I have been accused of being an Apple fanboy over the years, but I would like to talk about Apple security and the antitrust they are facing for the App Store. I have a background in computer security, and I would like to point out a few issues I have with the App Store and the antitrust case.
While I do think that Apple’s 33.3% is high on sales and 10% to 15% on subscriptions are high on the App Store, I would like to point out that you can take your payment system off the App Store. Companies like Netflix and Compound Media do not allow payments through the App Store. Once an app reaches a very large user base and with enough notice can transition their users to an off-app purchase system. While this is difficult if you are making a large sum of money on the App Store it is a cost of doing business.
Apple not allowing any apps to install outside of the App Store is the great part of Apple security. The tight integration with the App Store allows for safety and security on the iPhone. If you remember the original iPhone had no App Store and the first year installing apps was a mess and had many security issues with web apps.
Many people have asked for a third-party App Store but again that puts the integrity and security of the iPhone as the third-party App Stores might not have the strict Apple security vetting process that Apple has become known for over the years. For the most part, when you install an app from the Apple App Store you know it’s safe. While many people complain and have come to call Apple “The Walled Garden” it allows for the safety and security of Apple’s userbase.
I think Apple can make looser rules on the app vetting process to a certain degree because of the amazing sandboxing which is core to Apple security allowing tight integration with hardware and software security protocols. A sandbox is a set of fine-grained controls that limit the app’s access to files, preferences, network resources, hardware, and so on. As part of the sandboxing process, the system installs each app in its own sandbox directory, which acts as the home for the app and its data. Sandboxing using both hardware and software protocols allowing for Apps to work with the core iOS features to allow functionality while protecting core components of iOS and other installed apps.
I think that while the open-source platforms like Android and Linux allow for a much more completive and fairer marketplace it puts security at risk at times. A prime example of this how many times Android apps are pulled from the Google Play Store due to security issues. However, on ChromeOS which is more of a closed based system like iOS Google has managed to keep tighter security and avoid security issues, viruses, and spyware. I think this is a true testament to the security a closed system like ChromeOS and iOS can be for a userbase.
I think that while the practices of the Apple App Store are an issue at times for antitrust I think the security it provides is worth the issues it causes.