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As remote workers, we benefit from a certain degree of location flexibility. We sometimes think we can work from anywhere. While remote workers may be able to move easily between different workstations, our work can’t always move with us.
For Mac-using remote workers, the Mac App Store(s aapl) presents a major step forward in making sure that we always have our tools with us, no matter where we are.
When I know I’ll be working from someone else’s computer, I mentally make a checklist of all the software I’ll need to download and install before I can get up and running. In some cases, this is a simple process, but in others, it’s quite difficult. It can be a considerable headache to depend on trial or demo versions of the software I need.
Now, however, the App Store allows us to install apps associated with our accounts to any Mac. This represents a major change for the better in the way we can work. Imagine signing in with your Apple ID and quickly and easily making a temporary workstation feel just like home. It’s a vision that’s now within reach, without the need for a remote server or enterprise support.
As long as you’re using the software for personal use, you should be able to log into the App Store from any Mac and download the apps you need. Once you’re done, you can just uninstall your software, transfer any stored data to a thumb drive or to storage space in the cloud (if it isn’t already automatically synced, as with apps like Evernote) and go. You’ll be able to spend less time on setup and configuration, and more time actually getting work done.
So the App Store makes Mac software more portable, and it also makes it more discoverable. It will be a lot easier to find the right app for the job, and will simplify making sure that clients and co-workers have access to the same tools as you do. Eventually, when Apple introduces Mac app gifting, you’ll be able to provide teammates with the tools they need on demand, and they won’t need to pick up the cost.
The current Mac App Store is only the beginning. It’ll be built-in to OS X Lion, which means eventually it’ll be on every Mac you encounter. And it’s likely that apps won’t be the only thing you can grab from the cloud. User accounts, preferences, application data and documents; evidence suggests that soon it’ll reside on the web for easy access from wherever you happen to be.
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