There are some great deals right now in the Mac App Store as developers try to find the right pricing model for the new marketplace. Leading by example, Apple (s aapl) cut the price of one of its own flagship professional applications, Aperture, from $199 to just $79.99. Here are some highlights of others that have followed suit:
- Pixelmator. With a powerful image editor that gives Adobe’s (s adbe) Photoshop Elements a run for its money on the Mac, the Pixelmator team is urging existing customers, as well as any prospective new customers, to pay the limited time price of $29.99 to get the application from the Mac App Store. If you do, you’ll be entitled to a “free” update to the upcoming 2.0 version of the application. They’ve also made it clear that the Mac App Store is the future for Pixelmator, and cite several advantages on their own website. A definite buy at this price any day, app store or not.
- SketchBook Pro. Autodesk is also offering a great deal on the Mac App Store, selling SketchBook Pro for $29.99 instead of $79.99. The app is the Mac desktop equivalent of its iOS counterpart. Since your Mac isn’t a touch device like your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to look at augmenting your desktop experience with something like Wacom’s Bamboo tablet. Trust me; if you’re interested in creating digital artwork, it’s worth it.
- RapidWeaver. Realmac Software is offering its flagship product for $39.99 on the Mac App Store instead of the usual $79.99. With Apple not paying much attention to iWeb, switching over to a tool like RapidWeaver may be your best option. With over 45 themes included, this web development tool can plug right in to your existing MobileMe account and be everything iWeb isn’t, and more besides.
- Art Text 2. One of my personal favorites from BeLight Software is now priced at just $9.99 in the Mac App Store, a full $30 cheaper than its usual price. The options and degree of control a user has over text and its presentation with this application is astonishing. I use it all the time for almost every sort of communication.
- Apple Remote Desktop (ARD). If you managed a household with more than one Mac, or a business that uses Macs as the standard machine, then Apple’s Remote Desktop software is great. It allows you to provision software, perform regular maintenance, and even troubleshoot and control all the Macs on your local network. The software used to be $299 for a 10-client limit, or $499 for an unlimited license. ARD on the Mac App Store doesn’t seem to have a limit at the present time.
- Aperture. As mentioned above, Apple knocked a full $120 off the price of this advanced image management and editing application. If you like iPhoto, but want more power, Aperture is the way to go.
Each of these applications has a proven track record among users, and it’s amazing to see them available at these prices. The Mac App Store’s sales pace, including one million downloads in the first day, may keep prices down, but that’s not a sure thing. There’s little reason not to act now, unless you think this is just the beginning of a race to the bottom for App Store pricing.
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