The Mac App Store is Here!

Now that I’ve switched back to a Mac, I get to enjoy exciting news like this – The Mac App Store is now available. By clicking the little Mac logo at the top left of the Mac OS X desktop, and then selecting “Software Update” I started the download for 10.6.6 – which includes the Mac App Store. I’ve been using Macs for almost 18 years. Software has always been a problem. With this new option for Mac Developers, maybe things will change.

Here’s the official word from Apple…

The Mac OS X 10.6.6 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. It also includes the Mac App Store, the best way to discover and buy new apps for your Mac. The Mac App Store, a new application you’ll find in the Dock, includes the following features:

Discover Mac apps: Browse featured apps, top charts, and categories, or search for something specific. Read detailed app descriptions and user reviews, and flip through screen shots.

Buy and install: Easily purchase apps with your iTunes account.  Apps install in one step and are quickly available from the Dock.

App updates: The Mac App Store keeps track of all your purchased apps and notifies you when free updates are available.

The announcement also included a hyperlink…

The download is 114.8 MB. I’m writing this article while I wait for the software to download.

I'm going to need a bigger dock for all of these new Mac OS X apps!

UPDATE – I installed the Mac App Store and I checked it out. It’s pretty cool. It’s quite similar to the iTunes App Store. The selection isn’t as robust, but that’s to be expected. The pricing is a bit varied too.

For example, $4.99 for Angry Birds seems too high. It’s only 99¢ on the iPhone. Although, Apple’s Aperture is available for $79.99. That’s a significant drop from the usual $199. I’ve been thinking about a Photoshop alternative. That’s why I was pleased to see Pixelmator for only $29.99.

Here’s an example of how the Mac App Store will change shopping. I received a $50 Best Buy gift card as a Christmas gift. But instead of paying $54.99 for Pixelmator in the store, I’m thinking that I might convert my Best Buy gift card into an iTunes gift card, where I can order Pixelmator for $25 less. That’s a huge savings.