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Setapp Dev Survey results: Third-party iOS app store interest measured, ChatGPT adoption, more

Ahead of WWDC in June, the seventh annual Mac Developer Survey opened recently from Setapp. Now the results are in highlighting how developers are approaching everything from app distribution and discovery, if they’d use third-party iOS app stores, OpenAI’s ChatGPT integration, the biggest challenges, and much more.

After seeing 701 developers give feedback about their experiences during 2023 so far, Setapp shared the results of its annual dev survey.

Meet the latest edition of Mac Developer Survey! For seven years now, we asked Mac developers about their common practices and challenges, preferred distribution channels and what they anticipate to be the biggest trends in the industry going forward.

2023 dev survey key takeaways

  • 60% of the surveyed Mac developers are interested in distributing their iOS apps through third-party app stores, given the opportunity. Key motivations — growing the number of users and adding a revenue stream.
  • Almost 1⁄3 of the surveyed Mac developers distribute their apps solely outside the Mac App Store.
  • 39% of respondents have already implemented ChatGPT in their development flow, while another 41% are working on that.
  • 44% of respondents have already implemented AI/ML models in their apps, and 28% are working on it.
  • 87% of developers put effort into making their apps accessible, with visual impairments getting the most focus.
  • 75% of the surveyed Mac developers have felt the impact of the economic downturn on their businesses.

One of the new questions this time around with Apple possibly being forced to open iPhone and iPad to sideloading is how developers would respond to that opportunity:

Another new one this year was if developers are using ChatGPT in their workflows as well as if developers are building AI/ML models into their apps:

When it comes to the biggest challenges with app distribution, here’s what the study the top three were discovery, marketing, and user acquisition:

The complete survey results include sections covering the Mac developer portrait, app distribution, Mac App Store vs Setapp, experience with Apple Silicon, AI/ML, Accessibility, cross-platform development, third-party app store for iOS, the impact of global trends, and more.

Check out the full report here.

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