Apple promises to make the App Store a better place. You have our back, Apple!
Phil Schiller recently made a great announcement, promising to make the App Store (and the Mac App Store in particular) an awesome place again. It looks like the Apple team plans to update it’s home page on daily basis, instead of doing this weekly. This means users of Mac, iPhone, and iPad have a reason to visit the marketplaces more often.
For developers this is also really big news. Skylum was lucky enough to have all 10 apps we’ve ever launched featured multiple times on the Mac App Store. But we know there are thousands of developers who have not been that lucky.
Many of them have been so disappointed in the Mac App Store, that they moved away from it completely - some succeeded, but most didn’t. Some other guys like Sketch have moved away from the App Store for a different reason. But the fact remains obvious that the App Store needs a change.
Skylum still has all its products available in the Mac App Store, but to be honest, over the last 2 years almost 90% of our marketing efforts and investment have shifted towards our own web store. The App Store doesn’t let you really manage the user experience, interact directly with users, fine tune ways to serve people better based on analytics, etc.
If things didn’t happen to work well with sales on the Mac App Store, we’re basically having to guess how to improve the situation. As we’ve grown bigger and more sophisticated in our business practices, this is something we simply can’t afford and it’s made us sad.
However, with tens of thousands of new Mac users purchasing Skylum software every month from our website, we need to measure everything and ensure we’re offering the right mix of customer experience, solutions, education and follow-on support.
One result of this shift in focus is that we’ve had to slow down the pace of development and support of the Mac App Store versions of our software. It wasn’t an easy decision because we know there are millions of Mac users who simply love the Mac App Store experience and who want to stick to it.
Which is why we’re hopeful about today’s news. We’ve heard rumors that changes were coming to the App Store for awhile. Now that the first meaningful results are showing up, we’ll shift gears again and plan to give more attention back to the Mac App Store.
There are many things that developers still need to truly maximize the opportunity, including better interaction with users, so hopefully there’s someone who lets Phil Schiller know about our hopes and expectations.
Right away we’ve moved several people inside the team to now focus only on development of our the Mac App Store software. The bulk of our engineering team will remain working on Creative Kit and Aurora HDR (plus new products), but by Apple hinting at “more good work to come”, we’re definitely re-energized about supporting the Mac App Store versions.
What’s in the near future?
We’ve just released a new update of Aurora HDR. March is also the month we’ll release a new update of Tonality on the Mac App Store. In April, expect to see a brand new app that will make Photos for Mac an even better editing tool. Over the next 4-5 months, plan to see new updates for our other popular apps like FX Photo Studio, Noiseless and Snapheal. And, as they say… more to come!
To make a long story short, it’s good to see that changes are coming. It’s great to have a person like Phil Schiller and his superb team who truly get developers to work closely with us to make things better. We’ll do everything we can to support Apple in this. And, at the end of the day - embracing change with smart innovation and forward-thinking is part of what makes Mac so awesome. Press On…Long Live Change!