The influence of Apple’s 2.5 year old iPhone App Store is amazing. Its success has caused every smartphone platform firm and mobile carrier to provide their own app store in that short amount of time. And, it has now come full circle and shown its influence on its creator, Apple, with the launch of the App Store for Mac OS X.
Apple’s Mac App Store Opens for Business (Apple press release)
The iPhone’s influence goes far beyond the mere presence of an OS X App Store. Some apps like Twitter for the Mac are apparently unaware that Mac displays are larger than the iPhone. Twitter for the Mac is, for example, unable to display two accounts in different windows or columns. It is as if it is stuck in a tiny display. Prices for many apps are in the iPhone or iPad app price range of 99 cents to $4.99 instead of the more common $19.99 and up price range for desktop apps. Even the more expensive desktop apps are less expensive when purchased through the App Store instead of a shrinkwarp box from the Apple Store. Apple’s own Aperture 3 for photo management costs $199 when in a box but is priced at $79.99 in the App Store.
Here’s a couple of observations about the Mac OS X App Store:
1. It is far to easy to actually purchase an app. I, for example, somehow accidentally purchased a 99 cent app named Weather HD (unrelated to the iOS app with the same name). I have no idea how I accidentally pressed the buy button. And, I only noticed the purchase when the app started installing on my MacBook Air. The app itself is not very interesting as weather apps go and it does NOT scale properly on my Air’s 11.6-inch display.
2. Apps “purchased” (this includes free apps) on my Air appeared ready to install after launching the App Store on my desktop iMac. This included the erroneously purchased Weather HD. This will be a handy feature when I upgrade to my next Mac someday.
3. Apple’s own apps like the ones in iLife and iWorks appeared as “Installed” in the App Store even though I purchased these apps in a shrinkwrapped box and installed them outside of the App Store months ago.