Like every other Mac user on the planet, I was really eager for the Mac App Store’s release today. Having had the chance to explore it a little, here are my initial remarks:
- The interface is just like every other Apple store - a few featured apps are given prominence, and there are top ten lists down the side.
- Apps are downloaded straight into your usual Applications folder. This was a relief for me, as I’d been concerned apps would be corralled much as iTunes purchases are.
- If you’ve downloaded an app not from the Store, and you then download it from the Store, the old non-Store version is replaced with the new one I noticed this when I downloaded the Evernote app. This isn’t a big deal for me, but it would be problematic if you have a good reason to cling to an old version of an app.
- Apple software that had previously been bundled into the iLife or iWork suites is now available standalone - for instance, you can now buy Garageband on its own for $15 (a massive bargain).
Overall, I’m excited about the visibility that this will give to software developers and their products. The iOS app stores have proven to be a goldmine for developers and Apple alike, and I don’t doubt the Mac store will be equally fruitful for a whole new class of developers. Time to dust off those Cocoa books, perhaps?