today's news from Apple should dispel those concerns. The company has announced this morning that the number of downloads from its newly launched Mac App Store surpassed 1 million within the first 24 hours.In case there was any doubt whether or not the iTunes model for application sales could work on the desktop,
The store, which launched yesterday morning to bring a centralized repository of OS X compatible applications to Mac users, now includes over 1,000 free and paid software programs. And as with iTunes, the apps are organized by category, are ranked by top paid, free and top grossing, and are rated and reviewed by customers.
According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the company is "amazed at the incredible response" the store is getting. Given that there are 50 million Mac users in use worldwide, it's not really all that surprising to us, however. But it's a great start, nonetheless.
Top Paid Apps
As of this morning, the top paid charts featured a collection of Apple software programs like iPhoto, iMovie and Pages as well as games, including the ever-ubiquitious Angry Birds, which soared in to the number one spot. It's unclear if Angry Birds' rise was at all affected by the recent reports of Mac App Store piracy.
To catch you up: apparently, Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, in addition to many other Mac App Store developers, neglected to follow Apple's guidelines on validating App Store receipts for purchases.
What this means is that, for some applications, you could copy the receipt from any other Mac App Store download (even free apps) into a copy of the paid app you want to use and it will run.
The procedure for doing so is a bit more hacker-y than some news reports have implied, though. You have to delve into the Package Contents of the app's dmg file, navigate to a particular folder and delete specific files. You then copy and paste those same files from the free app's folder to the paid one. In other words, you would need to know these specific instructions before doing this - it's not a matter of simply copying-and-pasting a receipt number, like you would have on some brick-and-mortar retail store's receipt, into a field or pop-up notification within the paid app.
For average to fairly technical users, the hack is a piece of cake. But for the millions who chose Mac because "it just works" and who were stymied by the complexities of Windows systems, even a simple hack like this is likely over their heads.
That being said, it will be interesting to watch the ratings to see if anything changes with regards to Angry Birds' standings after Rovio closes - as they surely will - this security hole.
The full top 12, as of this morning, is as follows:
- Angry Birds
- Chopper 2
- iPhoto (Apple)
- Pinball HD
- Flight Control HD
- iMovie (Apple)
- The Incident
In the Mac App Store's free chart, the newly launched official Twitter application now stands at number one. The app, which notably ditches some of Apple's recommended design considerations (its close, minimize and zoom buttons, for example, are black not red, yellow and green), has led to a love it or hate it experience among Apple fans. (John Gruber has a good essay on the pros and cons).
Clearly, the majority of the end users love it - well, they love it enough to install it and give it a shot, that is. Again, watching the charts over the coming weeks will tell us more about the app's long-term position.
The top 12 free apps, as of this morning, are:
- Solitaire Greatest Hits
- SketchBook Express
- MindNode for Mac
- Stuffit Expander
- VirusBarrier Express
?We would imagine that many of the downloads from the Mac App Store come from new Mac users who have moved from the Windows world to OS X and are unfamiliar with the offerings available to them in the Mac universe of applications. For those folks, having a curated collections of organized apps will help them get up to speed and be productive on the new platform.
Does this Prove the App Store Model for Desktops?
Whether or not this same App Store model will work back in the Windows world, is still unknown. Intel launched its AppUp Center, an app store mostly designed with netbook users in mind, but a startup called AllMyApps, wants to more broadly address the app needs of the Windows market.
Silicon Valley tech pundit Roberrt Scoble recently admitted that he was not excited about the initiative and "was a jerk" to the founder at the LeWeb conference in December, but AllMyApps CEO Thibauld Favre, stood up for himself and his vision, even thanking Scoble for being challenged. Favre countered Scoble's claim that Windows users don't "load new apps" by saying the reason for that is "not because they are Windows users but because without a real application store, they just cannot do it."
An app store, he said, "provides...a great integrated user experience, which makes discovering and managing apps fun," and for developers, "makes distribution more effective." That may be true, but Apple users are an entirely different beast than Windows users. Will they want or need a collection of browsable apps? Or will they think, hmm, I need some apps - I'll just search the Web...?
Disclosure: Intel AppUp is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor, on ReadWriteHack.