The Mac App Store was launched, without the usual fanfare of an Apple launch. The Mac blogs have said positive things about it. Apple announced that downloads from the store topped 1 million on the first day. What does it do? According to Apple PR:
The Mac App Store revolutionizes the way applications are installed on a computer — it happens in one step. Enter the same iTunes password you use to buy music and apps on your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Within seconds, your new app flies to your Dock, ready to go.
It really is that simple. Makes me wonder why no one thought of it before. Here’s how it works: if I have to buy a software like iWork (Apple’s equivalent of the Office suite), I will probably have to shell out Rs.4000 in India. The iWork suite contains Keynote, Pages and Numbers of which I perhaps need only the first two programs. At the Mac App Store, I get to buy Keynote & Pages separately for $20 each. That’s about Rs.1800 in Indian currency – no more duties, taxes. That’s a huge plus. Also, I get to install the software in more than one Mac. More importantly, if I have to format my machine (have done it more than once in the past), installing applications is a cinch. No more lining up of installation CD’s and waiting. And the updates happen automatically.
I feel it’s a huge opportunity for Developers – the prices on the App Store are very different from the $0.99 prices of iPhone and iPad – these are in the $20 plus range. And thankfully Apple has launched it as a separate App – not integrate it with iTunes. While there are bugs and minor irritants, the concept is huge.