My 1/16/11 Missoulian column
The Mac App Store launched last week and that’s an important bit of news for Apple users. I’m trying it out this week and next.
What’s the App Store? It’s a new way to buy apps (software programs) directly from Apple for its line of iMacs and MacBooks.
The Mac App store is something like the iTunes store, where Apple sells music, as well as apps for the iPhone and iPad. So the Mac App store is like an iTunes store for Mac programs.
While the Mac App Store doesn’t replace other ways of buying software – like from a brick and mortar store or buying and downloading software directly from a manufacturer’s website – the new App Store is a centralized place to shop, try and buy apps for OS X directly from Apple.
And the App Store has been pretty successful from the launch: there were more than a million downloads of apps the first 24 hours.
The App Store has around 1,000 apps, with more to come as developers port apps from the iPhone and iPad to Macs as apps. The large commercial software companies have also made available their standard programs for purchase and download.
Right now, a good majority of the apps available are games, which I hope will change. I think the App Store needs to be mostly practical in order to succeed.
Some glitches have already occurred. Some app authors neglected to fully secure their own apps along Apple’s suggested guidelines, and as such made it easy for pirates to copy programs without paying for them.
Software piracy occurs everywhere, and the new app store is no different. The headlines last week that announced the App Store itself had been hacked were wrong.
To be able to use the App Store, you need to update to OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard. (Go to software update under the Apple menu).
After the update, you’ll see a new icon in your dock – a round blue button with a compass and ruler – and that’s the link to the App Store. I’ll cover trying out the Mac App Store next week.
It’s interesting to note that the word app itself was voted the 2010 “Word of the Year” by the American Dialect Society. It beat out the Cookie Monster’s “nom, nom, nom, nom” munching-like onomatopoeia.
This week in Mac Q & A: How Do I Get Rid of Programs in the Dock?