Tuesday, 13 December 2011 01:49

Apple's Mac App Store has 100m reasons to be 'appy


The appetite of Apple's Mac App Store users knows no bounds, with now over 100 million Mac apps having been downloaded 'in less than one year', according to Apple's 'appy announcement.

Apple's decision to build an app store into Mac OS X has clearly paid off, with over 100 million Mac apps having now been downloaded in less than one year.

Although Microsoft has publicly announced plans to deliver its own version of an 'App Store' in Windows 8, even though it presumably could have delivered one to Windows 7 users if it wanted to, Apple's decision to 'move early' - despite years of Linux distros offering app store equivalents - has been well rewarded.

This is especially interesting when you consider that much of the shine of developing for Windows has dissipated in favour of writing apps for mobile platforms, although Microsoft's entire Windows 8 efforts are clearly a major effort to re-invigorate development for Windows itself, and looks poised to be very successful.

However, while Microsoft looks poised, Apple is now lapping its competition, with the 'thousands of free and paid apps' generating a nice big figure of downloads that Apple is happy to tell the world about.

Apple has also popularised the concept of having a specific account, genereally tied to either a credit card, debit card, or iTunes stored value card, and lets you use the one account across your various iDevices.

This has made accessing and purchasing free and paid apps extremely simple for Mac users, just as it has for iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone users before it, with Apple dubbing it a veritable 'revolution', pointing to the 500,000+ apps on the iOS App Store, the 18+ billion app downloads for iOS iDevices, and the 'more than 1 billion apps' that continue being downloaded each month.

Apple's senior veep of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, said that 'In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry. With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world.'

Apple also pulled in three of its software partners to offer some commentary on their Mac App Store experiences - Autodesk, Pixelmator Team and algoriddim.

Autodesk's Amar Hanspal, the senior veep of Platform Solutions and Emerging Business, said: 'With Autodesk products in both the App Store and Mac App Store, we can reach hundreds of millions of Apple users around the world. With our free AutoCAD WS and the more powerful professional drafting tools of AutoCAD LT, we're using the Mac App Store to deliver new products and reach a growing base of new Mac customers.'


Concluded on page two, please read on!

Pixemator Team's Saulius Dailide said: 'The Mac App Store has unparalleled reach and has completely transformed our distribution and development cycle. Offering Pixelmator 2.0 exclusively on the Mac App Store allows us to streamline updates to our image editing software and stay ahead of the competition.'

Algoriddim's CEO, Karim Morsy added that: 'In less than one year we've shifted the distribution of djay for Mac exclusively to the Mac App Store. With just a few clicks, djay for Mac is available to customers in 123 countries worldwide. We could never have that reach through traditional channels.'

Sounds like it bodes well for Microsoft's Windows 8 app store, too, but absent any retail release version of Windows 8, nor its upcoming app marketplace, Apple's currently getting most of the glory, with Linux distros like Ubuntu and its store vacuuming up the crumbs that fall off Apple's table.

Apple reminds us in its media release celebrating the download milestone that its Mac App Store 'offers thousands of apps in Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity, Utilities and other categories'.

Likewise, we are reminded that: 'users can browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what's hot, see staff favourites, search categories and look up top charts for paid and free apps, as well as user ratings and reviews', which, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, is pretty much exactly how you'd expect a modern app store to work.

Apple also points out that its Mac App Store is included with Mac OS X 10.7, and is available as an upgrade to Mac OS X 10.6 - click 'check for updates' and install them if you're a 10.6.x user and can't see the App Store entry when you click on Apple's Apple logo in the top left hand corner of your Mac computer.

While Microsoft is promising more flexible sales terms than Apple in its recent Windows app market announcements, Apple's Mac App Store is currently up and running, and current up and paying out profits.

Thus, until and if Microsoft's better terms bite, Apple's current policy is likely to remain: 'Mac developers set the prices for their apps, keep 70 percent of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and do not have to pay hosting, marketing or credit card fees', with Apple helpfully pointing out the web address it wants developers to visit if they're at all interested in developing for Apple's original iPlatform - the iMac (and Mac Pro and etc).

Finally, there's no Apple media release without an Apple boilerplate ending, one which morphs over time to reflect Apple's newest revolutions, along with its previous ones, although the boilerplate this time seems to be the same as the last time.

It states: 'Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.'

So, congratulations on the download milestone, Apple - it'll be interesting to see if you can get to the next 100 million in half the time, if not faster, which would surely make the crunchy company very 'appy indeed.



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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