We currently have apps available in the stores for both iOS and Android.
However, we are seriously considering indefinitely (but not permanently) removing the apps from the stores in favour of 'PWA’s.
What is a PWA?
A PWA, or Progressive Web App, is an app that is installed on your phone directly from a mobile website rather than via a store. PWA’s have been used by Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Uber and many more tech giants. If it was good enough for them, I am sure it will be good enough for Listium!
Why would we do this?
Maintaining apps in the stores if a time consuming and expensive process. Apple and Google (particularly Apple) are notoriously vague in their criteria for whether they approve apps or not. Even big players like Epic Games, makers of the Fortnite game, have issues with Apple and their policies (Epic Games v. Apple - Wikipedia).
While the issue for us is not about the revenue sharing, we are always at risk of being forced to update our apps for some reason outside our control. When this happens we are required to do a full app release that, in turn, is always at risk of being rejected by one of the stores with very little explanation. (eg. our Mac app was rejected multiple times for being “too similar to our web experience” when companies like Slack have apps that are as good as identical to their web app. And we are far too small to stand up to Apple and get them to change their policy. But we’re not bitter… much).
On the revenue side, while the sharing of revenue is not a huge issue, what is an issue is that we are required to maintain three completely separate payment platforms: We need Apple and Google payments just to be allowed in their stores, and then we use Stripe for web users. With a PWA we could just use Stripe for everyone.
Finally, maintaining apps for the stores requires some specialist tech skills. If we didn’t have the apps to worry about we could focus 100% of our efforts on the things that, we believe, add real value for our members, like building new features.
So, the store apps might disappear for a while.
That is, unless we get a strong response to this post telling us how terrible this would be for you.
Have your say
Let’s use this as an opportunity to try our first poll in the Listium Community Hub. Let’s hear what you think!
- Definitely go with a PWA for Listium
- Sure, PWA sounds okay as long as it’s easy to install!
- I only need Listium on a desktop/laptop computer
- I’m fine with whatever the Listium team thinks is best
- No, no! I will only use apps I can find in the stores