On the Mac App Store

I’m really excited that the Mac is going to get an App Store. Why? It’s been getting ever harder to get any attention for new Mac products since the iPhone came out. With the iPad now too it’s near impossible. Just look at the TUAW on any given day, it’s all iOS all the time.

With the Mac App Store that may finally change. Even if it doesn’t generate news coverage of Mac apps, it puts those apps in front of many more eyeballs. As it is, most of ThinkMac’s business comes from the iOS App Store these days. I still love writing software for the Mac, but I get far less in return for the time I put into it. With the advent of the Mac App Store I’ve got renewed faith that this trend will change. It makes really niche apps like the ones I develop a lot more viable.

Of course as with most Apple related things there are a few gotchas to watch out for. There are a number of troubling clauses in the newly published Mac App Store Review Guidelines. Specifically those related to the modification or use of non-system controls. Without clarification to state whether this means no OS theming software (e.g. ShapeShifter) or no custom controls (nearly every nicely designed Mac app) there will be a certain amount of trepidation among developers.

Developers may also be concerned about the race to the bottom/99¢ price point that has depressed prices on the iPhone. It does look like Apple plans to more tightly curate the Mac App Store though so hopefully that won’t be the case and we won’t have serious apps crowded out by junkware.

2 Comments on “On the Mac App Store

  1. One thing that bothers me is how is the store going to handle users of existing products?

    For new apps this isn’t a problem but if you have an app that has hundreds or thousands of existing users you need some way of taking them across with you. Coupons currently only work on the US app store so that’s not an option right now.

    Do developers have to keep two versions of the app going? One for the app store and one for their own store with their own serial number/registration schemes etc? If so that will be a major PITA.

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