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Epic Games announced Friday that it won't distribute the upcoming Android version of its "Fortnite: Battle Royale" game through Google's Play Store.
The decision caused a stir, because it was so unusual and potentially opens Android "Fortnite" users to security threats.
Reaction - Decision - Model
But the reaction to the decision shows how much we've all bought into the app-store model.
Though that model has made getting apps easy and more secure, it's also limited choice and further empowered the big operating system makers.
Epic - Move - Choices - Consumers - Developers
Epic's move could potentially lead to more choices for consumers and developers — and better apps.
Epic Games' decision to release the Android version of "Fortnite" through its website rather than through the Google Play app store drew headlines and much debate in the tech world on Friday.
Fact - Anyone - Move - Shows - Perspectives
But the fact that anyone thought the move was notable at all shows just how skewed our perspectives have become in the age of the smartphone.
Ten years ago, it would have been completely unremarkable for a software company to distribute its latest program or game through its own website.
Days - Exception - Rule
These days, though, that's the exception, not the rule.
Now, when US consumers install software for their most-used computers — their smartphones — they almost always get the programs from application stores run by the same company that made their operating system.
Model - Things - Secure - Consumers - Price
The app-store model has arguably made things easier and more secure for consumers. But it's come at a significant price. The model has empowered the same giant companies that control the major operating systems, made it more difficult for developers to find viable business models, limited consumer choice, and, in some cases, made using apps more difficult, convoluted, or pricey than it would otherwise be.
There are other ways of distributing software than through the app-store model. That model predominates because maintaining it is the the interests of the operating system...
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