This week, John Gruber wrote about the dichotomy in the App Store where Apps like Google Mail can take five years to add some of the most basic features with no repercussion from Apple, while other developers get their apps kicked out of the App Store for byzantine reasons, as we saw with the recent Hey.com kerfuffle. John argues that Apple should be using its App Store might to press developers, particularly successful developers with popular apps, into adopting key iPhone and iPad features (like split screen) on penalty of kicking them out of the App Store.
As much as I love the delight in using an iPad, it sometimes also feels like enduring many tiny cuts. Split screen is awesome, but for far too long it was not available in Google Docs. Picture in Picture feels like you are living in the future, right up until the point you use a video app that does not support it. Every year we get a host of new iOS and iPad features to make it easier on users, but too many developers just don’t bother because it does not fit in their multi-platform strategy. Moreover, I think this is in Apple’s own best interest. They are making some great hardware, and their software teams are finding better ways to use that hardware every year. If app developers can’t be bothered to take advantage of those improvements, both the users and the platform suffers.