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.