Make iPhone Apps and iOS 13 Awesome in 2019

This is a long overdue post but after reading Apple’s Errors i felt i had to put it out there.

I will start by saying the obvious. iPhone offers the best mobile experience one can buy. Period. Now that we got the elephant out of the room let’s go down the rabbit hole.

Call me nostalgic but I miss the good old days when iPhone offered the best app experience. I’m referring to those days when an iPhone app was much better than the Android equivalent. Android apps were good but often the iPhone apps were so much better. More features, better speed, better privacy and so on.

Fast forward in 2018 and that’s not the case anymore. Android matured tremendously and Google is pushing the envelope in a very Apple-ish way. As a result Android apps matured and matched the quality of Apple apps.

Here’s the problem though. Apple surrendered control to the big app developers while making it very hard for small developers to build new awesome apps. The incentive is not there any more because the amount of work needed is tremendous.

The 2018 iOS free app downloads chart verify this.

Google Maps
Cash App
Google Photos
Google Chrome

This is what Ben Thompson describes as the “WeChat problem” although this is a US and global Apple and iOS problem.

However, in China iOS is much less of a lock-in, thanks to the dominance of cross-platform Chinese-specific services, particularly WeChat (WeChat, while the most important factor, is not the only one: indeed, given that Android in China is specifically tuned to the Chinese market by Chinese OEMs, iOS is if anything a hindrance).

Apple’s Errors by stratechery

Every company behind the apps listed above have huge budget to build, support and improve their apps on iOS and Android. All the apps work pretty much the same on both platforms and companies work hard to make these apps serve their interests only. It makes sense for them but not for iOS and certainly not the iPhone user.

Is it YouTube so much better on iOS? Not really. What about Uber? Nope. Instagram or Twitter? I don’t think so.

The Apple iOS 13 Modules

Apple must help iOS developers, especially small teams, build better apps quickly for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Apple should also provide some sort of “Apple modules” in iOS 13 so developers can make apps with unique Apple features.

Maybe some boilerplate for iOS apps with lighting fast startup speed? Perhaps an AI photo correction module or a module for creating app themes. A two factor authentication module or a health module with templates for Health app related data that only need styling. Ready made video encoders and decoders. The list goes on and on.

I’m not talking about APIs but Apple made module and libraries that developers can drop in code and make iOS apps so much better, faster, more secure.

Apple is already doing this with the App Store Analytics.

Imagine what developers, especially small developers, can build with these Apple made modules.