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The Pros and Cons of the Mac AppStore

written by: Matteo DallOmbra•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 5/19/2011

This article will illustrate to new users the basic functionalities of the Mac AppStore, evaluating both the positive and the negative aspects of this system.

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    Mac-App-Store After a sneak peak during the summer event, on the 6th of January Apple released the Mac AppStore as a free update for every current Snow Leopard user.

    Following their strategy of moving forward and integrating iOS and Mac OS, this release generate some varied opinions in the developers' world.

    Let's see what the Mac AppStore means for the end user.

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    An Online Marketplace

    If you are an iOS user, you won't have any problem accessing and using the Mac AppStore because the style of the stores is the same. If you are new to this kind of digital store, you will only need a few minutes and you will be able to enjoy the experience.

    As said before, the Mac AppStore is a digital marketplace where developers of Mac apps can showcase their work, being sure of having a great visibility. If you have an app you what to publicize, this store is certainly the right place to go.

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    How to Use the Mac AppStore

    After updating to the latest Snow Leopard release, you will find the new Mac AppStore icon on your dock. Click on it to launch the app.

    If you already have an AppleID, just login into the store and you will be ready to go. The UI of the Mac AppStore is pretty easy. On top you have different tabs to navigate through content, while the rest of the page is occupied by the apps themselves.

    When you have found something you like, just click on the download button that is placed next to the app name and the download process will immediately start. You will see the app's icon pushed out from the store into your dock and a progress bar will indicates the status of the download.

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    When completely installed, the app will start bouncing on the dock, indicating you that it's ready to be used. Thanks to the Mac AppStore is so easy to find and download the Mac apps you need.

    As I mentioned above, the Mac AppStore generated various reactions among developers. Let's see the main pros & cons of this store.

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    Pros of the Mac AppStore

    For sure, the Mac AppStore is a great place to find applications. Developers are sure of getting high visibility and an easy way to distribute their apps. Thanks to the same payment system, developers retain 70% of the earnings, while the other 30% goes to Apple.

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    Cons of the Mac AppStore

    Unfortunately, the list of cons seems to be longer compared to the pros. The biggest problem reported by developers is the way in which Apple curates this platform. Being a closed system, only apps approved by Apple are able to make the jump inside the Mac AppStore. This leaves out many apps, that for example, makes modifications to system files.

    In addition there is the big problem related with updates. Normally a developer who finds a bug, corrects it and immediately release a fix. With the Mac AppStore, those times are enlarged because every update needs to be evaluated again by Apple, leading to a long wait before the fix is available.

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    Generally speaking the Mac AppStore is a great innovation by Apple and we need to allow more time to see its full potential, but I'm confident that it will become part of our daily routine in the near future.

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    1. All screenshoots taken by the author.