More on Apple and app removal
Please share this. Please make a ruckus. We should start a petition.
A fundamental difference in the Apple and Android platforms is that Android, by default, allows you to install unsigned third-party APKs. Manufacturers can remove this option in the firmware, but it's a system-level change that is decided when the customer buys the phone.
The upside of this is that while Google can remove an app from its app store, it can't stop you from going to a website and downloading the app just like you would on a desktop.
I consider this to be a major existential issue. There's no way to know who will be running Apple in 5 years, or who will be running our country. By opening themselves to outside pressure to remove apps, Apple is allowing powerful governments to decide what code we can execute on our phones.
Apple sets a different example in encryption, refusing to allow back doors in their products. As a tech company, the only way to protect people from governments is to make it so you're unable to do anything else.
The excuse of security makes some sense: if users are allowed to install anything, a dangerous app can make its way around the block. But protecting users has no limits and can be used as justification for the most severe of restrictions. I would be happy if installing third-party apps was not allowed by default, and a menu setting with a stern warning would change this behavior.
Yes, Google spies on you and Apple tries not to. But I think we can push Apple to be better. I think it's a fundamentally well-meaning company with good people running it. And I think it can make this change.
I use Android because, in this way, it treats me like I am the owner of the device.