All your appz are belong to Jobz

In case you were too busy not attending CES, Apple took the Mac App Store live yesterday morning. Accessing it requires upgrading to OS X 10.6.6 and probably having an internet connection. I hear AOL offers those at speeds up to 300 baud.

Anyway, since I was at work on my MacBook Pro when the email from Apple alerting me to the launch arrived (and not on my Hackintosh at home that’s currently stuck on 10.6.4 until who knows when), I promptly put aside my timesheet and unwieldy sentence structure and went to town. “To town” being to the kitchen for some Earl Grey (hot) while the combined 268MB download (including iWork and other updates) rolled on down the office’s T1/2 line.

Updates installed, I decided to live life on the cutting edge of the needle’s tip in the monkey’s paw. That’s right, I didn’t repair permissions. Instead, I went under the Apple menu and selected “App Store…” (Do not ask me why it has ellipses. I have yet to discover the continuing menu item or deleted text.) I was greeted with a very iTunes Store-like screen. Which is not surprising. And, in fact, if I had sat down at my machine with the App Store already loaded, I may have thought I was in iTunes. Because nearly every single app I saw was an iOS port. Yay.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some iOS apps I think merit existence on my Mac. Why only waste hours of time playing Angry Birds in the Porcelain Kingdom when I can also do so while “concepting” new ads? Except, of course, that I don’t want to re-buy the program until new levels come out. And the fact that Apple has unbundled both their iWorks and iLife apps is fairly snazzy. And maybe I’ll find some cool utilities that I otherwise would’ve missed.

Maybe.

But for now, most of the utilities I’ve installed on my non-iOS devices are nowhere to be found in the Mac App Store. No Default Folder X or WindowShade. No MagicPrefs or Clips. As for “real” applications like Adobe’s Creative Suite or Final Draft or Microsoft Office, forget it. They aren’t there. Not now, at least. Maybe not for a while until extra-broad broadband arrives to the masses (unless you want to spend five days downloading the Master Collection of CS5—oh, I see you already did via BT).

I can’t say that the Mac App Store is a bad idea. It is only one day old, after all. It’s just that it will, like Danny Bonaduce, take time to mature. If it ever does. It’s an interesting distribution model, of course. There’s little need now for getting a physical Frisbee o’ media for an install (massive programs mentioned above excepted), and it’ll be nice to have a record of installed apps ready to be re-installed when calamity inevitably strikes. Assuming I only want four of my 381 programs reinstalled with one click.

Some have argued that the Mac App Store will drive down the cost of programs. After all, they reason, if you can get a game for 99 cents on the iOS App Store, why would you pay 10 bucks for the OS X version or 50 bucks for a desktop-only title? While I do agree that some price pressure will no doubt come into effect, I don’t exactly see this as the end of $30-and-up apps. One, because there are even iOS apps that venture into this range. Two, because people expect a $30 (or $300) desktop app to do a lot more than a $4.99 one.

My only real concern—and I believe it’s pretty far-fetched, but paranoia is the heart of punditry—is that some day in the future, I may have to jailbreak my 28-core MacBook Pro just to install a crossword puzzle app. But I don’t think even Apple has the hubris to try that.

That was a joke.

Later,

Fox

Comments closed
    • Glycerin
    • 9 years ago

    All your appz are belong to Fagz

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    Fantastic Picard reference in there. Loved it!

    • jiweii
    • 9 years ago

    This is just weird, there aren’t much [b<]GOOD[/b<] apps that are available on the mac, and they are thinking of making an app store for mac.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]unless you want to spend five days downloading the Master Collection of CS5[/quote<] Yeah because there are not other services that deliver applications close to that size. Oh wait, there is this thing called steam, and I just downloaded 2 games that together add up to about CS5 in under a day (under 12 hours I think).

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 9 years ago

      [url<]https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=master_collection[/url<] I assume that Jason downloaded it from Adobe.

    • jstern
    • 9 years ago

    One of the things that I hated the most about having a mac when I had one, was the insane amount of programs that I couldn’t use, simply because I didn’t have the current version of OSX.

    If people complained so heavily that drivers made for XP didn’t work on Vista, imagine the pain of switching to OSX. (Apple used to promote that back then for people to move to OS X, because unlike Vista, it just worked, unless you didn’t have the latest version of the OS of course.)

      • thanatos355
      • 9 years ago

      Yes, but at least it doesn’t take $200 to get the newest version of osx.

        • Philldoe
        • 9 years ago

        At least Windows Service packs are free…

          • thanatos355
          • 9 years ago

          One could argue that the high initial cost of a Windows operating system was directly correlated to it’s continued/continual development.

          Or greed. You know, whichever. 😉

          • Deanjo
          • 9 years ago

          So are OS X service packs. They are called point releases. ie 10.6.1, 10.6.2, 10.6.3 ….

