Survey shows developers really dislike the Mac App Store, and for good reasons

Survey shows developers really dislike the Mac App Store, and for good reasons

As Apple promises changes for iOS developers, a new survey shows that Mac developers are feeling left out in a big way — especially when it comes to the App Store.

The team at DevMate polled just under 700 Mac developers on their feelings about working on macOS OS X, and it’s an enlightening look at just how fractured the desktop landscape for developers.

One interesting statistic is that more developers choose to distribute their apps outside of the Mac App Store than in it. Almost half of those polled take a dual-distribution approach, which suggests they’re hedging against relying on the Mac App Store for discovery.

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Interestingly, sources of revenue are split almost evenly between the App Store and standalone distribution, but almost half of Mac App Store developers say they’d dissuade a new developer from using it.

Of those not using the Mac App Store to distribute apps, a whopping 97 percent say they’d try to talk someone out of using Apple’s official App Store.

If you’re curious why developers seem to hate the Mac App Store, it comes down to revenue and features. Roughly two-thirds of devs think Apple’s 30 percent cut is too steep, while the inability to respond to reviewers directly or offer trial periods for apps is also a problem.

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Apple’s changes for the iOS App Store are handy, but this survey shows us just how forgotten the desktop really is. While we look toward a name change for OS X and possible new MacBook Pros on the horizon, Apple really needs to make developing for the platform exciting again.

The desktop needs a lot more than App Store tweaks (please kill AppKit and start fresh, Apple), but changes are needed. Let’s hope WWDC brings good things for the Mac as well as iOS, tvOS and watchOS.

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