Poll: Real-world applications on the App Store

Hi all,

While asking a technical question, I came upon a broader ecosystem question. Full disclosure: I am an iPhone developer interested in developing for Polkadot.

The Polkadot{.js} extension works only with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, not Apple Safari.

This web browser targeting makes sense. Chrome has a 63 percent global market share and Safari, as the #2 web browser, has only 21 percent global market share. (Statista)

But what the web browser data may not take into account, is that iPhone users also use the Safari/WebKit browser engine when they use any iPhone app to access the web. It is mandated by Apple.

I understand why Safari may be unappealing. The closed ecosystem is antithetical to Web3 ideals. However, I believe the iPhone is a good way to reach mainstream users. And the limitations of Apple policies may change over time. For example, by March 2024 we will see the impact of the European Union Digital Markets Act on Apple policy.

The numbers, in terms of web browser market share, and the global market share of iPhone devices, do not support my view. However, the gross margins are interesting. Apple sells less phones than Samsung, but at a higher profit margin (Investopedia). This indicates that consumers are willing to pay more for iPhones. Perhaps the market share is not the key metric.

Despite the market share numbers and the policy challenges, I’m advocating for developing for the App Store, to position Polkadot for the future.

Do you share my view? As a community member, is putting effort into developing Web3 apps for the App Store something you would support?

  • Yes, put effort into developing Web3 apps for the App Store.
  • No, do not put effort into developing Web3 apps for the App Store.

0 voters

Reference Links:

In general, mainstream users are not really encouraged to dive into polkadot.js, and there are some treasury-supported third-party wallet solutions that play nice with iphone, like nova wallet and subwallet.

I should clarify, I was trying to pose a non-technical question and seem to have jumbled words and ideas.

I referenced polkadot.js, the extension, because I was looking more broadly at web browser support in the ecosystem: Chrome and Firefox, not Safari.

I mentioned that I am an iPhone developer because I could have a bias for Apple technology (Safari)

I did not intend to imply that mainstream users should dive into polkadot.js.org/ apps, the website, via the iPhone.

I have been learning by digging into Substrate and trying to map Substate into the iPhone -native developer world. And what I am advocating for is encouraging other iPhone developers to come check it out, experiment, build for the ecosystem.

What I would like to see, in terms of an app, is a non-obvious use case where Web3 is behind the scenes doing its thing. What this would look like to an iPhone user, is an app on the App Store. Behind the scenes it would be a Swift API, use the Substrate framework, and ideally connect peer-to-peer (light client vs client-to-server RPC) to the network of nodes. The user should be delighted by the utility, or the experience, of the app, not the tech behind the scenes.

In the interim I plan to create tools (code assets, learning materials) specifically for Apple developers (independent developers, employees, contractors, etc.) in a way that plays to their intuitions so they can focus on learning all the new concepts of the Substrate domain, as much as possible.

The thing I find attractive is that Polkadot is an opportunity to write code to purpose and have free agency, as opposed to the typical existential independent developer dilemma of balancing craft/purpose/monetization.

I created this poll to check with the community and provided links to support my reasoning.

I personally strongly agree with the sentiment around building native mobile apps.
To bring users to Polkadot, we need user facing applications, where many will be built on mobile.
One thing to note here is that there is significant risk re: Apple / Google blocking listing or updates of your product.

Apple, have a typical anti crypto / nft stance, examples include: not allowing apps to be published that feature web3 application browsers, or, block apps that utilise NFTs.

One example here is Axie, who just launched on the app store, but had to modify their plans to be approved by Apple: Axie Infinity Rolls Out ‘Lite' Version of Crypto Game on Apple App Store - Decrypt.

This might be an interesting reference where the parity team have managed to build a basic mobile app, using a lightclient for decentralised communication with blockchains.

Please keep sharing the work that you’re doing :slight_smile:

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