Well… I was going to write a blog post on this before it came out, but ‘lo and behold, it came out a few minutes ago.
I’m downloading it now, but in the meantime, I’d like to just put out my own thoughts on what I think about it:
In my opinion, if it’s executed well, it might be a good idea, but knowing Apple’s philosophy, I think it might already be doomed for failure.
The concept of the Mac App Store seems pretty cool; it’s just like Steam but for everything!
It can provide a central hub accessible to all where any number of apps can be very easily located and downloaded. These apps can then be automatically updated as new versions come out.
Given my own experience when writing and marketing my Twitter utility, DesktopTweet, this is a totally awesome concept.
I was running around the internet trying to find Twitter related blogs and wikis that would let me post an article about DesktopTweet (On that note, nearly ALL of my traffic is coming from the official Twitter Apps wiki) in an attempt to market, and even still, I doubt I made much of an impression. Secondly, I had to write my own series of metrics and update tracking code for it so I could see what kind of people were downloading it, and so I could automatically inform them when an update came out. If my experience with the iOS Store is anything to go on, all of this stuff is provided straight from the start.
So, with that being said, I’d say the concept of the Mac App Store is totally awesome, and I may even go so far as to say it’s a potential game-changer for software on the micro-computer platform.
But, with all that being said and done, I do have a few reservations about it:
If the Mac App Store is anything like the iOS App Store, it may be doomed to failure.
The truth of the matter is that publishing apps through the iOS App Store sucks. It takes a long time for Apple to review any and all changes for your app, and there are countless cases where apps have been rejected after that time for completely arbitrary reasons. Oh yeah, and Apple takes 30% of all revenue to boot.
The reason that us developers accept that is that there is no alternative to releasing apps on the iOS App Store (bar jailbreaking. OMG I want untethered 4.2.1 sooo bad! ), so we can either grin and bear it, or pack up shop and move elsewhere.
The concept of the walled garden isn’t so much on the Mac, so there are easily alternatives. And God be my witness, if Apple ever tried to turn the Mac into a walled garden ala iOS, it would probably be the end of the company as we know it.
So my bottom-line here is that while I want to love the Mac App Store, I’m scared that Apple and its stringent policies might eventually cause its downfall. It’s going to have to offer significant benefits to developers for them to stick with it, so I’m really curious to see how this plays out.
In any case, I’m considering writing a Mac port of DesktopTweet. If I do, I may consider putting it up on the Mac App Store to see how well it goes.
In the meantime,let me know what you think of the Mac App Store!