Mac OS App Store Now Open

Yup, the App Store opened today, as predicted. Some quick bullets:

  • You’ll need to download an OS update to get access to the store: it’s a Mac OS X 10.6.6 party.
  • Once you’ve updated, you’ll find a new item in the Apple Menu. Click “App Store…” to open the Store window.
  • It’s not a page in iTunes. The Store is its own separate app, with a Dock icon and everything.
  • If you’ve seen the App Store app on the iPad, you’ve got a handle on the Mac OS X App Store. It’s practically the same browsing and shopping experience.
  • Pricing (which is set by the developers) seems to be a hybrid of desktop and iOS app structure. The familiar hits haven’t suddenly dropped down to $2.99, which is a relief; it means that we might avoid a “race to the bottom.” But there are many free apps and cheap games.
  • It’s a simple click-to-purchase. Sign in with your AppleID. The app downloads and the icon leaps from its spot in the store and directly into a spot in your Dock (Yes. With animation and everything). Apple couldn’t have come up with a simpler method of installing an app.

So far, so good. Now we just need to see how well this whole ecosystem works. It’s easy to get developers to get on board for the launch. It remains to be seen if, a year from now, the developer community decides that this is a great way for them to reach consumers and sell them software. The first sale is easy…but will the App Store help them to build a relationship with their customers that leads to ongoing paid upgrades?

I’d think about this some more. But my Cheerios are getting soggy.

35 thoughts on “Mac OS App Store Now Open”

  1. I have no good answers, but I’m happy to see Tweetie 2 (Twitter for Mac) on there. I’ve missed Tweetie.

    Though I do wonder how some of these developers will handle upgrades. Many of these apps originally used the Sparkle framework. Will they simply move straight to Apple’s upgrade system (as Sparkle use is not allowed), or will they keep two versions of the app so that they can sell on their site as well as the app store?

  2. I see quite a few apps that I own that are not showing up in App Store as installed. MarsEdit shows as a “$39.99 Buy”, but Coda shows up as “Installed”.

    Looks good, though.

  3. No Apple Logic, express or otherwise. Also noticed Graphic Converter 7.0.3 for $38.99(Mac app store) 39.95 at Lemke Web Site. + no upgrade price at app store.

    Upgrades are the question of the moment?

  4. Andy,
    any further comments on pricing? My first thought is that some established apps are priced too high. (at least to folks who have become used to the iphone/ipad app pricing) Aperture being a nice exception! I think Apple is on the right track there.
    Maybe I still feel burned by a few ipad apps that I bought right off the bat and then watched them drop in price. I’m making a wish list of apps to come back and check on in a month.

    I’m guessing there are lots of Mac users with their application folder populated with $25-50 apps that sounded great but didn’t pan out well for long time use. I’m hoping the Mac App store will offer more/better choices in the long run and/or lower prices so the sting doesn’t hurt as bad.

    thanks!

    Dan

  5. I am hoping that eventually the App Store will recognize pre App Store purchases (other than Apple products) and add them to the auto-update queue. Other than that, looks great so far!

  6. i too am relieved that prices aren’t lowered by the introduction of the App Store… wait… what?!?!?

    The problem with journalists is that they’re not longer consumers. They’ve got a section in their budget dedicated to “Apps for Review” so rather than wondering why consumers should pay $49.99 on the App Store but $19.99 on sale at Best Buy they instead worry about developers profits. The iTunes App Store developers profit on easy access to unknown apps and free advertised in a unified catalog so why shouldnt Mac App Store developers “race to the bottom”? A reasonable pricetag will get me to try apps i would otherwise ignore.

  7. Interesting.

    After life with the iPhone App Store, the prices on the Mac App Store seem outrageous. A $50 kids game feels way overpriced, even though I know it’s what you’d pay if you went to Best Buy or Game Stop.

    Has the iPhone App Store tainted my perception of the value for software?

    As a developer myself, I really hope we don’t see another “race to the bottom”, but just as we saw $10 and $20 games the day the iPhone App Store launched, I think we’ll see some of these highly priced apps on the Mac App Store adjust their pricing over time.

    My guess?

    $4.99 for most apps

    $9.99 for popular apps (indie developers)

    $19.99 to $29.99 for popular apps (big developers)

    $39.99 (MAX) for AAA games from big-boys like EA and Activision.

  8. @Doc – From the Mac App Store terms:

    “After you purchase an application, you can install it free of charge on every Mac you use.”

    So in that respect it sounds rather like a Family License already.

  9. I think it’s already doing its job – plenty of tweets already, stating, “I never knew any of these apps existed” which is exactly the reason this is an awesome opportunity for devs.

  10. How does this work on a hone mac with multiple a/c? (an admin a/c and three standard a/c)

    If I buy a piece of software (admin) will the kids (standard) be able to use it? We all have separate iTunes a/c’s

    Will they be able to purchase via there a/c and clutter the mac with freebie games and junk?

  11. Andy –
    Are you aware of any plan to integrate the new Mac OS X App Store together with the regular iTunes App Store? It’s a small detail – but it would only make sense to provide everything into one aggregated store experience?

  12. Pursuant to Nik Green’s question, are these apps installed for all users (/Applications) or the current user (~/Applications) or does it depend on whether your an admin or standard account? Do standard users have to enter an admin password to install?

