In a stroke of marketing genius Apple has unleashed the Mac App Store on the world on the same day as key announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. A show they don’t attend, but most of the worlds tech companies do, as well as most of the world’s tech press. And yet on Twitter, at least, you’d barely know that CES was going on as people all chat about Apple’s new software distribution network.
Once Macintosh users have downloaded an OS X operating system update the Mac App Store becomes an integral part of their daily OS X experience on their desktop machine. In many ways the Mac App Store app is what the iTunes App Store should be. It is a beautiful stand alone app dedicated to downloading OS X desktop apps; free from the clutter that iOS App Store users have to endure with the bloated and incorrectly named iTunes app.
The user experience overall is very similar to that in the App Store portion of iTunes, and it stands to reason that perhaps Apple in future will migrate iOS app purchases to a similar stand alone app, or even as part of a combo Apple App Store app. The process of downloading apps is very reminiscent of the iOS experience, as apps appear in your dock once purchased, and display their download progress with a pretty little blue bar before permanently installing themselves automagically in your Applications folder, and on your dock.
You can delete or uninstall the apps by dragging it to the trash and then authenticating with admin username and password. You can also move the app from Trash back to the ‘Applications’ folder if you’d like to restore the application.
The launch has not been without some teething problems though, which is most likely a function of the Mac based internet at large hammering Apple’s servers for both the OS X update required to run the Mac App Store, and also to download cool apps like Twitter’s new “Twitter” for OS X app – which is beautiful, by the way.
There are a plethora of OS X apps, including Apple’s own Aperture 3, which are available at very attractive (for desktop) prices. And in many ways it is re-assuring for developers that at least for the moment the same “race to the bottom” with pricing is not occurring in the Mac App Store. This may be in part because the Mac App Store is not the only place that developers can sell apps. It remains to be seen how long it is before the App Store becomes the main location that newer (and perhaps more experienced) Macintosh users go to buy apps, and then if a price war then erupts. But for now everything seems rosy in Apple’s latest online retail venture.
Have you tried out the Mac App Store yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments…