One advantage of the App Store that’s gone

Brent Simmons:

The best part of the App Store, years ago, from this developer’s point of view, was that it was easy to charge money for an app. No need to set up a system — just choose the price, and Apple takes care of everything. So easy!

Ah, the good old days. Before the race to the bottom.

But these days, in almost all cases, you’d be ill-advised to charge up front for your app. You need a trial version and in-app purchasing (IAP) and maybe a subscription.

Here’s the thing: this is a massive pain in the ass to implement, test, and support — Apple does not make it easy.

It is harder and harder to make a living building apps. Apple expects a lot from their developers. And if an ARM-based Mac shows up, that’s yet another wrinkle in an already complicated model.

Will Apple talk about the App Store this week, beyond touting numbers? Will we see a “We hear you, and here’s what we’re doing about it” moment?