Back to the Mac: The App Store for Mac

The App Store for Mac

You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered when the convenience of the App Store that’s graced your iOS devices would be unleashed on your Mac. Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event this morning revealed that the wait will soon be over.

After over 7 billion app downloads from the iOS app store, the crew in Cupertino is bringing the same model to a Mac near you. Steve Jobs said it would arrive in 90 days during today’s presentation, but on Apple’s official site, it’s simply listed as “Coming Soon.”

While Jobs mentioned that the Mac App Store won’t be the only place to purchase apps (third-party vendors will keep selling as before), this new feature could open the application floodgates for developers and consumers alike. After all, when was the last time you visited your local Apple Store or Best Buy and perused the software aisle?

Consumers can plan on enjoying the majority of the features we’ve come to love in the current iOS App Store, such as one-click downloads, immediate app installation, and automatic updates. The system of separating paid & free apps and dividing apps into categories (Games, Productivity, etc.) will provide the same browsing on the Mac that we’ve grown accustomed to on our iOS devices.

App description, reviews/ratings, and screenshots looked virtually identical to what you’ll see on the iPad. A slight altering of the store layout is the only difference that you’ll notice.

Can developers expect another app gold-rush? With a 70/30 revenue split, the Mac App Store will provide fresh means of distributing apps, ensure copyright is easier to track, and ease the marketing burden on devs. Like I mentioned before, as a consumer, I’m not racing to a brick-and-mortar store very often for an app these days, but I’m almost guaranteed to purchase at least a few with this new level of accessibility.

My first question is whether or not the versatility of the Mac will be compromised by the simplicity of the App Store and other features. Launchpad and Mission Control provide options that continue to blur the lines between OS X and iOS. Also, the coming multi-touch features, while helpful, seems to indicate a focus shift towards ease of use rather than variety of control.

How will Apple navigate this accessibility/versatility balance? Will consumers and developers both benefit from the Mac App Store in the same ways that they have from the iOS version? We won’t have to wait long to find out.

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