stratum wrote:There is a more basic problem here: Apple is allowed to run a store which is a monopoly on the iOS apps market.
Almost the same applies to Google Play (except that you can disable the lock-in in Android's Settings). Well, it's a business that took certain business decisions based on the history of personal computing. I think if Apple or Microsoft could reverse the history, they would lock-in all app developers to their "stores". I do not see any other reason beside "control" and "income" to not allow installation and version tracking of app packages from any online source. I think it's the OS which should be secure enough to not allow any admin-level or "non-public API" operations for usual apps.
"App stores" naturally have a lot of traffic, and their promotion strategies are basically monopolistic - you can't count on usual capital investment or user satisfaction logic, you can't run ads in app store, it's a lottery for an average developer. On web-search you can at least compete offering a better and more relevant content (but then Google also fails at times - e.g. it shows/promotes Spectrum Analyzer by Seven Phases at Splice as a highly-visible Google Knowledge panel on "spectrum analyzer plugin" search).
Not that I whine about all this, it just a thing one should consider when entering an "app developer" market.