        • jstern
        • 9 years ago

        I paid like $70 for Windows 7, and upgrade is like $130. But never mind that, at least a new version doesn’t make the last version almost obsolete, which is something that Apple tries to do with its products.

          • thanatos355
          • 9 years ago

          Wait…what? Are we talking about the same “Windows” here? The ones for computers, right? Not the double paned, insulated, etc etc etc for houses, right?

          Seriously, I love Windows and I can’t stand even looking at OSX, but let’s be realistic. Only the enormous business IT use keeps MS from forcing obsolescence with each and every new version they deign to release to we unwashed masses.

          And I am very much aware of the specials, deals, and upgrade prices that MS and some retailers make available. But I was trying to do an apples to apples comparison.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 9 years ago

            He didn’t make a statement on why MS keeps old versions of Windows working, just that they do, which is true.

            • thanatos355
            • 9 years ago

            True, but it’s only because Apple’s user base allows them to do so and MS’s doesn’t. Which was my point.

      • End User
      • 9 years ago

      How far behind were you in Mac OS X releases?

        • jstern
        • 9 years ago

        Not sure, I bought my Mac on June 2007, probably sometime in 2008 you start having difficulties with certain programs. Don’t know the technical reasons why, but it’s something that I’m not used to with Windows, except for some really old games.

    • FireGryphon
    • 9 years ago

    You know, reading this blog makes me realize like how big a jerk I must sound all day.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    “But I don’t think even Apple has the hubris to try that.”

    Oh yes they do, it’s coming and you know it.

      • willyolio
      • 9 years ago

      that was the joke.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    I like my programs not to be subjected to the random number generator that decides if a program (or app if you must call it that) is approved or not, this is the first step to apple adapting OSX into what is basically iOS but with keyboard support.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    Woe to any Hackintoshes with Radeon 4890 cards. No OpenGL support, no Flash support, not even menubar transparency.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Only in 10.6.6, and netkas says that a 4890 fix is inbound.

      It’s doing better than Fermi in OS X, which is subject to random kernel panics using the Quadro 4000 drivers.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah I know. I just checked the site and netkas has a Revision 2 patch that I haven’t tried out yet. I’m gonna give that a shot.

    • Jahooba
    • 9 years ago

    I’ll probably never own a Mac (I will however always own an iPod Touch, maybe an iPhone one day), so I’m curious as to how far this Store will go.

    Is this going to provide full-featured software, or is it only for cute little programs that some guy in his basement dreamed up?

    Is this going to be more like the AppStore, or more like Steam? Or a combination of both?

      • tay
      • 9 years ago

      I think this will be a combination of the two. With the added benefit that the apps are cheaper. I thought I would hate it, but I don’t mind it too much.

    • lex-ington
    • 9 years ago

    There will be no pressure to drop prices or create new price points for applications just because its now distributed by downloads – just look at e-books. One file stored on a server somewhere and you still pay $9.99 for that sci-fi book you saw on the shelf at Barnes & Nobles.

      • crazybus
      • 9 years ago

      There’s a difference though, book publishers were able to exert concerted pressure on ebook retailers to keep prices up.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 9 years ago

        Yup. And may they rot into irrelevancy for it.

      • KoolAidMan
      • 9 years ago

      Incorrect. Just checked and Sketchbook Pro which is $80 on Windows and OS X via retail is only $30 in the App Store, while Aperture which is normally $200 only sells for $80.

      This surprised me, as I am used to paying full retail price for a new game on Steam. I wonder how often software is going to be priced this aggressively on the App Store. Developers and publishers set their own prices, so maybe they can afford to if they get a bigger cut compared to physical distribution.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      People said that about games too, but Steam has lowered prices on games further than I’ve ever seen in my life.

      When the only cost of distribution is bandwidth, companies are more inclined to have sales and try to push large numbers of product. Making the software is a sunk cost, any dollar they get over the cost of bandwidth is profit.

    • thanatos355
    • 9 years ago

    You won’t have to jailbreak your MacBook to install a crossword puzzle. You’ll only have to if you want to install a [b<][i<]good[/i<][/b<] one! Or you can wait for a couple of generations until Apple steals....er.....implements a [i<]very[/i<] similar app into it's operating system. 😉

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    I want to troll, but I’m really not up for it this morning.

      • tejas84
      • 9 years ago

      Oh go on you know you want to…

      Troll your heart out. We are behind you!

      • PenGun
      • 9 years ago

      Macs, for those too dumb for Linux. There I helped … tomorrow you’ll be better.

      • BloodSoul
      • 9 years ago

      Herp Derp Derp is all I have to say to this article.

      Long live the nubz that keep Apple and Microsoft from being outdone by the open-source world!

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      I would’ve gotten a bunch of minuses for that comment.

      See, this separates real trolls from wannabes

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