Home Apple’s New Mac App Store: Our First Impressions

Apple’s New Mac App Store: Our First Impressions

Apple has released an update to its OS this morning, and with it comes the new Mac App Store. The App Store is designed to bring to the Mac the same simplicity that iTunes offers for finding, buying and installing iPhone and iPad apps.

Our first impressions: this is a fast and easy way to find and install apps on your Mac.

Here’s what the App Store offers and how it works:

Browsing for Apps

Although it lives under a separate icon on your dock, the Mac App Store looks almost identical to the iTunes App Store. On the home page, you’ll find the “new and noteworthy” and featured apps. You can view the top paid and the top free apps, staff favorites and categories. You can access your account and you can search for apps. As in the iTunes App Store, each app has a description and user reviews.

Navigation isn’t great. There’s no “home” button, but as long as you can master the back and forward buttons, you should be fine.

You can’t browse the Mac App Store on a device other than a Mac (on your iPhone or on the Web, for example).

Buying Apps

The Mac App store requires an Apple ID in order to download and buy apps from the store. (And a side note here: if you’re getting an “Error 100” when you try to use the store for the first time, it means you haven’t signed the new Terms and Conditions that come with the release. I found relaunching the store prompted me to agree and sign.)

No need to add payment information, as the App Store uses what’s already on file for your iTunes purchases. You can also use iTunes gift cards

Buying and installing apps is as easy as one click. The app then jumps to your dock. The App Store doesn’t seem to check to see if you already have the app installed – or at least, I didn’t receive any message to that effect when I downloaded Evernote, something already on my machine.

You can view a list of the apps you’ve purchased and installed. Again, as with iTunes, you can check to see if any of your apps require updating, and if so you’ll be able to update all your apps at once – a nice feature for keeping your apps up-to-date without having to launch an app to see if you’ve got the latest version.

What’s For Sale?

Apple boasted over 1,000 apps available at launch; the store is full of the usual suspects. Well-known Apple titles are available: iMovie and GarageBand, for example, are available for $14.99, and Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are $19.99 each. Angry Birds is there ($4.99), of course, as is Evernote and Twitter (both free).

Implications of a Mac App Store

Will the Mac App Store be a boon to developers the way the iTunes App Store has been? Arguably, developers will get better exposure via the store. But as Apple is likely to continue to keep tight reins on what ends up in the store, some types of software – BitTorrent apps, for example, may find themselves closed out.

Mac users, have you tried out the new App Store yet? What do you think about its content and delivery?

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