I agree that many developers would benefit from having their apps in the Mac App Store, but it isn’t always that easy, and they hardly “lose nothing.” For example, I recently conducted an interview with Marketcircle CEO AJ (it will be up on TUAW next week). He noted that two of his marquee apps, Daylite and Billings Pro, rely heavily on background sync that occurs without interference from the user, which violates Apple’s rules for the store. Additionally, there are licensing issues that further complicate things for AJ and other developers. I’m sure he’s not the only one who’d happily sell software that can’t be distributed through the Mac App Store just yet.
It’s true that there are a lot of reasons why developers can’t or won’t make their apps available through the Mac App Store, many of them out of their control.1 He adds that the advantages of the Mac App Store include improving the download and installation of software. These are two of the most important first steps (or obstacles) to getting new users. The other one is discovery, which is another issue the Mac App Store attempts to solve.
- As I wrote in my original post, “Many of these apps would be (or perhaps have already been) rejected, many are still in beta, and there are various other reasons why some of them would not be allowed in the Mac App Store, or why they have not been submitted (like no longer being developed, or ideological objections).” ↩