by Brandon Butler
Rooting for the users 8/27/2020

Jason Snell at MacWord, ‘Epic versus Apple? I’m rooting for the users‘:

So what should happen? I guess it depends on what side you’re on. I’d like Apple to loosen up on its App Store restrictions, without sacrificing security and safety. I’d like Apple to let reputable companies process payments for digital goods directly, but I don’t want to pause every time an app asks me for money in fear that it’s a scam.

Above all else, I think that Apple has brought this scrutiny upon itself by failing to adapt to the times. When the App Store was formed, Apple was a much smaller company and the iPhone only had the beginnings of being a hit. Now Apple is a behemoth and the iPhone is one of the most popular products of our lifetimes, but sometimes it acts as if it’s a scrappy upstart that desperately needs to hold on to as much money and control as it possibly can. In 2008, its policies seemed straightforward and even innovative—and in 2020 those same policies seem cruel and tone-deaf and even greedy. […]

But just as Apple’s status quo isn’t necessarily great for users, an Epic victory wouldn’t necessarily be one, either. If a court opens holes in the App Store and prevents Apple from closing them, it might cause positive change and unfortunate side effects.

Whatever happens here, it should be the users that win. I’m not sure what that win looks like exactly, but Snell’s crystal ball says, “Easier, Better, Safer, and Secure,” and I like that win a lot.