iPad Pro and Developers

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.Moshe Berman: “But expecting app developers to build professional apps with the current UIKit is like asking a chef to make a pizza with only flour, and water. Without more ingredients it’s not pizza.”

This is a really nice piece by Moshe and I’d encourage you to read the entire thing. Moshe has some really good suggestions for Apple, but overall the responsibility to create great professional apps lies with developers. I’m guilty of putting too much blame on Apple for poor App Store sales. It all comes back to the developer of apps to figure out their audience.

When I think of Pro applications for iPad my mind instantly turns to drawing, diagramming, and design applications. Things like FiftyThree’s Paper, Sketch, Acorn, Photoshop, Flinto, and even Adobe’s new Experience Design. All of the apps I just listed, with the exception of Paper, are Mac only.

There is definitely a feeling amongst App developers that people don’t want to pay for Apps. It’s proven to be true time and again as Indies fail with solid applications. Some shops, like The Omni Group in Seattle, have managed to keep their apps in the App Store (Mac and iOS) and by all accounts continue to do well. Something you’ll notice about Omni is the price of their iOS Apps. They actually charge real money for them, not some silly $0.99, more like $99.00 for the Pro version of OmniGraffle for iOS.

There are signs that even the best of software shops struggle to keep revenue for their iOS Apps where they’d like them. Panic, another of the best Mac developers in the business, noted in their 2015 report.

iOS Revenue. I brought this up last year and we still haven’t licked it. We had a change of heart — well, an experimental change of heart — and reduced the price of our iOS apps in 2015 to normalize them at $9.99 or less, thinking that was the upper limit and/or sweet spot for iOS app pricing. But it didn’t have a meaningful impact on sales.

As a result they mentioned raising prices. That’s not a bad thing. People that depend on Panic software to conduct their day-to-day operations will happily pay more for their awesome software.

That brings me back around to the Pro angle. We have shops like Omni and Panic creating Pro level applications with the existing features of UIKit. In the end it’s all up to developers to build Pro apps, find a pricing model that works for them, and market their apps.