As you may know the Mac App Store (MAS) is launching later today in 90 countries around the world. This is going to be a pretty major shake up for the Mac developer community. Some developers are going to be left out in the cold due to some of the restrictions Apple is laying down, but for most of us this is a huge opportunity to reach new customers. The iPhone and then the iPad did a lot of knock the wind out of the sails of Mac software and I’m very hopeful that the MAS will help set things right.
The Mac is really important. We all love our iPhones and our iPads, but we have these amazingly powerful computers and we want great apps to run on them. There’s a wealth of amazing Mac software out there from small developers, but because you’ll never find it on a store shelf and because the Apple centric media and blogs have all but ignored Mac software for the last couple of years unless it was from Apple, many people don’t know it exists. The MAS has the potential to put our apps in front a lot of new eyeballs and to remind a lot of people what great software is available to them. The simple purchase and installation process is the icing on the cake.
Probably the main worry among Mac developers at the moment is pricing. The App Store has promoted a massive race to the bottom in terms of pricing. The fear is that this will happen with Mac software too. I’m sure we will see lots of 99¢ apps in the store after awhile and for certain classes of apps this might be a fair price point (e.g. a screensaver or very simple games) but for more serious apps I think it’s clear that kind of price isn’t sustainable and customers shouldn’t expect price points significantly lower than before in the MAS.
At launch time iKana 2 will be the only ThinkMac app in the store. I did considering rushing to get all our apps on there, but I’ve decided to bring each product over one by one as I update them. This means the next app in the store will be NewsLife 2, which is nearly complete. That will be followed later on by iKanji 2 and that piece of web gallery software I dare not mention by name. Aside from NewsLife 2 being released in the next couple of weeks I can’t really given a time frame for the other two apps but the better the sales are the faster it will happen. I’m also working on iKana for the iPad too which will hopefully be out before the Spring.
In terms of pricing, iKana 2 will be available for $14.99/£8.99/€11.99. Around what it’s currently priced at. NewsLife 2 will be $9.99/£5.99/€7.99 so a little cheaper. Pricing for other apps will be announced closer to their release dates.