Maybe it’s the season. Maybe I’m just tired of wading through corpse apps on the Mac App Store. Whatever it is, the place has turned into an unkempt graveyard littered with dead apps that have not been updated in months and years.
Every week or so I’ll rummage through the Mac App Store for an hour or so in search of something new and different or an update for a Mac app I once found, liked, wrote about, then discarded because updates were few and far between.
The place is graveyard, and except for a few new games it often appears to be overrun by Chinese app developers looking for a quick buck with apps that mimic other popular apps but are priced at 99-cents. Thanks to the Release Date search option it takes little effort at all to find Mac apps which have not been updated to run OS X Yosemite, let alone El Capitan. These are part of the growing zombie population which seems to have overrun the Mac App Store.
Apple doesn’t do much to make the App Store search friendly but does plenty to prevent some useful functionality from apps, thanks to the so-called sandbox rules. Apple prefers a curated and secure environment for App Store apps which also means major app developers whose apps need more power from OS X are not wanted.
You won’t find many apps from Adobe, and none of the Creative Cloud suite. There are few apps from Microsoft, and none of the apps for Office 2016 for Mac. Anchor tenants do not exist in a graveyard.
How proud is Apple of the Mac App Store’s success?
Not very. When was the last time Apple announced how many apps were downloaded from the Mac App Store?
Worse, Apple doesn’t make it easy to find even the few new good apps that make it to the Store. The search process is rigged for Apple and the developers, not the Mac user looking for a good deal, a bargain, or a well reviewed app.
For example, click on Categories. Then click on Photography. What you get are the latest apps which may or may not fit in the Photography category, but displayed by date of the most recent update. Click See All and you get more of the same. The only other search criteria offered is to sort by name which is just a notch above worthless.
Back to the See All page and you’ll also see all the Top Grossing apps, Top Free apps, Top Paid apps but other than Name, there are no additional search options. What about a search list for Downloads, or a search list for highest ratings? One of my favorite new Mac app developers is Macphun, which has an amazing array of professional level photo apps, but it’s the limited entry-level versions which show up on the Mac App Store, not the more capable Creative Kit versions.
Every now and then, as I roam through the Mac App Store graveyard I will come across something new, different, useful, and worthy of a try, a buy, and sometimes a review. Those are the flowers in the graveyard, a little sprout of life and color, but if those apps don’t sell, and they’re not easy to find among the gravestones, they, too, will wither and become a zombie app which, like the undead, resides in the App Store but isn’t alive.