Allen Pike’s perspective on the Parse shutdown is great.
In particular, it’ll be problematic when possibly hundreds of thousands of iOS apps just stop working in a year because their developers have long since moved on, or their contracts expired, or they can’t afford to spend time on a significant update.
One of the most damaging side effects of unhealthy App Store economics is that developers have little motivation or resources to keep apps updated.
In the flush early days, Apple could release a new screen size or entire platform (like the original iPad), and developers rushed to support it as quickly as possible because we knew we’d probably see a return.
Today, Apple’s shipping new platforms and screen sizes like they’re going out of style, but so many apps are rotting in disrepair that very few developers are adopting them. The Apple Watch and Apple TV have relatively few apps and almost none that are great (on the Watch, maybe even none), and only a tiny subset of iPad apps support multitasking or the iPad Pro.
Apple needs a healthy developer ecosystem now, more than ever, as customers clamor for their new platforms to have more and better software — but now they’re paying for their own neglect of healthy App Store economics and tense developer relations for so long.
I hope Apple sees that as a problem. With the recent consolidation of the entire App Store under new leadership (Phil Schiller), maybe they do.