open source emulator to play games from my childhood (I know, the horror).
>If sideloading was more important to you than the experience afforded by iPhone, why wouldn’t you choose Android?
Why not both? Why can't I have some of the experience afforded by iPhone as well as sideloading? Just because at some point I compromised and decided the iPhone experience was more important than sideloading doesn't mean I no longer want sideloading.
People choose iPhone because it works better and is reliable for longer. It works better and is reliable for longer because the APIs are better and more stable, the browser is relentlessly optimized for performance and energy consumption, and because Apple can limit bad behavior through App Store restrictions.
If Facebook tells people to install the meta store, and TikTok tells people to disable the setting and install the .exe, they will. Kids will turn off the setting so that they can get free swipes or whatever in their games.
If whatever app doesn’t want to worry about losing subscribers, they will just not allow you use Apple’s payment methods, and we’ll be back to the dark days of entering credit card information manually.
There are a thousand reasons, and Europeans are finding a thousand ways to make my computing experience worse. Look at cookie noticed for an example of exactly how well good-intentioned European regulation works in practice.
I choose iPhone because of the additional privacy. I had Androids for years, got fed up with the setting and the choices that all seemed to result in poor experiences.
I chose to buy an iPhone because I only have Safari (it’s a feature - keeping the browser engine market diverse - otherwise welcome to Chromium). With only Safari on iPhones my default iPhone keychain is used, I get Hide my Email by default, etc.
> I choose iPhone because of the additional privacy. I had Androids for years, got fed up with the setting and the choices that all seemed to result in poor experiences.
This was my experience too. I owned the first iPhone, switched to Android for about 10 years, and then recently switched back. Largely because I have been increasingly less comfortable with handing over Google all my data. I like the idea of Android, but the execution (still) leaves something to be desired.
I would, after this and switch to usb-c. 3 months ago I was deciding where to put 1300 euro, apple vs samsung top of the line, and samsung won. This was 1 out of cca 4-5 points that decided it (sideloading, notch, usb-c, better zoom photos for family/nature, weight... apple had only battery as plus).
Firefox mobile with ublock origin (and other plugins) makes general internet seriously usable.
Sideloading for me is not about some cracked games. I have older (otherwise still good) Pioneer receiver that had failing remote, and official (but unsupported and removed from store) app to control it. Otherwise I need to shell 500-1000$ for new one of comparable quality.
Clearly, for some obscure reason nobody can explain, not everybody in this world has your mindset, values and decisions. Something to learn here.
It sounds like your issue is with Pioneer, who isn't supporting their old hardware. It's nice that side-loading has offered you a workaround, but is that a make-or-break thing for you? Would you have still bought the Samsung phone if side-loading didn't solve that problem?
That's my point. People won't stop buying iPhones whether Apple allows or forbids those things. So the argument made by the comment I replied to, that people chose iPhone over Android because of browser engines, payment vendors... makes zero sense.
German politicians were discussing banning Telegram. With centralized monopoly App Stores, they easily can. With sideloading, they can't under current frameworks; and they're unlikely to mandate remote-uninstalls of "illegal apps" anytime soon.
Sure, central subscription management and "Login with Apple" are convenient, but I'd much rather governments not have the ability to block apps on my personal devices.
While I agree with your sentiment, how do you think that might work out if phone manufacturers were required to have an app ID blocklist?
As an example (I’m not sure what the current state of things is on Firefox these days as it has been a long time since I’ve used it), Firefox ships with a blocklist of extensions that works even if you get the extension from a third-party source. This was mostly used to prevent users from installing malware, but if governments have problems banning an app they’ll just go this route and require phone manufacturers to do the same.
Good for you. Have you considered that you live in a bubble? People buy iPhones because they work better, and end-to-end control of the experience is how Apple does that. If you don’t want a curated experience, there is Android.
Given the browser choice utopia that is Android, it is hard to believe iPhone does any business at all, if hacker news comments are to be taken seriously.
I think California should add legislation to check the power of the European car makers. Make sure that the German cars interoperate with the Ford components and can be serviced by other independent car dealerships as well. BMW and Porsche should also share their advertising numbers.
Your suggestions seem to come with a bit of spite, but if they protect consumers I'm all for them.
I'm not sure how interchangeable car parts are, but what the EU is doing is requiring things that are known to work: you could always sideload on Android or any computer ever, you could always install any browser anywhere except on iOS, you could always use any payment system, etc etc etc.
The EU is basically requiring Apple to not block competitors, not to go out of pocket in supporting them.
Let’s start the list of UX that could be built if apple followed these rules starting tomorrow. What will be available to me that I don’t have now, and how will it benefit me, Joe P. Consumer? Keep in mind, I have no idea what a software developer does all day — I just want my email to work and these internet pop ups to be easier to close. What am I missing out on?
A lot of media consumption apps, from Kindle to my local TV provider would offer the option to purchase content!
Copy-paste from where the "Buy now" button in the Kindle app should have been:
"This app does not support purchasing of this content. Digital books and comics purchased from Amazon are available to read in the Kindle app."
After Google started following Apple in requiring the 30% cut, several local media companies have sent out emails saying we have to use their website or whatever to purchase content from now on.
This legislation would reverse that, and I'm really looking forward to renting movies in five seconds instead of five minutes again.
> take away dev time for Apple to improve iOS in other ways
The mobile phone platform has been "complete" for years now. There are little niggles to work out here and there, but the single most meaningful change that could come is the switch to an open platform. Consider the abundance of tools on desktop platforms like macOS that hook into the system to augment the UX for the better. Imagine having to use macOS without some window management tool like Rectangle, or without a key rebinder like Carabiner. Personally I would find my user experience greatly diminished. But that is the status quo on mobile. Opening iOS up to extensions and third-party integrations would allow for much faster development of the platform's UX, assuming that Apple Sherlocks whatever extensions end up popular. I have no confidence that Apple will be adding useful interaction paradigms on their own (see Stage Manager) so this seems like the inly path forward.
I use none of those tools mentioned but have tried different flavors of them. macOS has also felt pretty baked for years. I mostly use a mac today the same way I have for the last 15 years. Every improvement in productivity or moment of delight has largely been around search: I type a word into spotlight, or Photos.app, or a web browser and get what I want pretty much instantly.
Then there’s stock utilities that are under-hyped to this day. Measure.app is fairly accurate for “how big is my shed” or “what’s the area of this rectangle”. I point my phone at the world and receive data I want now in seconds; why bother with window management?
That’s a good point about Apple’s own resource reallocation necessary in the short term. iOS feels _pretty good_ these days compared to where it was not too long ago, but having to “unlock” APIs that were built to be private but now have to be public will also expose new bugs (both inherent and new).
In case someone here knows but how is it even possible that EU can fine companies based on the whole world "turnover" (which I might incorrectly presume meaning profits) when their power is restricted to the EU space.
> The DMA says that gatekeepers who ignore the rules will face fines of up to 10 percent of the company's total worldwide annual turnover, or 20 percent in the event of repeated infringements, as well as periodic penalties of up to 5 percent of the company's total worldwide annual turnover.
I see it this way: the EU may choose whatever way it wants to compute a fine -- they are making the law, they could have written a fixed amount, or an amount based on revenue made in the EU (which is probably a pain to define and certainly easy to "workaround"), or an amount relative to the average temperature in the Sahara over a year.
Whether it's "fair" is an entirely different topic. And I guess any company could try to fight that decision in court.
I suspect the compliance will be as minimal as possible, e.g. uninstalling included junk will only flip some settings bit that hides some of the user facing activity. Just enough to make a glib "look, we obeyed the law" statement as they will assume nobody will actually take them to court over it.
That's actually about how it is going to work. Apps on both iOS and Android are in the read-only system partition. Even when you disable an app on Android, the read-only system partition version remains and the latest version installed in the rewritable user folder gets deleted. It is absolutely just going to be a visual switch.
I'm personally happy to stay inside Apple's ecosystem, but believe that everyone should have the option to choose. This looks like good news, a step in the direction of being more in control of the devices we buy.
> I'm personally happy to stay inside Apple's ecosystem
I used to believe that I'd stay inside the Apple ecosystem if this ever happened, but the ecosystem has become a total dumpster fire in the last few years IMO.
The App Store itself is riddled with 99% crap apps, there's a lot of advertisement that really puts me off, the macOS Store results are mostly copycat apps or very suspicious stuff (although most of the time the real Apps aren't even there), their own apps (Music, TV, AppStore itself) are buggy as heck for me, there's an incredible amount of notification spam from otherwise useful apps (bank app, Uber, delivery app, etc). They've lost control.
Opening up is more necessary than ever, for multiple reasons.
Apple advances this argument all the time. Meanwhile most European use Android which allows side-loading and the predicted apocalypse didn’t actually happen. I know it’s annoying: this pesky reality showing to everyone that your argument is actually specious.
Here's a detail: iOS stopped apps from tracking you, and it worked so well that Facebook (an ad company) fought it tooth and nail and lost quite a bit of money because of it. Do you have any such details of similar things happening in Android?
And now you'll be able to choose WHILE still keep using iOS which is much better for you as a consumer.
This being bad for "regular people" is typical monopolistic corporate scaremongering. Apple has proven that they're more than capable of providing secure devices that provide choice with their MacBook series.
Kind of. So the primary issue is that Apple collectively bargains on behalf of customers against developers. So if you take something like privacy rights, Apple can say "hey, we've got all of these users and if you want to participate in the ecosystem you have to not track their data" - as an example.
Now what happens is that companies like Facebook and others who really want to get your data without that pesky Apple interfering is they launch legal attacks and marketing campaigns to convince people that Apple is a big bad monopoly and their "locking down" is bad for customers, etc. (so ya know, typical monopolistic corporate scaremongering) and then Apple goes and gets regulated.
With Apple finally being forced to allow a third-party app store on iOS, it makes financial sense for, well, Facebook and others to start such stores that don't respect privacy rights - Apple can't make them and then Facebook creates a neutered version of its products on Apple's App Store and creates the best version on their own (or one they support) app store. It didn't make a lot of sense to do this with just Android because you're maintaining a lot of software and it's not worth the money + you don't want to show your hand. Now with this new legislation these companies will basically eliminate a lot of customer protections that we have.
Many day-to-day people will just say "oh I need the X store for Facebook and TikTok and YouTube" and they'll sign away privacy rights to get those apps because they don't have an immediate feedback loop. They just get more and more invasive applications and then that's that.
With Apple maintaining control of the App Store ecosystem, customers could have their cake and eat it too. They got privacy rights because Apple could collectively bargain for them, but they also got their apps because so much money stands to be made anyway that companies would comply with these rules.
It absolutely blows my mind that people are rallying the pitchforks around Apple for "monopolistic corporate scaremongering" all the while missing that its all of these other "monopolistic corporate scaremongering" corporations like Facebook, Google, TikTok, Uber, and others who they're out in the streets for. I mean, you do know that Facebook is a giant corporation, right? (Not picking on Facebook here).
For me personally as a user, it means companies leave the App Store ecosystem, and devalues the iPhone and other devices.
I'm still waiting to be able to use my iPad to write code.
To be able to use the iPad as a platform for tools that contain their own WASM ecosystem of user purchase-able plugins.
