Will iOS8 help revive innovation in the App Store?

by Patrick Pierra

July 30 2014

With Top-listed apps benefiting from a tremendous marketing advantage over newcomers, Apple’s App Store has not much encouraged iPad innovation lately.

Apple should kill its Top Charts lists, argues Marco Arment, one of the best known independent app developers. In a recent blog post titled “App Rot”, Arment explains that these rankings “stratif[y] the top 0.02% so far above everyone else that the entire ecosystem is encouraged to design for a theoretical top-list placement that, by definition, won’t happen to 99.98% of them.“

This results in an unfriendly marketplace for independent developers, but also in a lack of innovation in app development --particularly for iPad apps, which have a smaller addressable market than iPhone apps.

Arment, best known for the Instapaper app and who recently launched the Overcast podcast app, has some hopes in iOS8, though, as it should make development faster and more efficient.

“Extensions open up vast new markets and give our apps a lot more functionality for very little effort. CloudKit removes the need for many apps to run web services. Adaptive Layout will remove the need for most apps to code radically different UIs for their iPad and iPhone versions, instead providing a responsive-web-like method of automatically rearranging one UI to fit any size screen,” he writes.

Business app publishers, consider submitting your iPad, Android and Windows apps to the Tabby Awards /Business competition - Entries are welcome until August 8.

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