In the wake of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, the folks at MacPaw have released the 2017 version of its Mac developer survey. Spoiler alert: MacOS devs still don’t love the Mac App Store.
Here’s the most eye-catching figure: more developers are embracing the Mac App Store. Last year, 35-percent of developers sold their applications exclusively out of Apple’s ecosystem. This year, that dropped to 30-percent.
While the number of people solely flogging their code through the Mac App Store has remained constant (23-percent in both 2016 and 2017), the number of people using both channels has increased by 5-percent.
There’s definitely a modest surge towards the Mac App Store. This is a little surprising. The flaws with the Mac App Store have long been known, and show no sign of abating.
But here’s the thing: revenues aren’t keeping up with this flurry of new interest. In 2016, the Mac App Store accounted for 48-percent of revenue for those surveyed. In 2017, this slumped to 44-percent.
I also found it striking that, despite the slightly increased developer uptake, coders are still unhappy with how the Mac App Store works.
A major point of contention is the 30 percent cut Apple takes. In 2016, 62-percent answered ‘no’ to the question ‘Do you think sharing 30% of revenue is worth what the mac app store gives you?‘. The following year, this jumped to 69-percent.
The survey also shows the level of frustration developers have with respect to the App Store’s sandboxing model, the app review process, and the marketplace limitations of the App Store (such as the lack of bundles and trials).
Ultimately, Apple needs to rethink the way the Mac App Store works. It’s either that, or it continues to plateau.
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