Eran Kampf
Eran Kampf
4 min read

Mac App Store Insights

Its not in iTunes

When hearing the news that the Mac AppStore was launched I immediately opened iTunes, but didn’t find it there.
I went online and read that an OS X update is required so I ran Software Update – there was no iTunes update but there was an OS X update so I figured the new App Store must be in the Applications folder.

Apparently I’m not the only one who got confused… Apple had to add a tutorial explaining how to get to the store (click the Get the Mac App Store button)

What does it mean that the Mac store is separated from, well, everything else? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…


The first thing you notice about the Mac App Store is that its prices seem expensive.
Prices in the Mac App Store are significantly higher than the apps in the iOS App Store. This is probably due to the fact that the Mac App Store prices are anchored to whatever prices current software developers (including Apple) are charging on other channels, unlike the iOS App Store which opened up a brand new market.

I’m hoping that unlike the iOS App Store, the Mac App Stor want fall into the prices-race-to-the-bottom trap so that it can become a viable channel for independent developers without having to sell their software at a loss and look for income alternative.
However, as the store becomes more popular and crowded that will probably be the case as lowering prices is best way to get noticed…

For more details, here’s a detailed pricing breakown of the Mac App Store.

UI Design isn’t strongly enforced

Apple has been pretty strict to enforce its HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) on iOS apps. Its not as strict when it comes to the Mac…
Application developer have much more liberty in choosing their interface design, which is not necessarily good as apps differ in behavior and confuse users (not an App Store example but I personally hate Mac’s Photoshop interface that doesn’t act like.. umm… some weird toolbars thingie instead of being a window like any other app…).
You can find a showcase of the Mac App Store worst app interfaces at the Read the fucking HIG blog🙂

Software Updates

One of the App Store benefits is being able to update installed apps with one click.
The difference here from the iOS App Store is that certain apps can be installed from other distribution channels, not just from the App Store.
However, even if you installed your app not through the Mac App Store,it is still likely that the Mac App Store will recognize your app and support updating it.
Which is pretty neat 🙂

According to this, it seems that the Mac App Store matches the software using the software’s bundle IS and version number:

DEVELOPER UPDATE: seems it’s all about the bundle ID bundle ID and version number. These are the same for our Mac App Store build and our direct download build. So the Mac App Store thinks the app is installed, even if it’s a trial downloaded from our website. In some ways, actually, this is good for the customer €” it prevents accidental or mistaken unnecessary re-purchases! But, it means you have to drag to trash if you want to purchase from the MAS. (I think Apple should use the bundle ID in conjunction with Apple ID purchase history to decide if the button should say “Buy” or not. And maybe if the Bundle ID matches but no purchase in their history, there’s a “Are you sure you need this?” dialog for safety.)

Small Store, Big Opportunity

The Mac App Store is still very small. It only has 1000 which sounds like a lot but really isn’t… and most apps are kinda crappy…
There’s a very good opportunity here to catch some early attention with good app…