Space Cat, Prince Among Thieves

I Am Done With the Mac App Store

tl;dr Do not depend on App Store Apps, Apple can and will pull the carpet out from under you.

Reading Hacker News today there is an article about how OS X Installers stopped working on February 14th, 2016. This is due to an expired certificate Apple used to sign the binaries with.

In that same time range I had a handful of Apps purchased from the App store suddenly and mysteriously stop working. They just quit. No dialog, no error mesasage, nothing at all. Apps I paid for and depend on just stopped working.

The thing they all these Apps have in common is they are no longer available from the App store and have not been updated in several years. I am nearly certain that this is the same signing issue.

If this is the case, this means all Apps from the app store are signed built-in self destruct date. One which only Apple or the original author can fix.

I have been careful to keep backups of the .app’s. Apple dropped the ability to re-download App's removed from the App store.

This gives way too much power over my work to third parties. Software I paid for should not stop working because someone else stopped supporting it. How can someone build a reliable work-flow when any program stop working at any time? You can't, that’s simply insanity.

One of the apps I used daily, the author took down a few years ago because it “flopped and [was] plagued with technical issues”. I have encountered no technical issues with it until this point, and it an important part of my work-flow.

I, as well as others have asked the author to open source it on many occasions. [1], [2], [3], [4]There’s more

Her only response to our cries has been a cringe-worthy LOL. I wish I were joking.

The moral of my story comes down to the following life lessons.

  • Don’t depend on things that others can take from you.
  • Be able to scratch your own itch; seek open source when at all possible.

I will no longer be purchasing things from the Mac App Store. The convenience is not worth the incredible down sides.

Richard Stallman has been warning us for years, I should have listened.


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