The Mac App Store as a second-class developer experience

Hockenberry is displeased with developing apps that use Apple's own iCloud servers to store and sync data. iOS developers can put their apps through iCloud's paces using TestFlight, Apple's testing framework, which remains iOS-bound. Hockenberry blasted Apple in a recent missive posted to his blog.

Apple needs to change its priorities for the Mac App Store or just shut the whole thing down. As it now stands, developers who are tired of being second-class citizens are making that decision for them and leaving on their own.

Other concerns Hockenberry voices: Apple has delivered analytics tools for iOS developers, but given nothing to Mac developers. They've also changed the rules for app reviews on beta iOS releases, but haven't done the same for Mac.

Developers pay the same 30 percent, but the Mac nets a lot less for Apple than iPhones do. With iOS as Apple's top money maker, it's pretty clear that that's the priority for them.

Hockenberry's comments elicited a response from Daniel Jalkut, another Mac developer who has his own complaints about the Mac App Store, voiced on his blog:

One point that has nagged at me since the Mac App Store launched five years ago is the lack of effort Apple makes in promoting these products through social networks.

Jalkut takes a measured approach to his criticism, suggesting that Mac app developers have some benefits that iOS developers don't, like unrestricted testing pools, more effective management of different OS environments, and more. Jalkut suspects, as Hockenberry does as well, that Apple simply doesn't have the resources in place to manage both iOS and OS X app developers with perfect equality.

I think this speaks to the likely truth that Apple is, more than anything, under-staffed and not well situated to deploy solutions to both platforms in tandem.

Makes for some interesting reading as you end the week. What do you think? Are Mac developers getting short shrift, or should they be glad that Apple supports them at all these days?

Peter Cohen