To use a browser on iPhone and iPad that is actually secure.
iPhone and iPad are little addiction machines, with little value for productive work that goes beyond email and powerpoint. These legislations give us a fighting chance of regaining the quality of 00s personal computers, with advanced 20s technology.
To be perfectly fair here, you're responding as if "productivity" means "Code" and that's not exactly true.
For the overwhelming majority of people: coding is not productivity.
What is? Checking email, jotting down notes, recording meetings and transcribing/dictating them, joining meetings and having reliable video/audio.
Being able to respond to an email with a little drawing is _absolutely_ a killer feature for productivity, having a little 10" portable device which can perch on a desk and allow you the full gammut of features for a _good_ meeting is also pretty damn awesome.
One could argue that these have some moderate competence at artistic creation machines (photos, videos, drawing, some combination), but I'm not creative so I'm not sure how competent these devices realistically are.
I wont comment much on the statement you can't actually code on an iPad, technically you can; gitpods, code-server, coder.com, (and if you work at google CitC) means you already have everything you need. These work with safari; because those features Chrome demands we have are not actually needed for such tasks.
Countless, countless, countless iOS devs, even extremely high-profile ones like Marco Arment, can talk all day long about problems they've had with App Review and the capriciousness of the App Store. Tons of high-profile, reputable devs can talk about specific apps they were making or wanted to make, never saw the light of day, not because the apps violate App Store policy, but because App Review is such a minefield that they didn't want to bother.
Apple literally publicly said that devs criticising the App Store, or App Review practices, could expect retaliation.
It's insane that devs are expected to only provide apps through a single storefront, that operates at such a huge scale that moderation is necessarily arbitrary, mostly algorithmic, and inconsistent. The App Store monopoly is indefensible.
You're just shifting the target from one monopoly app store that's high profile to a dozen or so (maybe fewer) app stores who will also have their own arbitrary rules and moderation.
You might say, well at least they have alternatives from Apple. Sure, but then if those alternatives are sufficiently good competitors we likely lost all of the privacy benefits and so forth from the Apple App Store and they'll have their own arbitrary review practices and retaliatory nature. And if they as good of alternatives then most likely the majority of these apps with "problems" are just scam artists and should be rejected anyway except now they can thrive on people who are susceptible to being scammed.
To me this is a little bit like having a debate over the First Amendment where I'm kind of sitting here and saying yea you shouldn't be allowed to yell fire! in a crowd as part of the amendment from the start and others are just asking for maximum freedom of speech, only to have this legislated later anyway.
Your lack imagination of how much better software development could be given the right interfaces, and interaction modes, is somewhat representative of how the stagnation of iPad OS has crippled our optimism and taste for futurism, constantly improving user experiences and new models of computation.
The iPad has amazing input capabilities, from the pen to laser scanning that could all be used to further improve developer experiences. Be it by augmenting your scrum board, to sharing code annotations with your coworkers, or foregoing coding completely and turning flow-charts to code directly.
But sure, let's all be middle management, and write emails all day.
I don't know why I should give a rat's ass what CPU is doing the work as long as the work can be done. Your point seems kind of pedantic in a world where a vast amount of code executes in the cloud or is intricately tied up with networked services so that a freestanding computer is of little value.
Hey, if that's your attitude then who am I to stop you? By your definition, the iPad is also a great device for Windows since it can RDP into Windows machines without problems. Of course, as I outlined above, that's not a very impressive superpower, but who cares! In the future, you'll own nothing and be happy: including your own hardware/software.
For me, though, having an internet connection as a prerequisite for running my software is borderline insanity. My software should compile and run locally, I shouldn't need to trust a random third-party or connect to the internet to check how my HTML renders or test a few changes to my software. But I guess that doesn't make a difference on iPad, because even if you did have a proper text editor/compiler it would phone home with OSCP anyways.
> Facebook and others to start such stores that don't respect privacy rights
This is trotted out every time, but these doomsaying scenarios always miss out that this is far harder to achieve than it seems, from a product and business perspective. They can build it, but consumers are unlikely to come.
If consumers are unlikely to come and major corporations aren't going to open their own app stores or migrate to third-party app stores, then what kind of companies are going to need to have a third-party app store that's uncontrolled by Apple? Do you think these companies have spent this much money on marketing and bankrolling lobbyists in the US and EU for no reason?
> major corporations aren't going to open their own app stores or migrate to third-party app stores
The major corporations will try, but consumers are just burnt out by managing all of the user accounts and dealing with different ecosystems. Not to mention even casual users are vaguely aware that these companies are out to take their data and sell them ads now.
I foresee that any attempt to put their apps exclusively on competing scammy low-privacy third party app stores will end in tears and mea culpas, leading them to put those apps back on the Apple App Store. As I've said before, creating a compelling alternative app ecosystem is hard, and if you think a Facebook App Store is going to be so scary, just look at the current state of the Amazon Appstore on Android, or the Samsung Galaxy Store. These are real world case studies, not hypothetical doomsday scenarios, and they do not show consumers flocking to these alternatives.
Finally, it's possible that antitrust logic can apply to these companies just as they apply to Apple. If Google tries to make Gmail, YouTube, G-Suite, etc. apps available only on a Google iOS Play Store, the courts aren't going to be happy about that.
> then what kind of companies are going to need to have a third-party app store that's uncontrolled by Apple?
Epic, mostly, with their games store. Piracy (for game emulators, ROMs, etc.), Porn and other adult content, and open-source Purists a la F-Droid. Also, potentially governments such as China or Russia.
> Do you think these companies have spent this much money on marketing and bankrolling lobbyists in the US and EU for no reason?
It's perfectly possible for companies to waste a lot of money on boondoggles that won't actually help their bottom line, yes.
Apple has completely forgotten their privacy bargains in China when their profits were threatened. They've also special-cased their own Ad data collection (a business that's growing in revenue) to be opt-out. So your trust in Apple collectively bargaining in your interest is misplaced because they ALREADY haven't proven themselves to be trustworthy (and they repeatedly lied and misled in their marketing and court hearings when it trusted them).
They're an unaccountable and unelected corporation, not a government.
I prefer to put my trust in "collectively bargained" and voted for GDPR (and similar) legislation which affects all apps, all corporations. This gives us both choice (critical for freedom), market competition (critical for healthy economy and society - growing up in socialist single-choice markets wasn't fun) AND privacy across the board.
I honestly don't understand your penchant to cross your fingers and hope a for-profit corporation will protect you over actually ensuring they do via privacy legislation.
> Apple has completely forgotten their privacy bargains in China when their profits were threatened.
Couple of things here. First, I live in America so I don't really care and apparently the Chinese people for whatever reason want to live in that privacy hellscape. Second, Apple unfortunately (like many corporations) is not in a position to dictate privacy regulations to the Chinese government. The interactions here, frankly, are complicated so I'm not really buying this as a valid criticism w.r.t the App Store. If you really want to try and take a moral high ground here, well, let me know when the EU stops supporting genocide in Xinjiang. I'll wait.
(but it's complicated, so let's not sling mud here alright?)
> They've also special-cased their own Ad data collection (a business that's growing in revenue) to be opt-out.
Yes, and I don't like this. It's something I agree with criticizing Apple for.
Similarly: "They're an unaccountable and unelected corporation, not a government"
Yes. And? They're ahead of government regulation here (in many instances and in many countries). You're framing this as if my choices are an unelected corporation and a government, but we're just switching between one unelected corporation (Apple) and others (Facebook, et al).
> I honestly don't understand your penchant to cross your fingers and hope a for-profit corporation will protect you over actually ensuring they do via privacy legislation.
We are not talking about GDPR or "socialism" or whatever. We're talking about regulating Apple so that other mega corporations can create their own app stores on iOS and then do whatever they want. You're just wrestling control away from one mega corporation that ostensibly has some sort of values that align with the interest of the public and giving it to other mega corporations that, as far as I can tell, don't.
The problem is that it lessens Apple's collective bargaining power. They can't make Facebook (again just as an example) comply with privacy rules on the iOS App Store because Facebook can and will offer its product exclusively on its own store or on a third-party store where they don't have to use these rules.
The feedback loop for privacy rights is such that people will say screw the privacy rights and go download Facebook anyway - so now customers that previously had the best of both worlds (privacy rules and Facebook) will be forced to choose, and they'll definitely choose Facebook.
So what was gained? Well, it's good for mega corporations like Facebook. Bad for single megacorporation Apple, and bad for me as a customer. It's good for payday loan type crypto companies or other scam artists, and bad for my grandma. Etc.
That's the problem here. Saying "don't use those" doesn't make sense. But if you wanted to say that then I just say don't use the iPhone if you want third-party app stores.
I think it's more likely that this would technically mean suicide for Facebook (or whoever would try this). And if users actually follow then the bet paid off and the users deserve what's coming to them.
I don't see this happening in the real world though.
It also makes assumptions that consumers are dying for Facebook, when engagement in the product has been mixed, especially with the reputation of the company dropping precipitously over the past six years.
Heck, even Instagram is beginning to show signs of trouble:
Facebook owns a few properties, including WhatsApp. But I think you are envisioning a high switching cost, whereas I think it would just be a simple download and install of the Meta store. You'll probably purchase products using a Libra derivative too. There wouldn't be very high switching cost for customers, and they'll rapidly click through privacy prompts (if they happen at all) with no Apple ostensibly looking out at all for this. At that point it'll just be up to government regulation.
It’s still having to sign up for another account- probably using Facebook login- but once you have the dang thing you have to manage payment options, privacy settings, email and push notifications, having the damn app store icon sit on your Home Screen, non-zero friction that comes with the current era where consumers already juggle multiple social networks, streaming services, e-commerce memberships, music or gaming stores, and so on. It’s an annoyance and a hassle and unless Meta brings out sufficient new incentives as part of it, users are gonna balk. Most users do not want to deal with yet another payment system like Libra. Finally, government regulators would probably probe Meta for antitrust violations if they withhold a critical communication app like WhatsApp from the official iOS App Store, without opening the protocol up for federation. What applies to Apple still applies to other companies.
Speaking as someone on this community ostensibly for hackers, it would be nice simply to have an F-Droid for iOS. (Or the late XDA Labs.) It would be neat if Apple allowed such a community of tinkerers, tech-heads, FOSS enthusiasts, and hobbyists their own little platform to curate apps. Just having the option for such a subculture to exist on iOS would be nice, in this present where both web and native feel like big box stores.
For a long time now, the official App Store itself has been overrun not only by scammy apps, see Kosta Eleftheriou's excellent investigatory work into top-selling fraudulent apps, but also by poor discoverability with outdated UX and obtrusive search ads. If the platform was opened, just a little, one could imagine boutique third party specialized app stores hosting curated apps for curated purposes, which would help with app discoverability greatly. (Apple has banned app discovery tools from their App Store, see the 2013 removal of AppGratis.) It would be a little like the return to the web of GeoCities and Angelfire, when websites had more free expression and control, except on native. A legitimized Cydia, perhaps.
It didn't have to be like this, all regulatory pressure and billion dollar fines. Apple could have chosen to open up the App Store on its own terms, issuing a privacy-hardened AppStoreKit that third party app stores would use, providing mandatory security scan APIs a la macOS notarization, going through reliability processes that Apple approves, heading regulators off at the pass. Apple already has authorized third party resellers and service and repair providers, why not app stores? Apple could have allowed the flourishing of an ecosystem where they are still in control, but as delegated as the code in their apps. Instead they tried to do it all themselves, making themselves the singular point of failure.
