Quick, Write Something!

Ok, so John Gruber just linked to this embryonic little blog, so I better say something interesting.

Let me adapt a little rant that I sent to my beta testers this afternoon…

The recent change to the iPhone App Store so that the listed release date of software is the date of initial submission – and not the date of the last update – seems to have had a very profound effect on our sales, and not in a good way. PCalc is now currently sitting on the 29th and last page of the Utilities section, since it was one of the very first apps submitted to the store, and that means it’s now effectively dead in the water.

PCalc 1.1 went up on the store yesterday without any PR fanfare, and there was no increase in sales whatsoever, whereas previously that would have generated a very significant spike as it made it to the first page. So, what’s the rationale now for developing big updates to your software, rather than just banging out a bunch of cheap and cheerful apps that you never intend to look at twice?

Ok, so the argument is probably that people were abusing the update mechanism by releasing numerous small updates to keep their apps near the top of the pile. But instead of addressing those people, now everybody has to suffer, and there’s now a big incentive to work on something new rather than further develop existing software.

The conspiracy theorist would point out that Apple doesn’t make any money from the updates so that’s in their interest. But perhaps I should just spend more time and money on my marketing rather than my coding…