A Haven for Forbidden Apps

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Jared Newman: How AltStore is building a haven for forbidden iPhone apps

“You would think that allowing high performance apps would be to Apple’s benefit as they keep making more and more powerful iPads, but the state of (allowed) iPad software has been stagnant,” says UTM’s developer, who goes by the pseudonym Osy. “It’s one of the reasons I worked on UTM in the first place, because I thought it was a pity that such powerful hardware doesn’t have any software to take advantage of it.”

I just made a video about 1Password's new Universal Autofill feature and one of the things I called out there was how this is a great example of what's great about macOS: the OS didn't support something so AgileBits made it happen anyway. The tragedy of the iPad is that it has an incredible amount of power, but it's limited by whatever Apple allows people to do with it. Meanwhile, if you can dream it, you can probably do it on the Mac.

People act as if opening up the iPad to do more would turn it "just into another Mac" and I flatly reject that idea and I think it's a lazy argument. The iPad has gained tons of features over the years and it's still managed to be completely distinct from the Mac at all points in its history. Remember when we were debating whether a file system even made sense on the iPad? Or how a cursor and laptop form factor would make it too Mac-like? Or how about when we argued whether showing more than one app on screen at a time was something the iPad should do at all?

I really hope Apple has plans to make the iPad, specifically the iPad Pro (iPad Studio?), more capable.