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Jason Snell for Macworld
March 18, 2016 9:01 AM PT
When the iOS App Store debuted, there was a gold rush. Stories abounded of individual software developers making large amounts of money from their apps. There was the distinct sense that the App Store was ushering in a new era, where thousands of programmers could quit their jobs and write apps for a living-and we’d all benefit from their personal visions and expertise.
It hasn’t worked out like that. The App Store has been a success, but a huge amount of the money being transacted in the App Store on a given day is for purchases inside of games. There is no gold rush for independent app developers. Writing an app for the App Store is a challenging task, and there’s no guarantee of success.
Last week, iMore editor Rene Ritchie likened this change to the victory of plastic toys over handmade wooden ones. Or to put it another way, the App Store-like the iTunes Store, out of which it was built-is designed to sell pop music to a broad audience, not edgy indie rock to a niche.
So if the iOS App Store is a difficult market if you’re not selling game consumables, and the Mac App Store is a bit of a wasteland, then what’s the future of software that helps us get our jobs done?