App Stores have been revolutionary in many respects. First, from making it so much easier to find apps to ensuring that the apps that are downloaded have passed some form of quality assurance and certification. It also made billing much easier, much to the chagrin of developers having their margins eaten.
However, when they don’t work (and they can stop working from many directions), it can be a horrible experience. Some ways they stop working:
- Updates mechanism breaking
- Limiting apps by location (and then limiting to those who have set the location rather than where they’re actually located)
- Payment engines breaking
- Apps getting through certification that leak data or just don’t work
- Apps not being tested on a all hardware accessing the app store
These are felt by the user, but there are even more when it comes to how it can break on the developer side.
In the end, when these app stores stop working, one is forced to side load, download, or even jailbreak their devices in order to get potentially legitimate programs to work on their devices. On laptops and desktops, there are usually mechanisms built into the OS to handle this. Android is much more open but iOS… that’s another story.
It reminds me of a Simpsons scene where Burns goes through many different security doors, but the last one is just a flimsy screen door.