  13. The default is for the App Store app to put newly downloaded apps in the Applications folder. I wonder if I move them to a different folder if the App Store App still knows they’re on my computer and will it notify me of a impending update and such?

  14. One BIG CAVEAT!

    If you are logged in, and you click on the buy icon by mistake, and the app is immediately downloaded with no iTunes like prompt to ensure that you actually intend to buy the app.

    I’m now the proud but unintentional owner of Omni Outliner..

  15. It would help if it had a “home” button I think.

    Also its already bloated with apps, which is a great sign of a thriving developer community but it makes it quite hard to find stuff (much like on the iOS app store).

  16. Nice to see Aperture at £45 for the UK!

    The Mac App Store will definitely prime Mac/Apple users if/when Apple & Disney release a KeyChest alternative to UltraViolet digital locker system this year.

  17. I like having complete control over my systems. I also have a fairly complex network at home. Apples simply cannot do some of the things I need. I have Windows for games, and Linux for custom stuff.

  18. After having read that demo and so-called ‘lite’ apps won’t be allowed, I was surprised to see several. Example: #24 (as I write this) in the Top Free category is Image Tricks Lite, an image editing program. Perhaps it was allowed in the App Store because it has always been free, but the app clearly encourages the user to upgrade to a ‘full’ version for more functionality.

  19. Doug: short answer: yes, it will still be found. I’ve heard on Twitter it may be different if the program in question is on another volume/drive though.

    Tactical Pilot: I was worried about that one too, but didn’t have the experience. Guess it’s a good idea for everybody to log out (click Welcome [name], and then the Log-out button), before something more expensive turns up in our Docks, or Apple fixes this!

  20. “I used to think I was really on top of the Mac shareware market. ”

    Pretty sure there’s no shareware or demos on the MAS. The amazing developer community for Mac OS X (even free stuff) has long been kept secret from Windows sufferers, who just assumed, you know, with a 0.0005% marketshare, no one would develop for the platform. ;)

    The truth about “overpriced” Macs? Once you get them, everything you need is on the web, usually a free download.

  21. Patrick, the App store is not too dissimilar to what some Linux package managers do, esp on Ubuntu, except it is mainly for commercial apps. They are also far easier to remove when not wanted anymore. The System Update is more like the traditional automatic package management for the system and various 3rd party drivers. It only makes sense to keep system stuff separate from Userland apps. Traditionally apps on Macs have managed their own updates, often via Sparkle.
    I would imagine the iPad/iPhone/iPod App store will decouple from iTunes and move to the separate Appstore, as it makes increasingly little sense to have it bloating iTunes, as it is no longer just about buying music (the iTunes store is still the best place for that).
    I’m not a gamer, so not fussed with the selection of games. I do have some PC games like Tomb Raider installed via Crossover, and the native version of Portal from Steam, and have demoed a few others, but mostly it is smaller casual games that I have as I prefer doing graphics stuff. I try Linux sometimes, but I have the opposite experience, not being able to do what I want on it and with the efficiency or polish I am used to (Photoshop, Lightroom, no colour management or monitor calibration being some examples). If I were a developer I might port Inkscape, as I quite like it despite its poor implementation. GTK sucks badly.
    I hope to see more of the Opensource and (freeware) offerings out there, like Adium, Firefox, OpenOffice, VLC, MPlayer OSX Extended, Transmission, uTorrent, Vienna, BZFlag, etc etc, and I can only assume they will come in due course unless some of them disagree with the terms of the store.
    This is just the beginning.

  22. My God…

    I thought that iTunes 10 had the Elephant Man of Mac app UIs..

    But sweet baby Jesus in a chamber of commerce manger display .. after looking at the Mac App Store UI, and a few apps found there, I seriously want to visit Apple and a few of these devs, and beat people over the head with my old copy of the Apple HIG..

    Seriously, has his Steveness seen this butt-ugly load of an app???

    I’m perfectly willing to FedEx my old, yellowed, dog-eared copy of the Apple HIG to Cupertino, CA, so that his Steveness can beat someone over the head with it. They seem to have misplaced all of their copies..

    This is just sad. We’re seeing the death of what used to make the Mac so much better, and so much more user friendly.. A consistent and well laid out UI.

    If this is the future, y’all can keep it.. Actually, if this is the future, Jobs can take it and shove it.

  23. Andy,

    As a Mac developer releasing an app for the first time on the store, I’ve been very happy with the results thus far. My app, DoublePane, has done fairly well in the Utilities category with little to no marketing.

    To your point about customer reach, I think the Mac App Store opens a sales channel to an entirely new market of Mac users who don’t normally buy software. I’m thinking about normal people who get a Mac, buy Microsoft Office, and never think about buying software again.

    The fact that it is painless to buy apps, and the App Store is front and center on the Dock makes me excited about the future of the App Store.

  24. I agree with the (mbw) comment Tues, that a ‘ Are you sure you want this app for $$ ? ‘ or some other smooth app store notification/req. pop up/out should be implemented, when signed in to the new app store. For each app, buy 10 apps get 10 $$ warnings.

    – – – – – but now for the other important issues – – – – –

    Are you not, (A.I.), really the Quaker Oats icon guy masquerading as some ‘beloved tech journalist’ ??

    and more…

    How about more of those candle lite pub tech weenie chat videos, really miss them!?

    bye, Midwestguy

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