Mac App Store open for business

Jan 6, 2011
Tech

Apple (AAPL) has made it official: the Mac App Store is open, and it looks… well, a whole lot like the iTunes App Store we’ve been enjoying on other Apple devices. There are more than 1,000 apps in the store already, including a lot of favorites like Mac versions of Angry Birds and Bejeweled 3. […]

Apple (AAPL) has made it official: the Mac App Store is open, and it looks… well, a whole lot like the iTunes App Store we’ve been enjoying on other Apple devices.

There are more than 1,000 apps in the store already, including a lot of favorites like Mac versions of Angry Birds and Bejeweled 3. The new store also packs Twitter 2, a new version of the popular app for Twitter.com that’s very popular, and very useful, on the iPad.

All in all, the experience looks a lot like what was expected: this is your Mac, iPad-style. A lot of the apps vary in price and content, but it seems like Apple’s push toward online software sales on the small and large scale is a pretty successful one. The Mac App Store looks and functions as well as its counterpart in iTunes, granting you quick access to the programs you want.

Apple has worked in a few cool features — after you update your Mac OS X software to get the Mac App Store to download, your computer will add scanning through the store to the solutions it employs whenever you wind up with a file you don’t have the right software to open. That’ll be nice, considering the amount of time I’ve wasted in the path trying to run down what a file extension even means, much less the program to make it work. And like iTunes, once you’ve downloaded and installed a Mac app, you can download it again if you need to — and purchasing an app once makes it available to all your Mac computers.

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There’s a list of featured Mac Apps on Apple.com, and for the most part they look really sharp. Most notably (and happily), the apps we’re seeing seem to be pretty well filled-out; they’re bigger programs than one would expect to find on the iPad, which was a fear at least for me when we first started hearing about the Mac App Store.

The whole affair seems cool, but I’m cautiously optimistic. I haven’t had a chance to really peruse the catalogue of apps available, but it still seems to me that Apple needs to emphasize quality over quantity. Great — there’s 1,000 apps in there. I’d rather see a Mac App Store with 20 apps, all of which I’d consider downloading, than 100,000 that users will have to wade through to find gems.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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