Sunday, April 11, 2010

Caramel Apple

As a developer I find the technical argument that translation layers cause substandard apps false. The argument presumes that apple makes the best development tools. I think at least the unity tools show this presumption is not true in every case. I agree there are cases showing some translation layers produce some substandard apps but substandard apps occur regardless.

As a user, technologist, and armchair business person, I recognize the brilliance apple has shown creating, fostering, and structurally supporting the app market. The app market should be a case study for business persons and economists. Apple is showing a mastery of market capitalism.

They are pretty clearly demonstrating the myth of the "free market". Free markets turn into shams rapidly as one company gains a foothold and bullies competitors out. See standard oil, wallmart, etc. Sensible regulation is required to maximize product diversity and quality. By fostering the "network effect" of apps drawing users to the iphone and the iPhone drawing users to apps, apple and developers benefit. Apple is acting as the regulator keeping bullies out of the market (except for themselves and in some cases AT&T).

If most developers moved to flash iPhone development then that would give adobe an opportunity to migrate developers to other phones by artificially supporting more of the other phone's features and not supporting the iPhone as strongly. Flash has acted as a bully toward apple on the desktop and clearly apple doesn't want that on the iPhone.

As a developer I'd prefer there was competition for making the best development tools but I'm not sure it's worth risking the app market for.