Why should app store be centralized?
The duopoly that has to end
Just like how developing nations suffer at the hands of the duopoly of World Bank and IMF, the mobile users, companies, governments suffer at the hands of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. As some of you know that World Bank has appointed only US citizens as its president and IMF has appointed only European citizen as its president. This duopoly of World Bank and IMF is the reason for all financial crisis in the world. Let us set aside the global politics for a moment and see how the duopoly in mobile app stores have worked out so far.
Both Apple’s and Google’s app store has been slapped with anti-trust case and investigation for monopolistic behaviour from various countries around the world. The Apple’s app store policy is a rip-off from app developers point of view and its users also overpay for same service in Apple ecosystem compard to Google’s ecosystem. The iOS version of Amazon Mobile app does not allow us to buy Audio book or Kindle ebook in India. Why do you think so? Imagine that a giant corporation like Amazon has been held a hostage by the power of Apple. Apple’s cult like following has lead to its reckless behaviour when coming up with the policies for its app store that demands unjustified commission and royalties from the apps hosted on their platform.
On the other hand Google is worse not just from its app store point of view but also from the search engine point of view. It has abused its position by extracting and extorting money from companies for advertising. Just read about the Basecamp’s Google Ads experience. Google’s app store policies are little lenient compared to the Apple’s App Store but still there were some blunders in approving some scam apps. The new generation of app developers want an eco system that gives them more free reins and want the crowd to act as regulators and not the companies. The app should also be able to run on any device from anywhere.
With the edge computing growing fast and connectivity is becoming ubiquitious like electricity I think it is time for technology world to think of decentralized structure for the app store and launch a more meritocratic and democratic app store. One country that was bold enough to hold the reins of these two app stores was China. In China, most companies prefer to publish their app as mini-app inside WeChat or other apps rather than a stand-alone app. We had a first hand experience of this when working for a client from China. The app store policies are different in China compared to rest of the world and tighter regulations even made Google exit from China in some business lines.
dApps on Blockchain
Decentralized applications are becoming a reality. They are developed on blockchain and all their operations are transparent and recorded permanently on the blockchain while protecting the user’s identity and privacy. Some of the key benefits are listed below.
Crowd becomes the owner
Free from censorship
How it works?
Public blockchains that are powered by decentralized peer-to-peer network are the foundation for the dApps. The business logic of the app that resides traditionally on the server is coded as smart contract and is available on the blockchain network. Since it is running on decentralized network the chance of downtime is almost nil but not guaranteed.
In order to store the data we can use supporting services for off-chain storage and InterPlanetary File System. The users can pay using the native token on the blockchain platform for executing the smart contract. The Identity of the user is protected by using plug-ins like MetaMask. The local storage of the user’s device can be used to store the local data. Expensive computation operations like generating random numbers can be done outside of blockchain using an inexpensive decentralized network and integrated to blockchain. You can use any browser on any device to access these dApps and with edge computing and connectivity becoming ubiqutious it is becoming a reality.
One of the interesting technology that I came across was GUN database. This also focuses on decentralized internet. Check it out.
Founder & CEO
H.Thirukkumaran has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He worked in US for over 13 years for leading companies in various sectors like retail and ecommerce, investment banking, stock market, automobile and real estate He is the author of the book Learning Google BigQuery which explains how to build big data systems using Google BigQuery. He holds a masters in blockchain from Zigurat Innovation and Technology Business School from Barcelona Spain. He is also the India chapter lead for the Global Blockchain Initiative a non-profit from Germany that provides free education on blockchain. He currently lives in Chennai India.