Rogue Amoeba’s Piezo is leaving the Mac App Store

Another app is leaving the Mac App Store. Rogue Amoeba says that Piezo — an app that lets you capture audio from already-running applications, as well as from several hard-to-capture applications like the Safari and Chrome web browsers, FaceTime, and more — will only be available at the product website.

Why the change? According to the folks at Rogue Amoeba: “A major reason for the initial creation of Piezo was our desire to allow recording from other applications on the Mac within the limits of what Apple’s Mac App Store rules allowed. We were pleased to provide audio capture to customers of the Mac App Store, and for a time, things worked just fine. However, Apple eventually changed the rules, requiring that all applications distributed through the Mac App Store be sandboxed. This was a problem. Piezo’s need to capture audio from other applications precludes the possibility of it being sandboxed. This new requirement effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way.

“This was fine for some time, however, as Piezo was in solid shape. We focused on our premier audio recorder Audio Hijack, and put aside plans for major updates to Piezo. Over time, however, changes made in newer versions of Mac OS X actually reduced the functionality Piezo could offer. The app gradually lost the ability to capture audio from several key Apple applications, including Safari. When that occurred, we recommended that folks use Google’s Chrome browser with Piezo instead. Recently, a Chrome update broke Piezo’s ability to capture that application as well. It was clearly time to do something.”

You can find out how to update to the latest version (1.5) of the app by going here.

Bohemian Coding is no longer selling Sketch on the Mac App Store because of what the company describes as poor customer experiences. (Sketch is a tool for designing interfaces, websites, and icons.) At least one other company is also taking this route.

“We don’t expect this decision to be unanimously popular, but we want to share how we arrived at it. We take your satisfaction and support seriously, and hope you can understand the choice we have made.

“There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.

Bohemian Coding isn’t the only company that’s not totally pleased with the Mac Store experience. Rich Siegel of Bare Bones Software says the company's products won’t be sold at the store. He says there are many benefits to the store and doesn’t even mind the 30% cut of sales that Apple takes (Siegel says it’s a fair price considering all the benefits get).

He says that Apple has set pricing models expectations that great software should be free — or at least sold for very little. Siegel says this works great for Apple and its own apps since it makes money on hardware sales (iPhones, iPads, and Macs). Also, “sandboxing” is infeasible for some complex, long-established software.

Also, many developers have complained that the review process for getting an app, or an update of an app, on the Mac App Store takes way too long. Others think Apple treats the Mac App Store as a poor stepchild of the Apple App Store for iOS devices), devoting more resources to the latter than the former.

In a blog, the gang at Bohemian Coding had this to say: “Over the last year, as we’ve made great progress with Sketch, the customer experience on the Mac App Store hasn’t evolved like its iOS counterpart. We want to continue to be a responsive, approachable, and easily-reached company, and selling Sketch directly allows us to give you a better experience.

In December, Apple announced a change in executive leadership at the company today, with Jeff Willams named chief operating operator and Phil Schiller taking over leadership of all app stores across all platforms. According to Apple CEO Tim cook “Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing our ecosystem, led by the App Store, which has grown from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business.”

Hopefully, this means things will improve. All Apple software is available in its app stores. Schiller, a long time Apple veteran, seems like a great candidate to address software problems and developer issues.