First experiences with Mac App Store
A lot of junk and some pleasant surprises…
Today I’ve installed MacOS X 10.6.6 and tested Apple’s new App Store for MacOS X. The App Store is only available for 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and it will also be an integrated part of Mac OS X “Lion,” due later this year. Linux has long had repositories, which in principle is the same as Apple’s App Store.
First of all, this is the first time installation for applications has become problem free on a Mac. There is only one way to install the apps, and all the necessary files are put in the right folders (directories). In other words, installation has never been easier. All installations from the App Store are also maintained through Software Update, making it a lot easier to keep your applications up to date.
An Update Nightmare
Sadly, the App Store does not scan your harddrive for already installed applications, to take over the maintenance over these applications as well. This put the user in a difficult position, from where did I install the applications and how do I keep them maintained. Users now risk to have applications maintained through Software Update, from within the application itself and from downloading new versions from web sites. Not a good thing!
Some people commented on articles and forums all over the web, that the Mac App Store also recognizes apps that you have purchased outside of the Mac App Store. This is true if the version of the app matches the Mac App Store version exactly, using something called the “Bundle ID.” For example, if you noticed that the Mac App Store showed iPhoto as “Installed,” even though you bought it through the boxed iLife set, but the Mac App Store did not notice that you already have Pages installed, it may be because you haven’t installed the latest iWork update.
PS: If you’re a current customer, there’s no way to convert a previous purchase into a Mac App Store purchase — that requires a re-buy. But remember, what you have now will continue to work just fine.
UPDATE: The Mac App Store may show software bought from us previously as “Installed”, even though they’re two different licenses. You will not get Mac App Store auto-updates unless you purchase from the Mac App Store. To re-enable the “Purchase” button in the Mac App Store, just drag the app to the trash and empty your trash. Your preferences/sites will not be affected.
Poor Password Protection
Another problem is that you only have to type in the password for your iTunes account the first time you buy an application. If you press buy on another application a minute later, the application will be bought instantly and installed. There is no regret button!
Install Apps on Several Macs
App Store lets you download commercial software to several computers. It seems not to be limited to five computers, and you can install the apps again and again, and again (this even made Paul Thurrott go excited!). Brilliant for some of us, as we can have the same applications on our work and home computer! Some of the applications has even got a hefty price cut. Check out Aperture. Other applications have the same price as the iOS version. And a few has gotten a much higher price then the iOS version of the applications.
My First Installed Apps
The first application I installed was Twitter, and it’s available for free. I later bought iPhoto 11 for a pleasant price, 85 NOK. I guess will be buying iMovie as well, and I am happy to not have to pay for Garageband! Perhaps I even buy Aperture, even though I love Lightroom. I was surprised to see how much junk applications there was in the App Store, but all in all, I happy to see that some of the best small software houses were already present.
The End of Optical Drives?
PaidContent reflects that with the App Store consumers are relying less and less on inserting a CD or DVD to provide applications—and suggest that like the Macbook Air, the next set of Apple computer products may eschew the disc player altogether. They might be right. Cloud Computing is here, and important backups should not be made on discs stored next to the computer. The backups should be stored up in the cloud at reliable supplier (not a here today, gone tomorrow company).