The app store of both Apple and Google have seen massive growth since their launch in 2008. Both enterprise-level platforms have 2-3 million applications, and the number is rising daily. Google saw 75 billion downloads in 2016, with 25 billion by the Apple store.
And yet, though growth has been remarkable, cracks are starting to show in the foundation of the application platforms. For example, the review process has been much defamed, based on the lengthy approval time often required.
Reviews represent a critical part of the security of applications, but reviews often impede app developers because of the strict demands. Apple, for example, has sought to minimize the approval time, as reviewers were often “spending weeks to compile their products with all of Apple’s guidelines and ensuring the app didn’t contain any element that might harm its users.”
However, regardless of the processes used to shorten review times, Apple and Google developers cannot remove the main problem of platform centralization. Applications are forced to go through the tech giants’ centralized process in order to participate in the marketplace.
App Stores, farewell
Just as blockchain is targeting and innovating in other industries, innovators are looking to take down the App Store monopoly using blockchain technology.
Spheris is a new platform designed to create a direct link between app developers and the consumers who use them. Described varyingly as “an open source decentralized application marketplace, a platform open for everyone who wants to buy and sell applications, from mobile apps and PC games to utility programs and enterprise software,” by its founders, and reportedly revolutionary by film producers, Spheris is poised to change the way video streaming takes place.
Tech giants are the rulers of the application marketplace these days. Companies like Apple and Google virtually own access to applications for users. In this veritable monopoly, Spheris is looking to change the way that consumers find and use applications through the use of blockchain technology.
The blockchain peer-to-peer (P2P) system allows for a direct link between developers and consumers. Developers are no longer required to depend on Apple or Google’s stringent criteria, and can create their own markets and still be guaranteed security, payment, and anonymity.
By introducing a P2P platform, application content can be moved virally, allowing users and developers to connect rapidly. Further, because profits are no longer being skimmed by the centralized authority, prices for applications can be vastly reduced.
Kicking out the profit-mongers
The App Store and Google Play function as the middleman and have a substantial power over distribution and monetization. Financial institutions like credit card companies, used by both stores to process and receive payments, are able to move transactional costs to consumers as well. And higher consumer pricing means lower development profits. Centralized platforms are also subject to the large-scale price fluctuations due to geopolitical instability and financial complexity.
A decentralized platform removes these risks completely, distancing the platform from fiat currencies and geopolitical strife as well. Connection between consumer and developer means that cost and data are localized rather than globalized, over against other fiat currencies.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token, Spheris intends to become the new standard in the decentralized application processing market as blockchain technology continues to increase in popularity and functionality. The ICO is currently underway, and with enough funding, Spheris could potentially be the change-agent that will reshape application development and access for the next generation.
The App Store market is huge, and monolithic centralized entities are reaping huge rewards through monetizing their redundant services. With blockchain technology, both the businesses and users can benefit through a decentralized platform, and this is where the potential of startups like Spheris lie.