Sell apps outside the Mac App Store: It’s probably down anyway.

I had a bad feeling last night, deep in my gut. And it totally wasn’t the taco-salad from the new place on the corner with the B cleanliness rating. In the morning, I discovered it was far, far worse: the Mac App Store had been down. Chaos, panic, anarchy. Developers counted their losses today, weeping in unison with frustrated customers who couldn’t open their favorite games.

All that misery for an insulting amount of money that Mac App Store charges for the possibility to place your apps on their shelves. Selling via the MAS means losing 30% of profits, which is ridiculously costly, especially if you’re a small developer.

Simple math: you sell your app for $10 to 50 people. That’s $500 going into your pocket if you sell outside the Empire that is the Mac App Store. In the unfortunate case that you did choose the MAS as your primary channel, that’s $150 less. Oh, and another $100 yearly fee for just being there. So that makes it $250. A half. Add in the absence of paid updates and please hold back your tears.

But the joys of being on the MAS don’t end with just giving away three tithes of your wealth to the Church of Apple. If you love the speed of the software world, where new trends surface every week, issues are expected to be solved instantly, and updates delivered proactively — forget about it.

Your app will be in review, more or less, for 18 days. You could create the Earth twice and have a weekend trip to Paris for that amount of time. Take another two weeks off when the MAS reviews your updates — each and every one of them. Even delta updates. And, if Apple reviewers weren’t particularly grumpy that day and decided not to reject your app because of some new regulation that had just come into effect two hours ago, you’ll have your place on the coveted MAS.

I’m not even trying to go over the trial or demo versions that you can’t offer to your users, which makes accidental purchases and angry refund demands your worst nightmare. Or the unfiltered snake pit that is the Customer Reviews section, full of people that are invariably angry at the existance of your app, and well… You.

Life outside the MAS with DevMate

Is Mac App Store really worth it? (Can you see where we’re going with this?)

The truth is, you do have to outsource a few things if you’re trying to make it on your own. You have to get your own licensing and registration systems, integrate a payment system, get bandwidth, and develop update delivery mechanisms.

And it would certainly be a problem be you the only developer in the world. Fortunately, you’re not. And there are services that provide all of the above and a bunch of other useful stuff. Plus, it costs a dozen times less that being on the Mac App Store.

The reason DevMate exists is to solve all of the problems you face when trying to create your own marketplace. It’s an all-in-one platform with basically anything a developer needs:

Licensing: customizable, easily integrated, with endless promo-codes for your marketing purposes.

Update delivery: fast and endless, including delta updates for small bug fixes.

Crash reporting: you get the exact place in the code where the error happened.

Analytics: rich, diverse, simple to use; know your customers and their behavior inside out.

Feedback collection: don’t rely on the “comment section,” get personal and collectable feedback from your users.

FastSpring: is already integrated, you don’t have to lift a finger.

We pulled all of this together in one Dashboard, where you can see all the data on all of your apps. DevMate can already replace a dozen separate platforms and frameworks, and we continuously improve it. If you’re interested, we have a free trial and a demo for you.

Because, you know… We can.