> Speaking as someone on this community ostensibly for hackers...
Yea so why not just use Android for that instead of trying to put a square peg into a round hole? That's what I don't understand. You can do anything you want with Android or any number of manufacturers but no you have to do it on iPhone and iOS...?
I think this is just an admittance that iPhone and iOS are superior to all alternatives and that the "closed" model is better than open source software. If that weren't the case, you wouldn't be here trying to use Apple's products when you have multiple options and FOSS readily available.
> For a long time now, the official App Store itself has been overrun not only by scammy apps
Ok sure. So if this is a problem then it's not one that more app stores solve. It just makes the problem worse. So can you not use this as discussion point? Either you haven't thought about this much or you're being disingenuous.
> The freedom of possibility.
Yea, for a very vocal minority of people. Now I lose privacy regulations, apps, convenience, having a phone that just works, and so many other things just so a specific community of greedy, selfish people can do things they can already do now via jailbreaking their iPhone. And once this all comes to pass, it'll just be the same group of people doing stuff that can do it now except all other users will have a worse experience on their behalf. Thanks man
> You can do anything you want with Android or any number of manufacturers but no you have to do it on iPhone and iOS...?
Because I prefer the iOS user experience and Apple hardware irrespective of their management of the App Store? Because I would like to see the platform innovate and provide more interesting opportunities than widgets? Not to mention, even while Apple does not have a majority share of the smartphone OS market, it does have exclusive control over its platform in such a way that antitrust arguments are still arguably applicable?
> It just makes the problem worse. So can you not use this as discussion point? Either you haven't thought about this much or you're being disingenuous.
If more app stores were allowed to exist, they can compete with one another, leading to improvements in quality. There can be app stores and communities built around ensuring security, with even more exclusive standards for the sake of curation. Especially in the case of stores focused on FOSS apps where the code is open for all to review. Making Apple be the sole gatekeeper promotes a single source of failure and security via obscurity. Not to mention, because Apple has control over the underlying OS, they can mandate 3rd app stores use safeguards that transcend individual app stores, like they already do on macOS via notarization.
> If that weren't the case, you wouldn't be here trying to use Apple's products when you have multiple options and FOSS readily available.
What if I have an underlying heart condition or other preexisting condition where I must rely upon the Apple Watch to save my life, as Apple claims their products can do via their own marketing?
> Now I lose privacy regulations, apps, convenience, having a phone that just works,
If you like those things, you can still have them. Just don't use another app store. Like the majority of users wouldn't.
> all other users will have a worse experience on their behalf
This all-or-nothing emotional argument is very puzzling. It seems to reduce the Apple today, the most profitable company in the history of the world since the Dutch East India Company, to the shell on the verge the bankruptcy it was in the '90s. You insult and demean Apple by accusing them of being unable to handle an open platform. That all of their engineering, product, and design prowess is unable to square the circle, that all of their resources are for naught. You do not present an argument, you do not present a debate, all you do is insult Apple and say they are incapable and helpless. That is very far and away removed from present real-world conditions. Somehow, that is even more offensive than your insults towards the hacker community.
> Because I prefer the iOS user experience and Apple hardware irrespective of their management of the App Store?
Well, that's the trade-off, right? I don't buy a sports car and get mad when it doesn't have the utility of a pickup truck.
Different products have different features. For example, Motorola released a phone that was modular at one point. Samsung has a phone with two screens. There are companies that make de-Googled phones with Android that are targeted toward FOSS. Apple sells a different product with different features. The iPhone lacks the feature of "multiple app stores" but has the best platform and operating system.
> Not to mention, even while Apple does not have a majority share of the smartphone OS market, it does have exclusive control over its platform in such a way that antitrust arguments are still arguably applicable?
That doesn't make any sense because plenty of companies have control over their own platform and that's normal and acceptable.
> If more app stores were allowed to exist, they can compete with one another, leading to improvements in quality. There can be app stores and communities built around ensuring security, with even more exclusive standards for the sake of curation. Especially in the case of stores focused on FOSS apps where the code is open for all to review. Making Apple be the sole gatekeeper promotes a single source of failure and security via obscurity. Not to mention, because Apple has control over the underlying OS, they can mandate 3rd app stores use safeguards that transcend individual app stores, like they already do on macOS via notarization.
But you said major companies won't create their own app stores or leave Apple's App Store. So who will be these companies? Who are they for? A small, vocal minority of users?
Will I have to download 3 versions of Instagram? The neutered App Store version, the version on the Meta store, and the privacy focused version?
> What if I have an underlying heart condition or other preexisting condition where I must rely upon the Apple Watch to save my life, as Apple claims their products can do via their own marketing?
Then don't use the product? I don't know what you're talking about here. Do you want third-party app stores without anyone working with the FDA to monitor your Apple Watch?
> If you like those things, you can still have them. Just don't use another app store. Like the majority of users wouldn't.
Please re-read the posts where I've discussed Apple's collective bargaining on behalf of users against developers as it relates to the App Store. I think once you understand how that works (as I've explained it) you'll see why your comment here is incorrect.
> You insult and demean Apple by accusing them of being unable to handle an open platform.
No, I said that it will make my personal experience much worse and I think that it will make the experience for most people worse as well and it will only benefit a small, vocal minority of people. I'm sure Apple can "handle" third-party app stores. That doesn't mean the user experience won't be degraded for the vast majority of people who just want to pick up their phone and use it.
> That doesn't make any sense because plenty of companies have control over their own platform and that's normal and acceptable.
The regulators disagree.
> So who will be these companies? Who are they for? A small, vocal minority of users?
Startups! App discovery companies like AppGratis and Chomp, which were killed off by App Store guidelines. A potential industry for app discoverability, curated app experiences, app lists for specialists. There is potential there for entirely new industries to be built for the iOS app ecosystem, for dynamic change and new frontiers!
> Will I have to download 3 versions of Instagram? The neutered App Store version, the version on the Meta store, and the privacy focused version?
Most people will use the App Store version. Few die-hards will bother to migrate to the Meta store, as such purists most likely already view as the Facebook acquisition and subsequent ad/brands push as compromising the indie nature of Instagram. Certainly some savvy power users may opt for the privacy-focused version, just as people already do with alternatives to the official Twitter or Reddit clients. It is fine to stick to the default option; let people have choice.
> I don't know what you're talking about here.
If Apple is making claims that go as far that its devices are life-saving, then they are not some minor player who is beyond the purview of regulators and antitrust legislation. Thus you cannot claim that "just use Android" is a valid dodge to prevent Apple from having its power checked.
> Apple's collective bargaining on behalf of users against developers as it relates to the App Store
Your arguments still relies on hypotheticals about Facebook or Google, companies who have clearly questionable abilities to launch new compelling products and platforms, being able to steal users away. Again, I find that to be dubious, especially when you examine the modern state of the industry, and the increasing sclerosis of these companies from a product perspective. I find the "data funnel 3rd party app store" threat vector to be debatable and worth examining in detail, before we base our entire policy upon this hypothetical scenario.
Basically, you are saying that Apple is protecting us from giants, when they are actually windmills.
> That doesn't mean the user experience won't be degraded for the vast majority of people who just want to pick up their phone and use it.
I disagree. I believe if Apple embraces a partial opening up, they can manage it with minimal degrading of UX, and in fact will open up many new potential to breathe freshness into iOS and smartphones in general. All of this FUD is really just covert anti-Apple skepticism.
Sure but that's not a good argument. When it comes to technology so far regulators don't have a great track record IMO. Even if they did, that's still not a good argument.
> Startups! App discovery companies like AppGratis and Chomp, which were killed off by App Store guidelines. A potential industry for app discoverability, curated app experiences, app lists for specialists. There is potential there for entirely new industries to be built for the iOS app ecosystem, for dynamic change and new frontiers!
I don't find this compelling enough to give up everything I enjoy about the iPhone. I'd rather these startups just never exist, or they can exist on Android and prove their business model successful.
> Most people will use the App Store version. Few die-hards will bother to migrate to the Meta store, as such purists most likely already view as the Facebook acquisition and subsequent ad/brands push as compromising the indie nature of Instagram. Certainly some savvy power users may opt for the privacy-focused version, just as people already do with alternatives to the official Twitter or Reddit clients. It is fine to stick to the default option; let people have choice.
Or so you think. Most likely scenario is that people will have 2-5 app stores installed because these companies have enough pull that they can get a user to click through a few buttons. You can see these kinds of user-hostile patterns all over the place where companies will interact with you initially and then stop. Take Affirm. Payment processing. They send you an email when you have an upcoming payment and then you click the email, each link takes you to an app download. Eventually users just give in and download the app because they make it hard to view payments on the web. No reason to think that a company such as Meta won't/can't transition all of their products to their own App Store even if they maintain a neutered version on Apple's App Store that constantly bothers users to switch stores. Companies such as Spotify or Netflix will move to a third-party store so they don't have to pay Apple for using the platform. So now Apple has less incentive to improve software because if they make gains then other mega corporations like Netflix will be able to access those gains without any sort of payment - in other words, they get access to the users and platform without having to pay anything to do so. You might believe that to be fair, but I don't think that's up to regulators to decide and should be left to the mega corporations to fight it out amongst themselves.
> If Apple is making claims that go as far that its devices are life-saving, then they are not some minor player who is beyond the purview of regulators and antitrust legislation. Thus you cannot claim that "just use Android" is a valid dodge to prevent Apple from having its power checked.
I think you're confused.
First, I have never stated that Apple was a minor player. You can safely retract that thought.
Second, creating "life saving devices" isn't relevant here. Medical manufacturers create life saving devices too. Seatbelts save lives. So what?
Finally, you can just use Android because there are lots of mega corporations such as Google and Samsung that manufacture phones that compete with the iPhone, and you can use various distributions of Android including completely free and open source versions.
There's a very healthy and competitive marketplace. Open-source software and the Android + manufacturer business model has turned out to be less competitive and weaker than Apple's approach. In fact, Apple's model of locked-down software and tight integration is so superior to open source software that even you use the iPhone.
> Your arguments
Look I've already explained it. You don't have to accept it but there's nothing else for me to say here. I've described the mechanics in a satisfactory way as it pertains to these conversations and it's impossible to change my mind on it and I'm not interested in discussing it further because there's no new information being presented that I haven't already considered.
> I disagree. I believe if Apple embraces a partial opening up, they can manage it with minimal degrading of UX, and in fact will open up many new potential to breathe freshness into iOS and smartphones in general. All of this FUD is really just covert anti-Apple skepticism.
Nothing stops this on Android now. If third-party stores were a breath of fresh air you wouldn't be here complaining that you need them on yet another device. It's like someone who burns down a house playing with matches and shows up to someone else's house with matches.
> Even if they did, that's still not a good argument.
It is not argument; it is the reality on the ground.
> I don't find this compelling enough to give up everything I enjoy about the iPhone.
I don't believe you will have to give up anything on your iPhone. We will just have to agree to disagree, until this future comes to pass, if at all.
