Macbook Air M1Source: Daniel Bader / iMore

What you need to know

  • Setapp has conducted its annual survey of Mac users.
  • 90% of Mac developers say they are happy with Apple's new Small Business Program.

Setapp has published the results of its 2020 Mac Developer Survey, revealing 90% of them are happy with Apple's Small Business Program.

Setapp asked developers about lots of different things including the pandemic, 2021, business obstacles, and app distribution:

2020 was a rough year, upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns and quarantine restrictions. The changes forced people to redefine work and their relationship with their computers, Macs included: Some found themselves tied even more to their favorite devices as a substitute channel for in-person social interaction and go-to source for entertainment.

So it might be surprising to hear that the largest group of Mac developers (46%) said they didn't feel an impact from the coronavirus on their business. Others felt the changes more acutely: 29% said they experienced a negative impact. Among the negative factors, the top responses were: decrease in resources available (investments, remote work hires, new tech, etc.), less time spent developing apps, and a decrease in the number of users.

At the same time, 24% said they had a positive impact. The top positive responses people felt were: more time spent developing their apps, an increase in the number of users, and an increase in web traffic. ;

For 2021, 68% of developers said they had a positive or very positive outlook, with more than half planning a major update to an app, and 44% planning a new app altogether.

Unsurprisingly, 90% of the developers support Apple's Small Business Program, and exactly half said they were going to apply.

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Interestingly, only 24% said they exclusively distribute their apps through the Mac App Store, with 33% distributing them outside, and 43% through both. Of those same developers, 56% of them got more revenue from outside the Mac App Store than through it.

Only 19% of developers thought subscriptions would definitely have a positive impact on their business, the majority saying they weren't sure (43%). When it comes to subscriptions, by far the biggest obstacle was explaining the value of subscriptions to their users.

You can read the full survey here.

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