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The Good and Bad of The Mac App Store

January 6, 2011

In October 2010 Steve Jobs made  the announcement that Apple would take their app presence to another level and launch the app store for Macs. With the impressive growth of the mobile app ecosystem seen in the past year, it makes sense that apple would expand to other platforms. This morning launched the official release of the Mac App Store with 1,000 paid and free apps already available for download. Our team here didn’t waste a second before diving in…our favorite so far? Angry Birds! The user experience is seamless and you get the same ‘touch’ experience that you have on your iOS device with your Mac trackpad.

Have you checked out the Mac App Store? Heres what we think so far…

Things we are impressed with:

  • App Buying Experience: The process to explore and purchase apps is seamless. Users who are familiar with the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch App Store  will feel right at home with the Mac App Store. The store has three main sections (Featured, Top Charts and Categories) as well as a new Purchases Area. This new feature is pretty solid, it shows you your buying history and details of each of the apps installed.
  • App Compatibility: The app store is automatically in-sync with macbook apps that are already installed on your mac which makes the first time experience easier on users.
  • Easy For iOS Developers: Right now it’s estimated that the average developer takes 3-4weeks to port their current iOS application to the Mac App Store, which shows just how easy it is for developers to tap into this market.

Things that need to be improved:

  • Organization: We found that organizing the apps after downloading can be a little cumbersome. The download defaults to the ‘Applications’ folder. From there you can work on the organization but we feel that this is an area that needs some improvement.
  • Consumer Purchasing: Although the pricing of the apps is acceptable, the fact that you would need to purchase the same app for each of your different platforms (iPad, iPhone and Mac) is frustrating. This routine has to be unacceptable by consumers. Imagine if Apple did that for music… yes, you get a slightly different version of the application/experience, but you’re having to spend nearly the same price or more for moving an application across Apple Devices.
  • Platform Fragmentation: From a developer standpoint, although adding another platform to the mix is an awesome opportunity, it will also add some device fragmentation. It will now pose a new question for the developer to think about once their app is ready to go live…what platform(s) do they target at launch?

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