> Most likely scenario is that people will have 2-5 app stores installed because these companies have enough pull that they can get a user to click through a few buttons.
I disagree. It's far more involved to get someone to sign up for another platform and to manage another user account, than it is to simply download an app for the platform they are already on. Seems like we are at an impasse until we actually see what third party app stores are like and how popular they are.
Also, this regulation doesn't mean that Apple can't make activating third party app store/sideloading behavior a guarded one with multiple hoops to jump through. It would definitely not be as seamless as you claim.
> Companies such as Spotify or Netflix will move to a third-party store so they don't have to pay Apple for using the platform.
Not if Apple keeps cutting sweetheart deals with them, as they and Google already have. They have not shifted to third party/independent app stores on Android. Furthermore, you are once again overlooking how difficult it is to herd users off of existing platforms for no good reason. Even in the arena of games, where gamers are used to platform exclusivity, there is a lot of friction against the proliferation of new games stores from the likes of EA, UbiSoft, Epic, etc. Store runners have to woo players with free or discounted content.
Netflix and Spotify, curiously enough, are also platforms facing issues with user growth and retention. So along with Facebook, these are three platforms you've cited that have less capacity to lure users to a third party app store than it would seem. If anything this would be good news for Apple Music and Apple TV+, as users switch over rather than deal with another app store.
> You might believe that to be fair
I don't believe that is fair. I believe that is a complete slippery slope worst-case doomsday scenario that is far less probable than it is held up to be.
> I have never stated that Apple was a minor player.
Then you agree that their behavior is worth subjecting to antitrust investigation. Thank you.
> In fact, Apple's model of locked-down software and tight integration is so superior to open source software that even you use the iPhone.
I'm not actually a FOSS advocate. I use Safari on macOS not only because of past and present professional obligations, but because I am comfortable with it. But I also believe that FOSS folks and other hobbyists deserve to be accorded the ability to tinker on iOS, as they have historically done so with other Apple products. Because it is right. And because it is interesting.
> If third-party stores were a breath of fresh air you wouldn't be here complaining that you need them on yet another device.
F-Droid exists on Android, which is great. What is wrong wanting one for iOS?
> I'm not interested in discussing it further because there's no new information being presented that I haven't already considered.
Very well. I have made my case and you have made yours. You have advanced hypotheticals that I have found wanting, hurled calumny that I have endured; now let reality take its course.
Except even with a third-party app store Apple still has control over what permissions apps need as well as the developer API itself. So it's not clear to me that a third-party app store can ignore privacy without getting a user to click Allow to whatever privacy violations the API permits. I guess Apple can no longer enforce that apps can't use parts of the internal API that leak, so a third-party app store might get around some things that way but it seems they are still quite limited in options.
It absolutely blows my mind that people are rallying the pitchforks around Apple for "monopolistic corporate scaremongering"
Meanwhile it blows my mind that on a site called Hacker News, people are not only enthusiastically handing control of their computing environments to a megacorporation, but insisting that everyone else should do the same.
Don't know if it will be bad. Apple still can make this securely. It doesn't mean that the system needs to be completely open, just that apps need to be able to access hardware features. NFC for example can be asked upon like GPS on the OS level. Doesn't mean that the apps need to access NFC on the direct hardware level.
And I don't want to have Android, but I would like for Apple to open up things like the forced browser engine stuff. With this Apple is blocking so much innovation for the web because they are not implementing so many things.
One thing I hope for is that API access comes with the following agreement:
1) Use of APIs means an App must be listed on the App Store or be used the regular way. You want location data? Sure but in exchange, I want to see an App Store listing along with the Data Privacy Report. You want access to NFC but you’re a bank? Sure but your cards must also be available to be added directly without an app. You’re free to create another version of your app and list that on another App Store , but I want a version that adheres to the App Store rules.
big tech does not want simple, but good enough to do the job, and stable in time protocols to interoperate with. Force the big to interoperate with the small, and not let the big crush the small, this is one of the whys of regulation.
For instance, in the case of the web: noscript/basic (x)html. With basic (x)html forms, you can browse tiled maps, do shopping, interact with the online administration service, etc. With the <video> and <audio> element, the noscript/basic (x)html browsers can pass an URL to an external media player, what seems missing is the type of streaming. I don't know if you can specify the type of the href, HLS/mpeg DASH/etc, kind of a mime type for those. Then the ability to seek into a big video should be standardized, very probably an URL parameter to do this, at least per mime types if those exists, like t=xxhxxmxxsxxxms.
Those are extremely simple, do not require those horrible web engines and are enough to do the job.
The real hard work is into "securing" those "simple" sites against corpo(=state?) sponsored hackers to make those not work and promote corpo-locked software and protocols. That could be idiotic hackers pushing the web to use those corpo-locked software and protocols.
I see a lot of Apple Supporters are already calling for Apple to Pull out of the EU.
While this legislation applies to both Apple and Google. It was ultimately Tim Cook's Apple that leads to all these changes. Not only did they refuse to actively engage with the EU ( or any government ), they threaten them by either limiting features, services or even outright pulling out of the country. Their standard PR responses were how many jobs they created via their App ecosystem. I would not be surprised if their next page in their PR playbook were to bring Steve Jobs out one way or another.
There are quite a few things I dont like in this legislation. But I also think Apple deserves it. Governments around the world have been waiting, but not until the EU, which represent 25% of Apple's revenue made their move before they could follow. Now UK, Australia, Japan and South Korea could pick a subset of this legislation to use as their own.
The point I’m making is that the argument “Well they built it, shouldn’t they benefit” would make sense if these regulations posed any sort of existential threat to their success. But Apple is already so entrenched that regulation like this won’t. The “doing something you right” you speak of is apple making a great product, and they can make a great product without their monopolistic practices.
Furthermore, I don’t think these regulations apply to new/non-entrenched players either, so I don’t think they will stifle innovation.
Microsoft is an earlier example of a company with theoretical competition but which ended up with significant intervention due to the practical walled garden they had created and where exhibiting significant monopoly powers over.
> I'd be curious if there are any other occurrences in history of something so big ending up regulated by the government?
Oil and gas companies.
You'll see a recurring theme here, most of those became what we now call utilities. Once something is so big it acts like a public good, it either gets regulated as one, or outright becomes a public good, i.e. a state affiliated/owned enterprise.
Shareholders are a limited set of the population and their interests can go against the interests of the general population, so we basically make everyone a stakeholder.
Market competition is pretty much the only thing that keeps capitalism in check and benefits people. Without it, it breaks in such a horrible manner that it almost degenerates into feudalism with corporations replacing aristocracy.
And moves like this are way overdue to kinda brings us back in balance where we (as users, consumers) actually can again mix and match products that compete for our choice and aren't just chosen because we're forced into using a certain corporations whole ecosystem due to some unrelated wishes.
Not exactly - they were forced to publish the documentation for the binary formats, e.g. .doc publicly, without requiring royalties and with a covenant not to sue over use of any patents necessary for implementation. Previously the documentation was available to licensed 3rd parties only. OOXML is a subsequent creation.
Thanks for the correction. So MS could have decided to leave EU if they did not want to accept interoperability. So the Apple fans have a study case here where a giant was forced to open up and nothing bad happened to the users, even good stuff like I can tell people that some project of mine can import from Word if they use the docx format.
For the trivial case where a document or a spreadsheet with just some text has to be exported out of a system, it works. But there are other formats such as CSV that already exist for this purpose and have a higher degree of.
My point wasn't about writing to those formats for these basic use cases, but rather about building interoperable applications that can both read and write from the format. Since the spec is relatively loose and Microsoft hasn't adhered to it well, there are many issues when you use something like LibreOffice. And whether you like it or not, people do like using the advanced features of the Microsoft Office suite.
But what is your point, the MSis good and people forcing interoperability are bad?
Google Docs and other open source tools can import docx and this is great even if not perfect, and if there is an issue you can read the code of the document and maybe figure the problem, is Infinity times better then the old ways where Word would probably just binary serialize the data and dump it in a file.
We are talking about giants having to interoperate with others, what is your point? It can't be done perfectly because giants are evil and we should not try?
Does anything about this legislation prevent Apple from simply offering a big switch to put your device in “unprotected” mode, giving apps and even full alternative OS’s unrestricted access to the hardware, but without any Apple apps or services available?
The items they listed in this article sound mostly good. (Some of them will also make it harder to protect users from malicious apps, but the restrictions are likely unfortunately necessary to protect them from malicious gatekeepers).
What I'm worried about is the stuff they didn't list. Each previous iteration of this was full to the brim with surveillance and censorship provisions, mixed with the good ideas and changed so often that organized pushback from civil society was impossible.
in as much this bring native firefox i.e gecko engines to iOS
it will also mean innovative native apps not just on iOS since you won't be restricted to native apps that use apple technology ie Swift, UIKit etc
you could totally write an app that renders using a game engine in Rust whatever and as long it compiles for the platform you're good to go.
One thing though, hopefully sandboxing is maintained
I think there are good intentions behind it, but it also misses the mark by targeting big tech specifically.
The good that could have come of it, is a sort of open sourcing of tech companies... but of course none of that is going to happen.
Yet we have standards; like USB-C which are a good thing. Question is who should enforce creating more standards (to address eg the interoperability of the messaging apps cited in the article).
The big issue I see here is it is completely unfair to Apple because Apple is really in a league of its own. It's very essence, what makes Apple.. Apple.. is that they create BOTH the hardware and software. When I buy a Mac Mini, or an iPad I buy the whole package, that is the value of it...
It's like the EU telling Apple they know better how to design products and that Apple should redefine themselves as a company.. yet.. by finetuning and crafting software for their platforms Apple offers a user experience that is simply the best.
What the EU should have done instead is try to force big tech to work together?
I don't know how to feel about this but as a European I'm tired of being a peasant... and this is going to set us back even more. :/
Unfortunately Apple, although creating technically excellent products is a very bad player as far as the environment is concerned. In particular, they insistence on thinness and related design choices (gluing everything together) makes the shelf life of their products relatively short. This is wrong no matter how you look at it. I have no problem with paying premium, I have a problem with the fact that my MacBook Pro from 2019 upgrades my main tool (Xcode) for a few hours, just because it is a 128GB model - supposedly the most popular one. I mean, it has "Pro" in the name, why does it behave like a toy? Why can't I replace the tiny 128GB drive with a 2TB one I just bought from Samsung? Because Apple decided I can't.
It wasn't always this way. Before the thinness craze, I think around 2013, you could freely replace your memory and disks - and I still have several of these machines beefed up.
 Most of the time - let's ignore little fucups everybody makes from time to time
Hmm, I mean I wish we'd still be in the 1990's with user-replaceable RAM, batteries, CPUs/GPUs and all, but I don't know that Apple specifically is a "very bad" player in terms of longevity and sustainability. The updates you get on iOS devices for years on end (up to 10!) is notably unheard of in Android land. In fact, I'm using my original iPad Mini (from 2013 or so) still without probs, and have installed games on it as recently as a couple months ago; and so do I run a four year old iPhone 6s that's doing just fine with up-to-date essential apps for banking, auth, CoVid contract tracing (until a couple of months ago when we still needed those), etc. Likewise, Apple notebooks have way better value retention/resale value, not to speak of battery power, display and overall quality. Whereas the Dell and Lenovo (Thinkpad, Latitude/Precision so comparable in price) notebooks I've received recently for customer project work have OOTB battery and other failures (I'm actually on my third or fourth Dell/Lenovo notebook within a little over half a year), to the point that I'm refusing to buy PC hardware as it is because it's just laughably last-gen compared to Apple, and sometimes not even that, it's not even funny anmore.
