An interesting post about the Mac platform and the state of (indie) apps. For me one of the reasons why I prefer the Mac instead of Windows is the availability and quality of apps. But that line is getting thinner. There are more and more apps like Craft that look nice at first glance, but aren’t “real” Mac apps. Apps like Obsidian and the Affinity suite are also available on Windows and some even perform better on Windows.
Indie Developers just don’t matter to Apple’s bottom line anymore. When they want to show a cool third-party demo at WWDC they can call up industry titans like Bob Iger and Hideo Kojima. So big corporate software developers get sweetheart deals on Apple’s App Store commission while indie dev’s can’t even get their bugs addressed. Plus, if an indie developer has a good idea and finds success, Apple is likely to just copy them.
I agree with this part. Apple should cherish indie developers. I don’t want to see Bob Iger on WWDC, I want to small developers to tell their story and how they innovate with Apple platforms. They make the Mac the Mac, and the iPad the iPad.
I really hope Apple keeps investing in apps like Notes and that small developers keep developing apps like Bear and Numi (a cool calculator that you should try!). It distinguishes the Mac from Windows PCs.
When they want to show a cool third-party demo at WWDC they can call up industry titans like Bob Iger and Hideo Kojima.
I don’t know. To be honest, those “cool third-party demos” are not about the demos but about sending a message to
investors / stock market
The WWDC for developers really starts after the keynote, this is how it is looking to me and has been for years.
This year the keynote’s message was: we are diving into the VR/AR business (Apple is calling it Vision, with Vision Pro being the first product). Now. We mean it. We go all in. And we already have big players with us - from day one. Like Disney.
And Kojima’s “purpose” (from Apple’s point of view) was the signal that Apple is trying once again to bring “real” games to Apple platforms. Here, look at the “famous” Kojima, he is bringing Death Stranding 2 to the Mac and he is committed “actively working to bring its future titles to Apple platforms” (IGN).
WWDC 2023’s demos: VR/AR/Gaming.
WWDC apart from that: new Macs, significant OS updates all around (my point of view).
Regarding Indie Developers: When I am reading posts from developers in the Mac community on Mastodon, a lot of them seem to be quite psyched after this WWDC.
Some random recent posts:
Yes, all those posts are about VisionOS and not about the Mac. I am aware of that. This is because Apple released the visionOS Simulator Runtime for developers two days ago and the developers did get their hands on it. I really do not see a lack of interest in the indie developer community for the Mac.
I have no fear for the Mac. For many developers the times may have passed when it was all about the Mac. It is not all about the Mac. There are multiple important platforms, depending on the app. For sure, there are apps where “just” the Mac is enough. But that is not always the case. And depending on the app’s target audience there are a lot of development frameworks, languages and tools to choose from. What we are seeing these days is that developers choose differently depending on their needs. I do not see an issue with that.
Regarding Affinity: if there is one prime example for the Mac’s strength, it is Affinity, as far as I am concerned. The developers decided to start with the Mac and only after that they brought their suite to Windows. Natively.
Yes, there are others that see their apps’ future in frameworks like Electron. Not only on the Mac but everywhere. I am using quite a lot of Electron apps these days… To me, the M Mac family seems to be pretty solid these days, as far as I am concerned. As is the ecosystem built around them.
The blog post’s message does not resonate with me very much. It is a look at the past. A look at different times. Times have changed. Developers‘ needs and options have changed. Platforms have changed. New platforms have surfaced. The Mac is one platform of several ones - and it has found its place.
I don’t know… Maybe, I am just too positive in this matter…?
I agree. I hated skeuomorphism and refused to upgrade OSX until I was able to remove the leather from the calendar.
The Mac isn’t going away any time soon but more of the world’s business is moving to mobile every day. And now Apple is telling us that the future is moving from laptops and desktops to something we will wear.
I can understand why developers want to make their applications able to adapt to the changes that are coming.
I honestly think the Mac is better than ever. A handful of years ago Apple seemed ambivalent towards the Mac but quite honestly I think they ran out of iOS ideas and realized the innate power of non Mobile OS.
I think what they’ve done with Gaming cannot be understated. Go ahead and do a Google search about how people were calling Apple’s deprecation of OpenGL as the death knell of games on Apple platforms. Now we’ve had multiple iterations of Metal and now a portion tool. Apple is not perfect but they push computing forward in ways that others are afraid to despite the efforts often being multi year efforts.
I’m excited about seeing where Shareplay goes, The new conferencing features shown are going to lead right into that rumored Apple TV/HomePod hybrid product with a camera.
I think Indie Developers are cherished. I noticed Streaks get a lot more attention nowadays. Apple still highlights ISV that are loyal to the platform and embrace modern Apple technologies.
I think it’s foolish to derive Apple’s priorities by what they choose to do for publicity. Publicity benefits from large, established names.
Nobody’s selling beauty products using Anne Smith from Cleveland who has 60 friends on Facebook while Kim Cloutier exists. It’s reductive to the point of being, honestly, idiotic. And yet Apple have featured Indy developers in recent keynotes (Hello Games in 2022).
Also if you think the worlds largest company got to where it is by prioritising only the largest contributors to its bottom line then I think you’re probably being intellectually dishonest to misrepresent a point. There’s just no plausible situation where such a myopic viewpoint is successful. Can you really make an argument that indie developers are unimportant to Apple when many of the biggest app/App Store success stories have grown out of indie developers? When Apple actually does have a history of featuring indie developers at WWDC? And high school developers? And Grandma developers? Developing country developers? Disabled developers?
Look back at a few WWDCs. Maybe pick one where they didn’t race through to a new product category announcement. Look at the launch promotionals for the M2 MBP which features nothing but indie developers/professionals. There are almost as many videos where literally indie developers are telling their stories as there are keynotes. Take the M2 Mac mini if you’re struggling to find an example.
I think viewpoints like the one described in the article are extremely narrow and selective in the “evidence” they provide because they’re more about the author’s outrage because they’re unhappy about something than they are about actual observation.