August 24, 2009
Sideloading Now Seems So Simple
Nilay Patel, on the whole Apple/Google/AT&T/App Store-avaganza:
I don’t think there’s any good reason the most interesting things about the App Store right now should be procedural details and the number of submissions each reviewer handles a day — somewhere around 80, if you can believe it. I’d rather be talking about new and exciting ways to integrate the iPhone and other mobile devices into my daily life — I’d rather be talking about apps. And the more I think about it, the only way Apple can get back to that is by doing what it should have done in the first place: allowing developers and users to bypass the App Store and sideload apps onto the iPhone themselves.
Every single App Store submission story we’ve covered boils down to the fact that Apple is the single point of control for the iPhone ecosystem, and it’s simply not fast or flexible enough to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation we’re seeing on the platform. Like it or not, what’s happening on the iPhone is leading the entire tech industry, and Apple should be doing everything in its power to enhance that, rather than miring itself in scandal and regulatory investigation. If that means releasing some control over the platform, then so be it — especially since allowing sideloading would make almost all of these problems simply disappear.
See also #8.