> makes the shelf life of their products relatively short
I don't know if this really holds, when you look at the bigger picture.
As for me I've owned an iPad 3rd gen (the first "Retina" iPad) from late 2012 to late 2016.
Then I owned an iPad Air 2 from late 2016 to this day... and I've decided to wait to see if they redesign the base iPad model (not Air) late this year - and if not then upgrade to the new AIR.
So that's 2 iPads between late 2012 to late 2022. 10 YEARS.
Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Considering how fast tech and software is moving these days if you can get 4-5 years out of your tablet AS A TECH USER that's pretty darn good.
If it was my Grandma, she'd probably still get to use my iPad Air 2 for another few years...
I don't see how it's different for other Apple products. The MINI's from 2012 are still being sold at a decent price and are very much sought after - Apple users love to use them as media servers. The M1 Mini likely will have a LOOOONG life ahead of them. Mine will probably resell in a heart beat even couples years from now.
Music to my ears. Apple is a junkie that's addicted to the App Store & services revenue. By opening up their walled garden, it forces them to be more proactive to regain some of that lost revenue. I guarantee the car, the AR/VR and their other underdeveloped products would've progressed so much faster if Apple depended on new product categories to grow their revenue. Right now, they're feeling too cozy.
I think a trillion dollar company can afford to loose some percentage of its income.
Particularly if it opens the door for new innovation. Things like subscription services to alternative Siri/Alexa/Google. Instead of the current Alexa foisting more advertisements and things you don't want onto you, Google's complete invasion of privacy/data, and Apple's complete ineptitude. This is something that can't happen right now because the hooks aren't well designed in iOS or Android. Making it so that you don't have the concept of "private APIs" for such things levels the playing field.
That's a nice comforting story to believe in. I hope for you it's
true. Over here the bailouts were a massive transfer of public to
private wealth that led to a decade of "austerity", closed hospitals,
collapsed pension schemes and general misery for the poorest people in
> Early estimates for the bailout's risk cost were as much as $700 billion; however, TARP recovered $441.7 billion from $426.4 billion invested, earning a $15.3 billion profit or an annualized rate of return of 0.6%, and perhaps a loss when adjusted for inflation.
So do you not believe in exo-planets since you haven't observed them? Macro-economics? Are foreign countries you've never visited real? What about subatomic particles and radio waves? Do you have germ theory as part of your "own lived experiences"?
Wait, am I real under this model? What about the HN server?
"...amounts to the accumulation of wealth and power outside of the commons..."
Considering that we're talking about a publicly traded company, "the commons" (as you decided to label them) have the ability to purchase stocks (the right to recieve a certain percentage of in of the aformentioned company as well as voting power). The legislation doesn't address anything regarding stocks and if anything, it requires companies like Apple to share their work with their competitors South Korea style.
"...doesn't mean a group/class of people..."
I'm well aware of that, as well as the definition, however, i've come across incorrect usage of the term on SMS as the short form for "common man/common people". Considering the context of that persons comment, i was under assumption that they use that term incorrectly, hence why i've put it in quotation.
Regardless, my point still stands.
"The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable Earth. These resources are held in common even when owned privately or publicly. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people (communities, user groups) manage for individual and collective benefit.". Note that the definition provided by you acknowledges various form of ownerships (private vs public) and that aspect is the core of my response to that comment.
At some point app A needs to know how to decrypt messages received on app B and/or vice-versa
Nicely designed apps will do so on your device, shady apps will do so on servers, as a consumer you'll have to decide which companies behave and design their apps in a way that is satisfactory to you
But you have to do that to use any app in the first place. If you're using a messaging app it means you trust its developers and how much data they collect and how they handle it. Adding a "how do they handle interoperation" checkbox does not significantly change that calculus imo
(as to how E2E can work with interoperability, with an open API app A will just ping app B's servers in addition to its own and will have its own E2E key as well as B's key. Groups could be more complicated but group encryption is a pretty hard problem anyway and you might just give up and warn your users that cross-platform groups won't be E2EE)
If an app is decrypting on a server instead of your device, it's not E2EE period. It's false advertising to call it E2EE. People can have bridges and such, but you know if you're controlling it or not, or it can just be local.
A simplistic way of achieving this is that you have to download an app called something like "Signal support for iMessage" which is basically a headless version of the Signal app, which makes a local connection to the iMessage app.
Apple would just need to publish an API for connecting to iMessage like that, and Signal would potentially need to allow users to add friends via their iMessage ID rather than their phone number.
I really hate having the government involved in regulating this sort of stuff but Apple has brought so much destruction in bad faith it's hard to feel sympathy.
They have nearly single-handedly killed open source chat software (people forget that before the iPhone you could actually send messages from Goolge talk to AIM thanks to XMPP, this still exists but Apple has made it nearly impossible to use comfortably on the iPhone.) Fuck them, I hope they go out of business. As for the "consumer tech industry" that's practically dead at this point anyway, no sense worrying about it.
"Allow users to install apps from third-party app stores and sideload directly from the internet"
Because security is an illusion anyway?
I don't understand the hubris behind politicians dictating technical and/or business decisions. If you want interop so badly, start your own platform. You'll find maintaining its integrity/security an absolute unwinnable nightmare.
I’m happy with this. Apple was begging for this with their narsistic and arrogant anti-consumer behavior.
Also app store these days is pretty much ruined. Almost all new apps are ”free” but in the end require a monthly membership or some other BS. Hopefully soon we can just pull apps directly from github releases.
I'm looking forward to the consoles being forced to end some of their anti-consumer policies. It's about time people who buy a Switch or PS5 can use them for more than what Sony and Nintendo say they are allowed to.
How do you know? It's not like I specifically was even talking about calculators. App store is pretty much 99% full of primitive "free" apps that all offer unreasonably expensive monthly payments and that's it. Whether it's calendar, email client, workout tracker, caloric intake/nutrition app or whatever they all have same business model: Offer crippled "free" version or unreasonable monthly payment plan.
I'll rather code a small app myself and host it myself than pay a 5/10/20/40 dollars a month for a app which actual value is 1 dollar (single payment).
> They might choose to do so with a special version of iPhone that only works in the EU with EU languages and EU carrier bands (no English language strictly necessary because the UK left, remember?)...
I think Ireland (and Malta) would like a word:
"English remains an official EU language, despite the United Kingdom having left the EU. It remains an official and working language of the EU institutions as long as it is listed as such in Regulation No 1. English is also one of Ireland’s and Malta’s official languages."
And in all fairness it is the only common language anyway. I read a study that compared the percentage of a generation in the EU that studied a particular foreign language that is not their native language in high school or university. English is north of 95%. The second largest are I think French and Spanish at around 30%. So when you have 27 nationalities in a room, there isn’t really any other practical alternative right now. English is the modern latin, whatever you think of the US, UK or Roman empire.
Well EU law starts off life as a proposal by the Commission, so it's virtually impossible for there to be a proposal passed by Parliament and not have Commission support (unless Parliament has made significant amendments that the Commission does not like, although I'm unaware of this ever happening).
Council not agreeing is definitely a potential problem, but given the level of support from the Commission and Parliament I doubt the Council will block this.
Council support (for the general targets/scope) is almost guaranteed before a commission proposal sees the light of day, it might get amended and / or clash with parliament amendments but the fact a proposal has been made is a good indication some form of the law will pass
If app developers now will have access to the Secure Enclave, I sincerely hope Apple ships this as an EU-specific version of the hardware. I actually do like having hardware that can be (more) trusted, at least in some cases.
I hope this does not lead to corruption among EU policy makers. When regulators start adding regulations in a sector, big corps in that sector start spending more money for lobbing; hence more corruption among policy makers.
If you search for "three main cumulative criteria" you find the three criteria (tldr: turnover in EEA >7.5B€ or capitalisation >75B€; 45M end users (monthly active) in EU and 10k business users (yearly active); satisfy those criteria for three consecutive years)
This only applies to companies operating in the following areas:
online intermediation services;
online search engines;
online social networking services;
video-sharing platform services;
number-independent interpersonal communication services;
cloud computing services;
A lot of talk about the Apple tax of 30%. But who is actually paying the vat of the purchase price? The developer or apple?
If it is Apple, then with VAT rates of ~20% in the EU, a 30% cut all of a sudden does not sound so unreasonable.
Was expecting big fall in share price for Apple but this new didn't even registered anything in share price. Any idea why 10s of billions of dollars of pure competition free predictable profit is not a big thing?
> You are welcome to continue using the App Store.
As long as apps remain available on the App Store. I wouldn’t be surprised to see, e.g., Facebook making their messaging app available via sideloading only in order to circumvent Apple’s privacy rules.
This will 100% happen and anyone thinking otherwise is just being willfully ignorant. We saw what FB did when it was able to operate in the shadows with it's enterprise cert for it's "VPN". As for why it hasn't happened on Android I think the reasons are simple. First there is way more money to be made on iOS users and secondly sometimes you wait to strike until you can knock down all the pins, not just half. It will start innocent enough, they will add 1-2 features only available in "Facebook Pro/Full/Unleashed/etc" via their own app store/sideloading but over time they will sneak more and more sinister things into their app.
Google will use the full weight of their ecosystem to try to get you to download Chrome or their other apps anytime you touch one of their sites in Safari (it's bad enough now even with them using webkit for their "browser").
This is the logical end for at least these two companies. I agree with some or parts of the things the EU is calling for here but some are just absolutely ridiculous and/or make no sense.
> First there is way more money to be made on iOS users and secondly sometimes you wait to strike until you can knock down all the pins, not just half.
iOS users do spend more money on App Store purchases than Android. But if Meta's whole intention to build a 3rd party App Store is to mine them for data, why didn't they try that on Android- shouldn't the data of Android users be just as good, especially when they have a significantly larger user pool to do that with? Why would iOS users' data be more lucrative? Spending money on the App Store is orthogonal to having more desirable data to sell.
> It will start innocent enough, they will add 1-2 features only available in "Facebook Pro/Full/Unleashed/etc" via their own app store/sideloading but over time they will sneak more and more sinister things into their app.
Easy to conceive, difficult to execute. This scenario might have been feasible a decade ago, when Facebook was younger, their brand was fresher, and customers less jaded. If they were to do that today, they would immediately face friction from users who do not care for more fragmentation of services, and aren't even as engaged with the product as they used to. Maybe they could try to segment off a more popular product, say Instagram, but that would also cause blowback.
> Google will use the full weight of their ecosystem to try to get you to download Chrome or their other apps anytime you touch one of their sites in Safari (it's bad enough now even with them using webkit for their "browser").
And why wouldn't EU/US courts apply antitrust laws against them? Why is antitrust law assumed to be only used against Apple, when legislators/regulators are miffed at all the large tech companies?
