The Mac App Store launched this week and after a few hiccups in authorising accounts, has been a huge hit. There has been a lot of buzz about it since, but some of this seems to be misguided.
Yes, it makes sense that software should be available to download via an online marketplace like this but it isn’t exactly taking giant leaps forward. All the Mac App Store is really doing is freeing up space within Apple’s high street stores by ultimately reducing the offer of boxes of software that serve no purpose.
For example, I recently uninstalled Evernote on my Mac after it was released on the Chrome Web Store. You have to connect it to the Internet anyway in order to sync to their servers, therefore it makes more sense to run the Chrome version instead of taking up valuable hard disk space with a software installation.
It’s a similar affair with the Twitter App. It may be official but you have to be online to use it and therefore Hootsuite or Tweetdeck for Chrome are preferable choices due to their improved functionality.
This will only improve as HTML5 develops and you will be able to access and work with these web apps offline.
The Mac App Store also conflicts with the idea that Apple will merge IOS and OSX.
For example, in the UK, you can purchase Angry Birds on IOS for 59p but for Mac, it’s £2.99. This will increase revenues for developers and Apple in the short term but could alienate smaller developers due to the complexity in producing iPad, iPhone/iPod touch, web app and Mac versions of the same application.
Apple will launch Lion this year as the next iteration of OSX in an attempt to blur the lines between the 2 but the launch of Mac versions of the same apps could leave consumers confused.