Likewise, unions exist for a good reason. Collective bargaining. Such organizations have brought much needed reform to business and organizations. Taken too far, they work like too much free speech. Consequences. Guess who wants to unionize? Guess who else should unionize?
Not only has the internet moved on beyond the information superhighway to become more of a toxic hell stew misinformation superhighway, it has also given everyone an opportunity to voice an opinion on any topic for any reason at anytime, for good, bad, or otherwise. Apple’s iOS App Store is the most successful platform for app developers. Yes, there is much competition, but that seems to have made apps better. Somebody is making good money, but those who make the apps want a bigger slice of Apple’s pie.
Now we have ads– developer ads– that show up in iPhone App Store search results. That benefits app developers who have money or are willing to risk spending money to make more money. The App Store has subscriptions which make it easier to try apps, but also raise the price we pay. That benefits app developers, too.
So, why are some iOS app developers intent on forming a Developers Union? Greed? Money? Voice? Perhaps a mix of all three? Whatever it is, the idea of an app developers union seems to have garnered some legs and enough legs might get Apple to pay more attention to what the developers want.
What do they want?
Free app trials is high on the list. Free? Is there not an option to create a free application now, and offer in-app purchases for more features, or a subscription option?
Yes. What a free trial would do is change how apps are used. Instead of a feature limited Lite version, users would get to try all features for a period of time (a time period determined by the app developer), then with an option to buy, or extend the period as a subscription does now.
Money. Everyone wants a slice of Apple’s pie– or, rather, a bigger slice of the pie. When the App Store started nearly a decade ago, it was a 70-30 split. Developers got 70-percent of the revenue while Apple kept 30-percent. That remains in effect, but there is an 85-15 option for developers with longer term subscription apps– hence the growth of subscription pricing on the App Store.
OK, what about users? We’ve endured a decade of not having much of a voice except to vote with our feet and pocketbook. If an app sucks, we review accordingly. But what if an application dies on the vine and becomes abandonware? What if an app is over priced? We still can vote with our feet and money, but we don’t have much of a voice that either Apple or app developers can hear.
How about an app user union?
Good idea, right? We could have dues, t-shirts, meetings, a logo and a website with forums. Union members would be able to voice their opinions about a specific application, and specific forum threads would be forwarded to developers so they can see– from one location and from very vocal customers– exactly what they’re doing right and wrong. Though, as unions, humanity, and megaphones tend to do– mostly the wrong.
If our app user union grows large enough we could go to Apple and the app developers and ask for special discounts. Hey, if AARP does it, so can we. If just 200-million of us unionize we can become a force to bring good to humanity and help to act as a conscience for Apple and app developers.
You know. Like real unions used to do.