I find the whole hypothetical of third party iOS app stores fascinating, because any examination into the landscape of app ecosystems show that they are bloody difficult to build. Ask Microsoft with the Windows Phone Store, or RIM with the BlackBerry Marketplace. Or just Amazon and Samsung with their third party Android app stores, which seem to exist mostly to service users on their own OEM Fire or Galaxy devices.
The idea that Facebook or Google can just make third party app stores and everyone will flock to them is just a questionable, reductionist scenario that flies in the face of creeping consumer burnout in the present day, those companies' continued difficulties in creating new compelling products to woo consumers, and all of the failed app stores of the past. (As Ballmer said, it's all about the developers.) They would have to be cleverer about it. So far, I've yet to see any comprehensive hypotheticals that really deal with past and present realities about the difficulties in setting up such rival ecosystems.
> Why would iOS users' data be more lucrative? Spending money on the App Store is orthogonal to having more desirable data to sell.
This just isn't true. The data of people who have more money to spend is more attractive than that of those who do not. Also having more money to spend means that data can be used for targeted advertising or just knowing what people with money are interested in and where to focus efforts.
> Easy to conceive, difficult to execute. This scenario might have been feasible a decade ago, when Facebook was younger, their brand was fresher, and customers less jaded.
I mean, if you are still on FB and use it regularly there really isn't much hope for you at this point. I don't get the impression that there is a large number of people on FB saying "If they step over the line 1 more time I'm leaving", at this point it's people who just don't care. To some degree the same is true for IG even though it's users like to think it's different. It doesn't even have to be new features, it could just be something like groups (which I think failed) or messenger that they take away features or apps and only release them on their own store. They can even make a big hullabaloo about "This lets us get fixes and features out to you faster and lets you easily opt into our beta channel".
> And why wouldn't EU/US courts apply antitrust laws against them? Why is antitrust law assumed to be only used against Apple now, when legislators/regulators are miffed at all the large tech companies?
Why haven't they indeed? Their bad behavior is clearly visible, I'm completely unclear as to what the EU doesn't seem to care. They seem to be laser focused on mobile to the determinant of desktop and consoles.
> I find the whole hypothetical of third party iOS app stores fascinating, because any examination into the landscape of app ecosystems show that they are bloody difficult to build. Ask Microsoft with the Windows Phone Store, or RIM with the BlackBerry Marketplace. Or just Amazon and Samsung with their third party Android app stores, which seem to exist mostly to service users on their own OEM Fire or Galaxy devices.
MS had devices/OS that no one wanted, RIM was late to the game and had their lunch eaten by that point. As for Amazon/Samsung they capture a lot of a value by making themselves the default but more importantly, all of these examples are platform providers, not app developers (at their root). Meaning, they make their money by taking a cut, not by selling apps themselves or even through ads in apps (maybe ads in their store). The calculus changes for someone like FB, EA, EPIC, etc, especially for less savory app creators who don't care about privacy. I'm not saying that FB will create a store and become the number 1 app store, but that they will release their apps via their own store (with it's own rules, or lack thereof) and users will be forced/tricked/incentivized into using it.
> The idea that Facebook or Google can just make third party app stores and everyone will flock to them is just a questionable, reductionist scenario that flies in the face of creeping consumer burnout in the present day, and all of the failed app stores of the past.
Flock to? Probably not and that's not even what I'm afraid of/worried about. It's being forced into using third-party stores. Either by the company removing their app from the Apple App Store or by gating features to the app only if it was installed via their store.
> This just isn't true. The data of people who have more money to spend is more attractive than that of those who do not. Also having more money to spend means that data can be used for targeted advertising or just knowing what people with money are interested in and where to focus efforts.
Still, Android has a far larger user base than iOS, and if this third party app store data funnel scheme was such a great idea, you'd think they would have tried it out there at least.
To date, Facebook's only attempts to branch off on mobile have been the Facebook Home Android UI/lock screen, and maybe the HTC First. Both don't really inspire confidence in future efforts, but sure, it's been a decade. Would you put money on modern FB being better at launching new successful products that consumers want, compared to FB ten years ago?
> I don't get the impression that there is a large number of people on FB saying "If they step over the line 1 more time I'm leaving", at this point it's people who just don't care.
It's more like, "If they ask me to sign up and manage yet another user account with payment methods and privacy settings and more notifications to worry about, I'm not going to bother and I'll use the mobile website." Or, "I don't even use Facebook much anymore, I'll just use it on desktop or not at all."
> They can even make a big hullabaloo about "This lets us get fixes and features out to you faster and lets you easily opt into our beta channel".
And users, even those who don't know or care about privacy, would be annoyed because this is another hoop they have to jump through, in the modern era where there are multitudes of social media networks, streaming platforms, and so forth to worry about. Many won't bother to sign up for yet another app store, and that will undercut Facebook's own user base.
You really need to get past this core problem of user burnout. Everything is fragmented across services these days. Perhaps there might even be a startup idea in it for easy account management/signup a la 1Password. I guess Sign In with Apple helps with this a little.
> Their bad behavior is clearly visible, I'm completely unclear as to what the EU doesn't seem to care. They seem to be laser focused on mobile to the determinant of desktop and consoles.
All in due time. Who says they don't care? Perhaps you should cast a wider net for news articles.
People didn't want their OS because they couldn't secure the apps the people wanted. Which will also be an issue for these 3rd party app stores, as people can just go to the official store, or you deal with mutually assured destruction scenarios (see below).
> RIM was late to the game and had their lunch eaten by that point.
Fair, but couldn't you say the same about Meta/Google iOS stores?
> As for Amazon/Samsung they capture a lot of a value by making themselves the default but more importantly, all of these examples are platform providers, not app developers (at their root). Meaning, they make their money by taking a cut, not by selling apps themselves or even through ads in apps (maybe ads in their store).
I'm almost certain that Amazon just has it as a means to sell the content (eBooks, music, movies) that they host, and Samsung just packages as bloatware as it their wont. They don't actually invest in their Android 3rd party stores because there's no compelling reason to use them instead of the Play Store.
> The calculus changes for someone like FB, EA, EPIC, etc, especially for less savory app creators who don't care about privacy.
App creators are going to publish to multiple app stores to get the largest user base, though sure, as with game consoles, perhaps the ones running different stores might cut them exclusivity deals. Epic does want its own app store to get past the 30% cut, but I'm wondering if them or EA even has enough iOS games signed up with them for them to pursue the creation of yet another Origin store that gamers hate. I can't imagine the bulk of EA-affiliated mobile games being anything but tie-in material, not exactly Fortnite. Maybe they'll expand their mobile division, who knows. Ultimately, Apple Arcade is hard to beat.
> I'm not saying that FB will create a store and become the number 1 app store, but that they will release their apps via their own store (with it's own rules, or lack thereof) and users will be forced/tricked/incentivized into using it.
And that's the crux of it: I'm saying that's an act of MAD, because while the Apple App Store then loses their apps, it means Meta loses all of the customers who aren't going to bother to transition or just switch to mobile web, which is assuredly a non-zero number. Unless they can somehow make it a 100% seamless transition to create and manage yet another user account, it's going to be a hurdle for adoption. Especially if they're not offering anything other than their current apps- that's not enough to entice users to join, if anything that's a negative user experience, Meta is making it harder to use their existing products.
And Google taking G-Suite or other crucial apps off the official App Store? Forget about it, that sounds like prime antitrust fodder for the regulators.
Ultimately, these large corporations tend to run into difficulties playing in each other's sandboxes. Facebook/Google launching third party app stores would be far from a surefire success.
And that's why the messaging interoperability is part of it. It'll allow for new messaging apps (including some that stay on the App Store) to message people on Facebook without you having to install the app.
The problem with GDPR is underspecification and bad enforcement because the agency of the country where the company is registered is responsible, and the fuzzy nature of the law allows companies to drag out fees with long legal battles.
The annoying popups are basically malicious compliance.
We'll see how things play out here, but this time there are a lot of provisions that should make enforcement easier.
Cookie popups existed long before GDPR was even on the drawing board. I don't dispute that the cookie banner regulation is stupid, but don't twist the truth to fit your narrative. GDPR is a completely separate regulation.
No, it's good news! No more forced crappy webkit browser engine in iOS. The other things can be added in a secure fashion as well. Sideloading doesn't need to be wild west. macOS also makes it possible with certificates etc. Messanger interop is also nice, when done right: basically would need a shared standard like the web that is done by a messaging consortium like the W3.
This actually opens a race to be the best mobile browser, which might well see new entrants. As people increasingly use their mobiles as primary devices, they are more likely to move to a new browser on mobile platforms and then adapt their desktops to that choice, rather than the other way around as they did in the past. Current mobile browsers have historical baggage that a new entrant would not need to carry.
> This actually opens a race to be the best mobile browser, which might well see new entrants.
Hahhahahhahahahaha. We will end up with chrome. And developers targeting chrome and safari users being left out because “works best in chrome for my text based website that doesn’t do anything safari can’t do”.
Again, sounds like Apple needs to do a better job improving Safari. If developers and consumers choose Chrome, it's up to competitors to find a way to disrupt their lead, not engage in monopolistic practices to stop a monopoly.
It's not a shallow dismissal and your comments only prove you either don't understand the landscape or are choosing to ignore what's staring you in the face.
Try to use any google property on Safari (or non-chrome browser on any platform) and see all the times Google tries to push you to use Chrome and/or sign into your google account. When logged in it puts a banner at the bottom of every google search and when you aren't logged in it shows a modal that takes 1/3rd of the page.
Google reigns supreme on the web from everything from search to email and docs/drive/etc. Their reach is massive. They have in the past and will continue in the future to use that reach to push people to use their browser engine. How does Apple/Safari/Webkit compete with that? It's not that the browser is better but that the sites they visit push them to use a different browser.
Apple can double down on privacy and security and brand Safari as the browser that won't steal your data. Own that space, spread the marketing, they have enough capital to create solutions. You might as well ask how iOS can compete with Android. This continuous insistence that Apple is helpless is completely anachronistic and demeaning to Apple itself.
That's self-defeatist. You mentioned IE downthread; IE is not the dominant browser anymore, and the reason for that is not just that MS stagnated, but that it was challenged vigorously by competitors that exploited new opportunities better. This is one such opportunity.
Chrome was better than IE, but it won out not because of technical capabilities but through Google's constant and ruthless exploitation of its web properties and operating systems. That already happens on iOS, and I'm sure a Google SVP reading this ruling just started a project to intensify it.
Firefox and Opera browsers could run Google apps just fine. Remember the days when Firefox and Opera got a cut down version of gmail, but if you changed the user agent on the browser to chrome it worked just fine.
In theory. Practically, creating browser & its underlying engine is an arduous task. Later, it is inevitable that Google will use dark patterns like shadow dom to optimize their website like YouTube etc. And, website owner will force you to use chromium based browser, because of course "This browser works best with Google Chrome".
I’m seriously worried it won’t happen fast enough. I don’t like the “if this blows up we’ll fix it later” school of things. I’d much prefer to be prepared for the obvious possibility ahead of time and it never blow up.
Honestly there’s a case for going after Android itself, it killed the market for phones OSes since why develop/charge for one when you can get it for free. MS had no way to compete with free.
But how could you ever undo that at this point?
