GitHub Should Start An App Store

Yesterday, Google suspended Elements - matrix chat app - from play store without any reasonable explanation. I think this was an automated removal triggered by user reports or some other factors. The matrix team tried to reach out to them for explanation to no avail. We have seen this pattern in many cases now. Either it’s getting overwhelming for Google to monitor apps in its store or they don’t want apps like Elements which is decentralized to be on their store. The later mostly seems like a conspiracy theory and I think former is more true. In any case, it doesn’t make any sense for a single entity to govern what gets installed and not on billions of devices. A decentralized app store whould be best to fight this sort of suspensions but it’s far from reality at the moment. The alternative? GitHub App Store.

But Why GitHub?

Few reasons why I think GitHub is our best bet:

  1. They already host source code of millions of apps. Release integration should be trivial to implement.
  2. Unlike Google they actually listen to their users. They were awesome during youtube-dl debacle.
  3. Backed by Microsoft. Microsoft has been playing good by the developers for years now. I trust them more than Apple and Google.
  4. They could finally give the desktop the app store it deserves
  5. This is a minor but users will be able to raise issues with developers directly instead writing comments over app pages which I think you would agree completely suck.

They will have to create app store applications for major platforms along with provision to host closed source applications on their store and they should be good to go. Honestly I can not imagine any other player being more successful in app stores than GitHub.