Nothing could be easier to find, buy, install, and update apps, so it’s no wonder why Apple created a Mac App Store, too.
It’s a good way for Apple to showcase and sell their own applications, and make a quick buck by using the same mechanism to sell and deliver third party apps.
Alright, that’s the good news. The bad news is somewhat less obvious but we’re coming up on the three year anniversary of the Mac App Store and the whole operation is in need of more than a facelift– let’s see some heavy duty remodeling.
First on my list is the sorting capability. Or, rather, the lack of sorting. I don’t have an issue with the categories, though sub-categories would be a nice addition.
No, the problem is in Apple’s desire not to allow category sorting by popularity ratings or downloads. What’s with that? Who benefits from that oversight?
Second on my list are the reviews. Or, rather, the scarcity of reviews. That tells me that many Mac apps in the App Store just don’t have many downloads or sales, and to paraphrase Martha Stewart, that’s not a good thing.
Third on my list is the lack of built-in app upgrades to new versions, and the lack of a trial version. Some Mac app developers are smart enough to create a free, feature-limited app which is more or less like a trial. But you cannot upgrade to the full version from within the app itself. Ditto for upgrading to major new versions. App developers are forced to charge full price for a new version with more features, and a customer’s loyalty doesn’t enter into the equation.
Of course, Apple eats its own dog food in this case. Instead of an upgrade price for Apple’s new apps, the company charges full price for the latest major versions, customer loyalty be damned.
Finally, allow me to complain a bit about the overall layout of the Mac App Store. For each category or search result we’re presented with a page of icons, an app name, a price, the developer’s name, and a button to click to buy or copy the download link or share.
How about a small paragraph that actually describes what the app does. That would save users a few clicks. Oh, one more thing. Why doesn’t Apple require developers to have a real website with a real built-in support link? Some of the Mac App Store developers use their Twitter accounts for support. That’s cruel and unusual punishment.
Apple? Are you listening? It’s time for a little remodeling on the Mac App Store.