(Exception is Apple who was already established and does everything on their own anyway and the cash to fund it)
While I would love many of those changes to happen, I won't be holding my breath.
Seems to me the odds Apple will pull out of Europe based on this are pretty high. The compliance cost of these changes must be astoundingly high.
Fines based on worldwide revenue.. to fine them more if they make more sales in the USA... seems morally repugnant and abusive to me. So does this one: "Share data and metrics with developers and competitors, including marketing and advertising performance data."
Not really. It can still be a walled garden if there is an opt out option, so you can still be able to be inside it but with the option to go out of it and be able to sideload/use different app stores. Also the Apple app store will definitely still be the main source as people usually don't switch that easily for almost no benefit.
No one will force you use a different app store as well.
Society could vote on a number of measures designed to create a sustainable economy. For example, instead of carbon tax credits, we could just set a ceiling on carbon emissions and let companies pay the fine, then send direct payments to everyone. Or set a living wage of $20/hr and make companies directly responsible for paying the shortfall that the government makes up in welfare payments. Or even create a national debt tax, where any cost overruns would fall on the companies who lobbied most. Basically make all of the amoral sources of profit no longer profitable, to starve the beast of multinational corporations so that they can't overtake world governments. Kind of a trickle-up approach to economics to immediately put cash in people's pockets and incentivize automation instead of the daily grind.
That implies that UBI is agreed upon all around the world, which it isn't.
"...we could just set a ceiling on carbon emissions..." that already exists and those ceilings aren't honoured by manufacturing-heavy regions around the world, as there is no way to enforce any sort of responsibility. Also consider that most tech companies are moving to carbon neutrality.
"...set a living wage of $20/hr ..."...where exactly? Worldwide? NA only? Any consideration for inflation? Perhaps you got an expalanation for those who are working skilled jobs and are currently earning 20 USD per hour on why someone who works a less skilled job should suddenly earn the same amount? Worlds history says that trying to equalize everyones skills leads to skilled workers looking for greener pastures.
"...make companies directly responsible for paying the shortfall that the government makes up in welfare payments."...so making companies responsible for governments decisions in giving away money to recipients that might not even be related to the industries the companies are operating in?
"...create a national debt tax, where any cost overruns would fall on the companies who lobbied most." that's...not how that works.
"...to immediately put cash in people's pockets and incentivize automation instead of the daily grind." kinda amusing how it goes right after "...starve the beast of multinational corporations so that they can't overtake world governments." considering that many of those boogeyman corporations are the ones working on automation and...employing highly skilled researchers, engineers and blue collar workers.
All good points, and all controversial. We're so used to looking at everything through a capitalist lens, that any policies designed to help the average working Joe seem quaint or even downright laughable:
"...there is no way to enforce any sort of responsibility..." <- funding enforcement
"...Worlds history says that trying to equalize everyones skills leads to skilled workers looking for greener pastures..." <- unions
"...so making companies responsible for governments decisions in giving away money to recipients that might not even be related to the industries the companies are operating in?..." <- this is the current lobbying system
"(companies paying national debt) ...that's...not how that works..." <- overruns are currently paid disproportionately by the working poor and future generations
"(starve the beast of multinational corporations) ...considering that many of those boogeyman corporations are the ones working on automation..." <- for themselves
From my perspective, we've created just about the least efficient, least equitable system possible. We have billions of people around the world toiling the entirety of their lives just to survive month to month. If they had any free time at all, they could work towards at least some level of autonomy. But that time is denied to them by the same corporations that profit from them. And we enthusiastically keep putting those corporations in charge of everything, because they provide the goods and services that we depend on. We keep re-creating global feudalism and aristocracy, to the point of even letting corporations gatekeep the way we live and work in the name of security, for a modest fee of course.
The fact that Apple and Google are at the leading edge of wealth inequality is perhaps the greatest tragedy of the modern era. It truly breaks my heart.
Ah yes, the best help for the "average working Joe" – just like, make inflation even worse, create a conflict between skilled workers and non-skilled workers, make "Joe" dependent on government "freebies" and on top of that introduce another boogeyman to put the blame on. If you want to help the average Joe let them do their thing without trying to interfere at every step possible just because of someones political preferences.
"...funding enforcment" worldwide? The issue is enforcing those caps worldwide, which is impossible.
"...unions" except a skilled worker doesn't need a random person or entity deciding what their paycheck is going to amount to. There is a reason why unions worked well in low-skilled jobs as creating a median pay allowed those who were lacking in skills to be at the same level of pay as their more skilled counterparts (consider that we're still talking low skilled jobs).
"...this is the current lobbying system." except it isn't and the original comment said that debt should be basically tied to companies because...uhh, they don't know. The lobbying system covers a huge variety of law related things and while companies can lobby, so can private citizens, citizen groups and so on.
"...overruns are paid disproportionately..." you sure about that? Folks that are considered rich are already paying over ONE QUARTER of ALL federal revenues collected (and that's in the US).
"...for themselves" never knew that all those fancy stock control systems, cash registers, automated book keeping and many more things that SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS and INDIVIDUALS are using on the daily basis, that are developed by those boogeyman corporations and sold for a reasonable price are actually made for the corporations...that are selling them to everyone?
Please, do yourself a favour and even if you're not into the business side of things, at least get familiar with how drastically various industries have changed over the years in the context of cheap automation solutions that are available for EVERYONE.
"...we've created just about the least efficient, least equitable system possible." that's your perspective. The alternatives didn't stand the test of time and caused more harm to the average Joe than anything else, taking the freedom to decide for themselves from common people.
"...free time at all, they could work towards at least some level of autonomy." first, that implies that every person is interested in acquiring that autonomy which they aren't. Second, the current conditions allow ANYONE to obtain the aformentioned autonomy, which by the way, the systems that didn't viewed things "through the capitalist lens" FORBID. Wonder why!
"...we enthusiastically keep putting those corporations in charge of everything, because they provide the goods and services that we depend on." except noone puts them in charge, they offer products and if the products fit societys needs, the companies become successfull.
"We keep re-creating global feudalism and aristocracy, to the point of even letting corporations gatekeep the way we live and work in the name of security, for a modest fee of course." great buzzwords but no company does that. Security as a concept is governments responsibility or do you imply that Google is your personal bodyguard or something?
"The fact that Apple and Google are at the leading edge of wealth inequality..." what are you even talking about at this point? Do you want me to remind you how many people from countries that never had quality education managed to learn new skills thanks to YouTube/Google? Do you want to take a look at how many foreign (to the US) people those companies are hiring? Oh but they have money, here's some more buzzwords, everyone should have 5 bucks in their pocket and no more, regardless of how skilled they are, their comtributions, abilities, property, legacy, etc. At least everyone are going to be "equal" (no).
I don't want to delve into your political preferences, but if you want to help "the working class" (whatever it means these days) then teach them money rather than buzzwords and blameshifting.
When a prominent wealthy person goes on TV and says that they'll work to reduce or eliminate labor in our lifetime while still providing for everyone through automation, then I'll believe that capitalism is on the side of the average working Joe.
Until then, I'm afraid that we'll have to agree to disagree.
For what it's worth, your points aren't completely lost on me. I've witnessed the struggles of both employers and employees. But at this point, the power is so imbalanced towards wealth that there's no way I can endorse the status quo in any fashion.
People say stuff all the time but tech speaks for itself. Capitalism has always been on Joe's side, wanna know why? Because unlike the alternatives, it doesn't try to hide the "means of production" AWAY from them and in fact it does quite the opposite.
"...the power is so imbalanced towards wealth." really? Never ever, in the history of mankind, had the poor have as many opportunities to earn money (and earn money HONESTLY) as today and yet there are still claims like that.
"...no way i can endorse the status quo in any fashion." I would love to hear what the "alternatives" to the "status quo" offer, other than creating government enforced monopolies, unmotivated workforce, punishing innovation through "the plan" or devoiding the people of property rights.
Just to clarify: that €7200B is currently in the hands of corporations and the wealthy.
That's spun to us as economic fact (can't have wealth redistribution!!!) but it comes down to tax policy. We could all vote to raise taxes on high incomes, or even enforce existing tax codes, but we've been told that would put the brakes on the economy. Which is code for the riffraff getting the money instead of a few rich guys.
Having to manufacture the money for UBI is a self-limiting belief. The money is already there, but we're so used to giving it all away as unearned income to investors, and even participating in the skimming as investors, that it feels like there is no money. By design because that's what The Matrix is.
They're rioting now because the companies have the food and keep raising prices. I'm talking about eliminating that inequity by turning profiteering into UBI. It is true that people shouldn't become dependent on malfeasance. All I'm saying is, why should CEOs and wealthy financiers be the only ones who get to?
If EU plays their hand too hard they may just end up with no Apple devices at all. Maybe that's their goal anyway. I wonder how long until the US takes them to the WTO or starts creating retaliatory tariffs.
I hope Apple turns Xcode features into a tiered pricing model to counter balance and keep developers in check.
1. Want to use the swift compiler? Pay $5000 per year per user (pretty competitively priced if you compare it to the MATLAB Compiler)
2. Want to click any of the “Services” buttons to enable “Siri” etc in your app? $100 per user per year
3. Want to log and instrument your iOS app in production? $1000 per device
4. Want to… (you get my point)
Institutionalized 3p developers should be treated like adversaries; they are vile, nefarious tricksters. They’re just as “monstrous” as Apple or Google are purported to be. My 3p app experiences from the days before 2010s was riddled with shitty installer’s phantom installing “cnet downloader”; and, fearfully installing plethora of antivirus software (which always seemed to find viruses according to their scanning progress bar)
> Institutionalized 3p developers should be treated like adversaries; they are vile, nefarious tricksters. They’re just as “monstrous” as Apple or Google are purported to be.
This is a sentiment that I honestly wished was most discussed here. Developers are not.user.friendly. They’re money friendly. I don’t do , ever, expect them to put user rights over monetary gain and expect them to 100% sell out user data if there’s a big enough user incentive. Web developers would rather use Chrome backed APIs that allow them to do whatever they want, even if damns the web and user privacy.
> Institutionalized 3p developers should be treated like adversaries
The weird part about your statement here, is that you bring up a statement about 3rd party developers doing bad things, and yet the solutions you gave do nothing except for take extra money from those 3rd parties and gives that money to Apple.
If you actually cared about stopping all these bad actions, why didn't you suggest an action that gives Apple zero dollars, and prevents these bad things from happening?
I am all for both helping customers, and preventing monopoly app stores. How about we solve all of this, by making sure app developers do not have to pay Apple anything, while also ensuring that app developers follow basic user privacy requirements?
As a user, why do I care if apple makes money over 3p devs. They’re all screwing over users in the end anyways.
But historical data shows Apple has been enormously better at strong-arming devs into behaving properly. That’s why I can safely assume that $0 needs to paid to that scummy dev making a flashlight app; I mean, I can safely assume there’s no app on the App Store adding noise by advertising $1 or $10 or whatever for just a flashlight app.
In fact, I’m tech savvy enough to see a scammy app on the App Store. Apple needs to toughen up on 3p even more. I see my girlfriend’s phone or my parents iPhone and notice all these apps for taking a screenshot, saving pdfs etc that trick them into buying subscriptions. Whatever Apple is doing makes me fork over $1000 for a phone. At least I can rely on the fact that using it for calculator or the compass isn’t gonna cost me additional $ — no matter how “reasonably small” that fee is from the developer’s perspective.
