Apple’s beleaguered Mac App Store continues to lose developers

“Apple thoroughly revamped the look and feel of the Mac App Store this year, debuting ‘editorial’ recommendations and an iOS-inspired interface for its macOS software storefront,” Jeremy Horwitz writes for VentureBeat. “But a new survey from CleanMyMac developer MacPaw suggests developers remain unimpressed by the App Store due to a series of well-established problems that haven’t been addressed, and that Apple is ‘slowly losing devs to the great unknown’ — other distribution options — as a result.”

“MacPaw’s survey is in its third year and with 814 responses has a pretty robust collection of participating developers,” Horwitz writes. “Forty percent of MAS-using developers are “detractors,” with 37 percent “passives,” and 22 percent “promoters,” numbers that only look good compared with even worse scores in the prior year. In three survey years, the store’s promoters number peaked at 23 percent, which is to say that three out of four developers participating in the store aren’t enthusiastic about it.”

‘Unsurprisingly, Apple’s numbers are even worse amongst developers who aren’t selling through the Mac App Store,” Horwitz writes. “As of 2018, 84 percent of that group are detractors, versus 9 percent passives and 7 percent promoters. Those numbers are modestly improved from prior years’ results, but the takeaway is fairly clear: Most developers who participate don’t love the store, and those who don’t participate seem to hate it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: See all of the details in the “Annual Setapp Mac Market Survey 2018” here.

22 Comments

    1. The appStores have two major flaws:
      (i) dumb rather than Siri searching (or allowing OR, AND and ()-nesting)
      (ii) the review system should allow access to (the user’s selection) language, rather than restrict to national store reviews. VERY important for international users, especially those in small countries. Why does Apple continue to ignore more than half of its users? Most apps are region and even language-agnostic. I for one can read reviews in Dutch, English, German, Afrikaans and Spanish. With the Belgian appStores, I don’t even get to see reviews from the Netherlands. It is tedious and very un-Apple-like having to switch to the US appStore to at least have a statistically relevant collection of reviews, rather than just a couple, or even none at all.
      Apple is just bringing the alledged loss of interest for its appStores tupon itself.

    1. I want to add that I purchased MacPilot (not from App Store) a few months back and now I can’t even use it because once it launches, it tells me that I MUST purchase the update and then the app quits.

      1. Have you considered talking directly to the developer? Unlike with the obtuse Apple app store, a developer tends to treat customers like a wanted relationship. Cook doesn’t care about Mac owners, but small developers do.

        1. I have not. I don’t feel I should have to do that. I blame myself for paying for the app and won’t purchase from Koingo again.

          I’ve never had such issues with apps that I purchased from the App Store.

  1. The Mac is not dead, but it might as well be.

    Tom Cook signed the death warrant for the Mac when he declared that he could run Apple from his iPad. Probably he can. And probably he has a team of hundreds doing all the work for him on Microsoft software. Heaven knows he doesn’t actually create financial reports himself. His minions do it for him. And they can’t do it using Apple software. Not if they need a landscape chart or table in a portrait document – Because Tim Cook took that feature out.

    1. “Tom Cook signed the death warrant for the Mac when he declared that he could run Apple from his iPad.”

      I guess if all you do all day is write e-mails with emojis and watch mind numbing stupid programming, yes correct. Has the guy not visited and watched the industrial design department at work, high end video editing or 3D design programs? More clueless Cook, sheesh…

  2. I don’t disagree. If new emoji or copying SnapChat are the best Apple can do, why should I, as a professional user care? I’m glad their bank account is healthy, the same can’t be said for their ecosystem. This is what happens when a product guy is in charge and all you have are clueless millennial engineers. I can’t remember the last time I was legitimately excited about something from Apple, I don’t bother to watch the keynotes anymore.

  3. The question not answered is: have developers’ interest in the MacOS platform diminished, or is this survey just about the method to distribute their products?

    My guess, because the question wasn’t addressed, that this is a distribution issue and does not reflect an interest in developing for the Mac.

  4. The vast majority of Mac app developers are professionals.

    You only have to look at how Apple treats the true professional community to see how the Mac App Store would be viewed by professional developers.

  5. Tim Cook Sucks!
    1 – The App Store got worse.
    2 – iTunes continues to get worse.
    3 – Mac hardware choices are worse.
    4 – iPhone size options for people who want a 4″ are now worse.
    5 – Tim’s pipeline vision with poor execution is worse.
    6 – Update cycles on basic things (memory, storage, chips, etc) are worse.
    7 – The lack of supply to meet the demand for the past 4-5 holiday season are worse.
    8 – Keynotes are worse.
    9 – Apple software options get worse.
    10 – CEO’s vision and focus are worse.
    Please sign this to remove him
    https://www.change.org/p/apple-board-of-directors-remove-tim-cook-as-ceo-of-apple

    1. Yehhhh!!!! The company is doing SO incredibly badly!!! If only they’d take you on as CEO!!!

      But I can’t help wondering… if the company is so insanely awful, why are you here complaining about it? Why not just go and buy phones and computers from all those other companies? I’m sure they all sell perfect hardware and software and provide perfect service.

      1. Yes, all points are correct where the company can do much better. I could possibly triple the list, but don’t waste my time with blind fanboys. If it wasn’t for one product launched under Steve making billions of bucks, no way would they be making the money they are now. Get a grip on reality…

        1. A grip on reality is demonstrated by what… incessant whining?

          If people who don’t share your petulant viewpoint are “blind fanboys”, what are are:
          – A whiny little bitch?
          – Blind hateboy?
          – Pathetic troll?

    2. And replace him with?????

      …crickets…

      I mean maybe PRETEND to be serious and offer a meaningful option. 🙂 Maybe someone with experience running a trillion… ok at least half a trillion dollar company. Oh, and you going to leave the rest of the leadership team, that AGREES with the way things are going, in place? Extremely wise move there, shows your business acumen.

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