Any of you Apple-owning iPhone or iPad users out there will appreciate the latest Mac OS X Update. That’s because the Mac App Store is now open for business.
This means that you can now purchase, add and manage programs on your computer as easily as adding Apps to your iPhone or iPad.
I got the App store automatically when I downloaded the Mac OS X 10.6.6 Update last night. This morning there was an added surprise in my dock. The icon for the App store was unmistakeable. Launching the App Store brought me into an interface much like what you would expect to see on the iPhone or the iPad. (yes I had a moment of pause wondering if Angry Birds can now be played on your computer…which it can).
To test, I found a free app, Evernote, and clicked to download that. Voila! The Evernote icon appeared in my dock. It’s little fill-up bar indicated just how much of the program was left to download. Once downloaded the program launched and was there waiting patiently for me. Very cool. I didn’t have to go find their site, download the .dmg file, run the installer, or drag a file to my Applications folder.
The App Store makes discovering, finding, managing and updating your Mac software a lot easier. Why? Because it puts everything in one place.
And what about when your harddrive blows out or you need to move to a new machine? How many times have you been left high and dry trying to find the installer disks for a piece of software? Now with the App store, your purchases move with you. Just like with your iPhone, if you purchase the application from the store, you can download it again for free.
My early searches on the store reveal that Adobe’s products are not present. MS Office is not there either. However, you can still purchase software outside of the App Store–like we’ve always done. You are not locked into using the App Store to install software on your Mac like you are with your unjailbroken iPhones etc. Will this change in the future? I doubt it.
I can see many other benefits to this sort of management system. For one I feel like the software I download from the App store will be more secure. Aka free of viruses. How often have you wondered about installing software you download from the net onto your machine? Is this shit going to box my harddrive with an infection, you wonder? Of course, Mac people know that one of these days a real virus is going to be unleashed in the wild that will hit Macs. We will be kicked out of Eden, as it were. The new App Store is a huge step in the right direction for keeping the ecosystem as clean as possible.
Another excellent benefit is that your software updates are all handled in one place. As on the iPhone and iPad a quick visit to the App Store shows you how many of your apps need to be updated. Click on “Update All” and after a few minutes all of your software updates are downloaded and installed. Same for the new Apple App Store.
If I were a developer, I’d probably be jazzed about this. Now I just tap into the Apple distribution model to handle my transactions for me. Also through the app store the smaller developers with little to no marketing budget will have a better chance of being discovered by mainstream users. Hopefully, this will mean that Apps prices will be lower on the store than they would out on the Net.
Doesn’t Microsoft wish they had thought of this…years ago. The App Store is just another reason why OS X and iOS are the superior operating systems of today.