> As a user, why do I care if apple makes money over 3p devs.
Well the purpose of anti-trust law, and pro competition laws, is usually to prevent companies from using their market power to artificially give themselves a larger cut of the profits.
That is one of the reasons why these new laws passed.
And all your complaints about security or whatever, ring completely hollow, if you then propose a solution that does nothing to address security, and instead just gives money to Apple.
> they’re all screwing over users in the end anyways.
If you actually cared about this, then you would have proposed a solution that prevents the bad things from happening to users. Instead, you didn't do that. You instead proposed a solution that just gives money to Apple.
> Apple needs to toughen up
The point being, that increasing the amount of money given to apple, does not toughen up the app store. Instead it just gives money to Apple.
If you cared about toughing up on user protections, you could have given a suggestion that actually does that. But you didn't, once again. You instead just thought of a solution that does nothing to protect users, and instead just gives money to Apple.
> Well the purpose of anti-trust law, and pro competition laws
Well, ordinary people don’t give a shot about this:- they just care about user experience. That’s the point, I think, you’re missing. User experience trumps any conversation about profits, market share and money. Im not suggesting that Apple is the vanguard of user experience and that govts don’t care about users at all. I am suggesting that given the precedent of the web & windows era of computing, no govt agency has thought of policing 3p devs in favor of user experience the way Apple has.
You keep complaining that I’m not providing any solutions: I’m not here to do the Govts job. I am here to vocalize my problem so that the Govts and our community can recognize a perspective. Apple’s policing of 3p devs should not be loosened up: that WILL create problems.
Heck, if you want a solution, heck, just codify the laws of the developer program into constitutional legislation. I know, that sounds ridiculous. But that’s my point. 3p devs have to be disincentivized from anti-user, criminal behavior. Not just Apple. Don’t hate on Apple just because they’re able to police them better than anyone else.
> anyone who claims to care about user experience, and yet only gives a solution that results in Apple getting more money, is giving a bad solution.
You seem to be getting easily confused or seem to have difficulty grasping the main point. You’re confusing the notion that “anything that puts more money in Apple’s coffers and not developers’ means it’s automatically a stupid idea”.
First, requiring developers to pay or placing any financial gates to developers disincentivizes non-committal, spammy, or even unidentifiable devs. This is a user-friendly policy.
Second, is the need to set up sustainable financial incentives. (This is not _directly_ related to user experience, which is where you’re getting confused and calling the idea dumb or stupid). There’s no way _any_ group of people who work on building the SDKs, Compilers, Tools, Marketing & Distribution, or anything remotely related would ever sustain their operations on 0% revenue. _Requiring_ devs to pay _proportional_ to their revenue is the sustainable process. Epic does that, Unity does that, AWS does that etc. Whether that’s implemented as a fixed price of $5000 per user or whether that’s an annual subscription of $100 (like Jetbrains’) is completely up to the creators of those systems (in the App Store’s case, Apple). I’m the end, it is _indirectly_ user-friendly: more trusted, well intentioned devs implies more trusted apps and a virtuous cycle of more users/customers.
Apple chose to proportionally charge devs based on their revenue. They could’ve chosen a hundred different options, sure. But they chose the method that created a financial incentive to build all development tools for free (practically), and set up systems to distribute, discover, maintain, update apps at per-user level (ie: they need to run servers that users download apps from; 3p devs don’t; nor does a user need to go bittorrent.com or cnet.com or softonic.com or whatever else could’ve been the hosting provider)
My idea on Xcode pricing is meant to emulate those same underlying policies. My idea is not meant to be the “holy grail” of solutions here. I merely use that to illustrate the much deeper, much more passionate point of view: that 3p devs are monstrous, vile, nefarious actors. They _ought_ to taxed! They ought to pay up!
And yes, they ought to pay up particularly to the hardware platform provider! Don’t think it’s fair? Well, go complain to Nokia or Blackberry circa 2007 when you _had_ zero avenues to get your app in front of users without those companies controlling the developer fully.
Or even the web in the 2010s where there’s an ungodly amount of tools, APIs, frameworks upon frameworks that none of them work cohesively well. The fact that web developers had to write custom polyfills or resort to user-hostile behavior such as charging IE users more To disincentivize people from using insecure browsers.
In both those instances developers made a 100% of all their revenue and acted like pure a*holes. Apple put an end to that by demanding devs conform to their platform!
> anything that puts more money in Apple’s coffers and not developers’ means it’s automatically a stupid idea
The reason why it is a stupid idea, is that the recommendation only gives Apple more money, and does nothing else.
> or anything remotely related would ever sustain their operations on 0% revenue
Apple sells iPhones. It can make its money off of that.
Apple is getting more than enough money, from its phone business, such that it will continue doing what it is doing now, even if it loses some revenue from alternative app stores.
So no, I am not convinced by your argument of us having to be worried about a multi-trillion dollar company losing a bit of money.
> is completely up to the creators of those systems (in the App Store’s case, Apple)
It is actually not completely up to Apple anymore. Because now there is a law, and they can either follow the law or leave the EU.
> And yes, they ought to pay up particularly to the hardware platform provider! Don’t think it’s fair? Well, go complain to Nokia or Blackberry
Actually no. Instead of your recommendation, we can instead make laws to force things to change, and this is what just happened. Apple is the one that lost here. You, or them, are the ones who are crying about the current situation.
Apple can either follow the law, or leave the EU market if it doesn't like the law.
You are the one crying here. Everyone else is basking in our victory. You are the one who is going to have to go cry to someone else, to change things.
Apple lost. You lost. The laws are being passed. And none of your arguments are convincing to anybody who is in support of these laws.
A convincing argument would instead be one that results in Apple getting zero money, and also protects users in some way. But you do not seem interested in a better outcome here.
And no, I or these law makers don't have to come up with another solution, because people like me who support this law already won.
Instead, it is Apple, and people like you, the one's who definitively, and completely lost, that are going to have to come up with a solution that convinces everyone else, that actually results in a 0% cut going to Apple, because you are the loser in this political situation.
The winners do not have to change anything, because we are getting our laws passed, and Apple is going to be forced to follow the law or shutdown in the EU, or other countries soon.
The current app store model requires giving Apple 15-30%.
That is part of the reason why there is now a law, in the EU, that will force the app ecosystem open.
And people are pretending like they care about things like privacy, and yet the solution that the person I was responding to gave does not solve the privacy issue, and instead just gives Apple money.
The point here, is if you actually care about privacy or data practices, or whatever, then the burden is on you to suggest a solution that both allows everyone to get around the Apple cut, and also solves this problem.
Or don't. The laws are already passed, so it is too late to stop Apple from losing all this money.
You're missing the point too. The App store did have some enforcement of privacy and security, which can't exist in a decentralized system that has now been enforced.
Sure, app developers would have more freedoms, but we're back to the OP's point - this is not a good thing as they too don't have the user's best interest in mind. Looking at the record of data breaches, I see it's Apple or Google who have held a high standard so far, while app developers have been rampantly abusing users for their own interests.
> The App store did have some enforcement of privacy and security
Ok, thats fine. And if this is something that you care about, then presumably you should recommend a way to do that, while also making sure that Apple gets a 0% cut, so that one of the purposes of the DMA is also fulfilled.
> but we're back to the OP's point - this is not a good thing
The OP gave no recommendations that actually helped with privacy and security. Instead, they simply thought of a way to give Apple more money.
If you care about security, or whatever, fine. But the original proposed solution that the OP gave, was that Apple should charge more money to 3rd party developers.
Charging more money to 3rd party developers is not a solution that has much to do with anything related to security. Instead it does not help users, and just gives money to Apple.
> Allow users to install apps from third-party app stores and sideload directly from the internet.
While I love the idea of being able to finally install SNES emulators and the like, many malicious actors will now pray on unsuspecting iOS users to install spyware, malware, and other crap via third-party app stores. Not everyone is as sophisticated as the typical Hacker News reader; younger and more naive users will be taken in as victims of various types of fraud.
I think that a better path for the European Union would have been to force some regulation of the app store process. Leave in place the parts of Apple's process that provide reasonable guarantees of security and privacy for users, but allow Apple to continue to be the gatekeeper, just with some oversight from regulators.
There are plenty of examples of governments regulating things that we might wish to be a little freer if only such additional freedom didn't come with perilous consequences for consumers. I submit the example of cryptocurrencies. Lots of freedom; very little regulation; many vulnerable people have lost their savings.
> I submit the example of cryptocurrencies. Lots of freedom; very little regulation; many vulnerable people have lost their savings.
And yet the solution isn't for your bank to white-list what you're going to do with your money, is it? This would be the equivalent of the app store: your bank would have a "transaction store" of companies you're allowed to send and receive money from, to protect you from accidentally sending money to a scammer.
Do you think that would be a good solution for banking? If not, why do you think it is a good solution for software distribution?
Instead of course, the right solution is legislate against the bad actors, and have law enforcement agencies that take malware seriously and pursue those who have created it. Additionally, educating the public, at least with mandatory courses in school for the new generations, about basic computer safety is another part of the fix for this.
> While I love the idea of being able to finally install SNES emulators and the like, many malicious actors will now pray on unsuspecting iOS users to install spyware, malware, and other crap via third-party app stores. Not everyone is as sophisticated as the typical Hacker News reader; younger and more naive users will be taken in as victims of various types of fraud.
Think of the naive users argument has never made sense to me, just allow someone to flip a switch in settings that says “do not flip or your phone could be taken over by hostile viruses” or something to that effect. If someone is going to flip that switch and then install what someone tells them over the phone, why wouldn’t the attacker just ask for them to log into a fake bank site at that point? How much is the App Store saving them?
Let me sketch a scenario for you. Your grandmother receives an email from a trustworthy-sounding man who asks her to follow these easy steps to get a free app. Granny taps "Allow third-party app stores" and then installs whatever garbage the fraudster is hoping she will install.
Multiply this by tens of thousands of vulnerable users and you have the makings of a significant problem that will cost society a lot of money and lead to much misery.
With the locked-down Apple app store, it's very difficult for granny to install malware even if the trustworthy-sounding man in her inbox is being "helpful". But as soon as you allow a switch of any kind, it will be exploited.
Let me update your scenario, instead of the innocent granny installing an iOS app the evil dude asks her to just give her the security code she just revived from a bank, or she should open a link and login to her bank.
I think you need a Big Brother for your granny, Apple needs to make Safari granny proof and whitelist websites and they should also force user to provide a national ID before calling to an iOS device, think of all the grannies.
Imagine though an universe where Apple could hire some competent people that could create a genius popup that would explain granny that she should not enable that, and to enable that maybe she needs to use a code that is printed on the phone box.
Both my grandmothers used to run android phones and windows computers where this is possible and neither were ever successfully attacked this way. However, one grandmother did experience people trying to scam her into giving them money through other means. I think simply requiring a “I know what I am doing and want to open up the hood” button is sufficient.
The "malicious actors" argument can be made anywhere people have freedom of association. The postal system, the phone system, even the mere right to walk out your front door. These all allow people to associate with whoever they please, and they all expose people to malicious actors.