When it comes to app stores, Apple certainly gets a lot of publicity for the ridiculous 30 percent fee that they charge for all transactions made through theirs. Apple is not the only guilty party though with Google also playing dirty at times with other developers through its Play store. Even Epic, with its much-publicised feud with Apple over its app store practices, found itself kicked off of the Play store due to its alternate billing method.
This has led to the growth of certain third-party app stores like Samsung’s Galaxy Store which some companies prefer to use instead, as they are free from the same aggressive regulation over the use of Google’s billing system and fees. Even if Google charges significantly less than Apple on the fee front and is more open to things like Microsoft’s xCloud gaming service.
Google claims to be listening to these market demands, though rather than change their app store practices have said that it will be adding features in next year’s Android 12 release (via The Verge) that will “make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place.”
It’s not clear exactly what or how these new measures will work and whether it will even end up being something which developers will actually want to work with. By the sound of it, Google will allow better support for these different third-party app stores but contain some control over the security. Something which makes sense but could have many problematic implications depending on how it is implemented. Hopefully, it’s not too invasive and actually improves the overall app market considerably.
With many companies starting to rebel against some of the abusive practices from Apple and Google, it’s time we had more competition on this front.
Last Updated: September 29, 2020