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WWDC 2016 – Apple is finally embracing Not Apple

Jason Snell | June 21, 2016
iOS 10 will break down even more barriers that once stood in the way of third-party apps.

Developers also now have access to the lock screen and notification centre, with displays of video, animation and other app data that bring the richness of their apps into hallowed places where previously only Apple itself could tread.

More open, more developer friendly

There are a few other areas where Apple seems to be more welcoming. Originally, Apple walled off access to iCloud on the Mac, limiting it only to apps that appeared in the Mac App Store. The idea here was to use iCloud as a carrot to convince developers to put their apps in the Mac App Store. Now the company has changed its approach, and any registered Mac developer can gain access to iCloud.

Once again, that's good for users, developers and ultimately Apple. It may be bad for the Mac App Store, but let's be realistic - iCloud is a more important strategic direction for Apple than the Mac App Store is, and forcing developers into the Mac App Store just so they can get access to iCloud was not a move that resulted in happy developers.

Then there's the happy news for makers of audio and video communication apps such as Skype. At long last, they're essentially peers of Apple's own Phone and FaceTime features. A Skype call can ring your phone with the same interrupt-driven interface as if you got a phone call or a FaceTime invitation. There was a time when allowing third-party telephony services favoured access to the iPhone would've seemed like something that would never happen, but with iOS 10 it will be a reality.

Finally, though no one mentioned it at the keynote, developers at WWDC are well aware that Apple has altered the deal on the 30 percent cut it takes from App Store transactions, offering a reduced 15 percent rate beginning in the second year of any subscription relationship on the store. Extended subscription relationships between users and app developers are good for the developers and, yet again, ultimately good for Apple. And yet there was a time when it seemed that the 30 percent rule was inviolable.

Those were the old days, when Apple was focused more on itself than the rest of the world. Whether it's because of competition, financial headwinds or just the maturation of its biggest platform, today's Apple has thrown many of its doors open and is welcoming in the outside world. In the long run, it's going to be good for users, developers and Apple alike.

Source: Macworld AU


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