My 1/23/11 Missoulian column
Last week I covered the launch of the Mac App Store, a software service started by Apple to sell programs for Mac OS in a way similar to the Apple iTunes store for music and mobile device apps. The App Store has already been hugely successful, with over a million downloads in the first day.
Be aware that you don’t have to use the App Store for OS X software; you can still buy Mac software directly from each company that produces it. But I can see a point in the future where some software developers may move all their business to the App Store and quit marketing their own products.
I downloaded some apps and I think the store works pretty well. One gripe is you have to sign in with your Apple ID and provide credit card info, even for free apps.
To use the App Store, you need OS 10.6.6, so go to software update under the Apple menu and update, if needed. Then the App Store icon will appear in your dock next to the blue face finder icon.
You can remove the App Store icon from the dock if you like by clicking, holding down and dragging it out of the dock (but it will remain your applications folder.) And that’s the same way to remove app icons from the dock, because each App Store purchase will add a dock icon.
Start up the App Store and sign in under “quick links.” (If you use the iTunes store or other Apple services, you already have an Apple ID.)
The App Store looks and feels like a Mac program, so it should appear familiar. You can browse by the most popular free and paid apps and by their category.
It may be better to not buy some software from the App Store, if you want to be able to control updates to them and also move copies to other Macs (within the bounds of the license agreement).
Copying a free app downloaded from the store to another Mac will result in needing to login to the store on that Mac to run that program.
See this comprehensive FAQ at Macworld for a rundown on important App Store features http://www.apple.com/osx/apps/app-store/ and this link at the Mac Observer for details of the differences between App Store and non-App Store software: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/understanding_mac_app_store_app_restrictions. And see the App Store at Apple: App Store – Buy, download, and install apps made for Mac.
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