WWDC 2021 could be a little awkward for Apple and developers

WWDC 2021 could be a little awkward for Apple and developers

Many developers aren’t happy and Apple’s attitude isn’t helping.

Credit: Dreamstime

Another Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is almost upon us and it's a good thing it's remote, because the Macalope hates those awkward family get-togethers when no one wants to talk about the elephant in the room.

For the record, though, cousin Earl should not be keeping an elephant in a bungalow, whether it's allowed by the state of Texas or not.

In preparation for next month's events, Apple has released a schedule that included an image of several memoji looking at a screen. Reflected in one of the memoji's glasses is some code indicating three emoji characters that translate into Eat. Sleep. Code.

Now, the Macalope's not here to tell developers how to run their lives, but that's not a healthy work/life balance. Even if you can do one of those while getting in some bathroom time (and that one thing better just be coding).

It's probably not really meant to be an exhortation to work, work, work. It's meant to be a cute little tip to how already hard-working and dedicated to their craft developers are. But when 15 to 30 per cent of the fruit of iOS developers' labor goes to Apple, those developers might be excused for feeling a bit like they're being told to get back to work so Apple can make more money.

It might come off better if Apple hadn't just devoted a lot of its testimony in the Epic case and before Congress recently to say how it believes the App Store is just hunky-dory and it doesn't know what all the fuss is about because all peoples lurv the magical App Store and its very reasonable rates and rules.

Why, heck, Tim Cook himself said Apple doesn't even know how profitable the App Store is! They don't care! They operate it more as a public service, like a water reserve or a national park or Eddy Cue's free shirt museum. And those emails that were entered into the court record about having meetings about App Store profitability and applying different accounting methods to it? Welllll, they might have idly looked into it at one point, just for curiosity's sake. Sometimes they get bored.

It's also a little weird that while Cook is very interested in customer sat (as he calls customer satisfaction), he is apparently uninterested in developer sat, because he said he doesn't regularly get reports on that. Why would he be interested when All Is Well™.

Cook also said he doesn't know how much money Google pays the company to be the default search engine in Safari so let us say that the things that Cook protests he doth not know strain credulity.

Despite Apple's protestations, a fair number of developers are not happy. A survey cited by the judge in the Epic case indicated that as many as 39 per cent of developers were either very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with Apple's distribution services. It's obviously not the same thing, but if Apple shipped a product that got that kind of sat they'd light it on fire and push it out into the ocean.

Epic, naturally, made a point of this:

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