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Mission Control

The Mac Apps Store

The Mac Apps Store promises to be a huge boon to users and developers alike, but it has already sparked controversy in some web discussions. On the positive side, some developers think the Mac Apps Store will be one more way for Apple to secure the OS from malware and viruses because Apple will review all of the software and upgrades. On the other hand, some developers are afraid that the Mac Apps Store will be the only way to sell apps. If Apple does not accept their apps, they’ll be “dead in the water.” (Based on the web posts I read, many of these worried developers are evidently writing pornographic apps, which I doubt Apple will accept.)

Jobs has already said, however, that the Mac Apps Store won’t be the only way to get Mac apps, but he says it will be the best way, and I agree. What could be better than having all the free and paid applications you might want in one searchable place?

Additionally, the installation of a new app will be totally automated so that not even the most clueless user can foul it up. With one click, the icon for the app jumps off the Mac Store App page, flies down into the Dock, and installs itself. Even though the current method of dragging an app’s icon to the Application folder doesn’t seem difficult to most experienced Mac users, it’s still not as easy for the untrained user as simply clicking a link.

Another advantage will be that every app will be licensed to all your devices, and you can download an app as many times as you need to. So, for example, if you buy a new laptop, you can download all your apps to the new computer—free of charge.

Finally, the Mac Apps Store will keep track of all the apps a user has downloaded and notify the user when an upgrade is available. The user can upgrade applications individually or click one button and upgrade everything at once.

In his state of the Mac address given at the beginning of the event, the COO said there are currently 600,000 registered Mac developers and each month an average of 30,000 more developers join their ranks. So I have no doubt that there will be an explosion of free and reasonably priced new applications available at the Mac App Store when it opens in January. (Jobs announce that they didn’t want to wait for Lion to open the Mac App Store so Apple would be opening it in 90 days.) Developers, who will keep 70 percent of the retail price of their apps, started submitting apps in November. There have been 7 billion downloads from the App Store for iDevices, and the same success should be duplicated, if not exceeded, by the Mac App Store.

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