After months of speculation, anticipation and a bunch of arguments about closed systems and walled gardens, the Mac App Store opened today. I’ve already bought three apps.
It’s just so, so easy. Extremely similar to the iTunes Store, the Mac App Store offers either free or paid apps which are downloaded immediately after purchase and installed automatically. No usernames or passwords to enter (should this worry me?) and nothing to sync. It also adds the new app to your dock, so there’s no searching through the Applications folder to try out your new purchase.
It’s simple, it’s easy and it finally does away with the zip file download and run off the dmg problem that plagues everyone I know who doesn’t want to understand computers. I FINALLY won’t have to clean out download folders with multiple copies of downloaded apps that happened because whoever was using the computer couldn’t figure out where the app downloaded to.
I can’t help but feel a twinge of disgust that Mac users aren’t capable of finding their own great applications and somehow need a specific program to help them out, but I this feeling has been around ever since they announced iTunes for Windows. New users are obviously Apple’s focus and as long as they don’t completely dumb down everything (if Mac OS X is replaced completely by iOS I will break down), I’m okay with it.
But I digress. Navigating the Mac App Store is pretty easy. Search by just about anything or view the popular items just like iTunes. I do like the ability to purchase iLife apps separately, as I always want the new iPhoto, but seldom need Garageband, iWeb or even iMovie updated.
I’ve bought Twitter for Mac (formerly Tweetie), some mind mapping application and WriteboardMac so far. None of them required my password to install (only to download) and they even had a cool copying to folder animation. That animation right there convinced me to buy more free apps. I also read that iTunes store credit is also good on the Mac App Store, which makes sense as the sign-in credentials were the same.
I’m sure the Linux and open-source guys are up in arms about Apple’s approach, but for 99% of Mac users, this really makes sense. Here’s a screencast of me purchasing, downloading and installing an app: