Mac App Store: What’s the point of it?

Last week Apple launched the Mac App Store where you can download free and paid-for applications for your Mac just as you can on your iPhone and iPad.

After a root around it myself, I can’t imagine I’ll ever use it. So who is it for?

The non-technical

With the Mac App Store, getting the apps you want on your Mac has never been easier. No more boxes, no more disks, no more time-consuming installation. Click once to download and install any app on your Mac. The Mac App Store is now available as a software update for any Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Mac App Store

I’ve never had a problem finding and installing application on my Mac, in fact I find it incredibly simple when compared to what you have to go through on a Windows or Linux based machine.

So I assume it will be of benefit to those who are unsure of installation procedures or are happier paying for apps through a more well known organisation such as Apple.

The small application company

It is good for those companies who produce one or two paid-for apps per year. The Mac App Store provides a platform to promote their apps and takes the hassle out of setting up a payment mechanism.

If I made an app I was giving away for free I would also make it available to download from my own website.

Will it work?

The iPhone/iPad app stores work because the majority of apps are priced to be impulse purchases that are used immediately for a short period of time, such as games. The iPhone and iPad have become big gaming platforms and I’m not sure the Mac will have this same success.

People use their desktop and laptop Macs for more time consuming tasks (such as document and photo editing) and most would already have all the apps they require or can easily find these through existing channels.

Some people have said that they ended up buying applications they had previously pirated, possibly due to lower pricing through the app store and how quick the process is when you’ve already set up your bank details for iTunes.

I think the Mac App store will succeed as it makes the whole process much quicker and easier for everyone. Even so, I can’t think of a reason why I’d use it.

Further reading