Sunday, October 24, 2010 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Outside the App Store

No matter how easy it makes purchasing and installing, there’s a huge role for marketing and word out mouth outside the App Store. Lukas Mathis writes:

The App Store on the iPhone is bordering on useless for discovering content. I mostly discover new apps outside of the App Store—friends show me apps on their phones, or I read about them on the web. Almost every time I’ve tried to find new apps by browsing the App Store, I have failed. For example, try searching for apps that help you keep track of your running. How many useless apps do you have to wade through until you find, say, the excellent Kinetic?

I have actually wasted a lot of time searching for such an app without finding anything good. After reading Mathis’ recommendation, I purchased Kinetic in under a minute.

Mathis also makes the point that Apple could have improved the installation experience for all applications:

Unfortunately, this improved user experience only seems to apply to apps sold in the App Store. It would have been great if Apple had solved this problem for everybody, rather than just for the developers who agree to give 30% of their revenue to Apple, and who will be accepted into the store.

But now Apple has the incentive to tie improvements to the Mac App Store, to encourage developers to give it a cut.

8 Comments

"But now Apple has the incentive to tie improvements to the Mac App Store, to encourage developers to give it a cut."

I just learned that Launchpad is for App Store purchased apps exclusively.

I think that's the precise moment where they finally cross over from a murky grey area into actual evil.

@Chucky That would be evil. What’s your source? The Lion Web page says Launchpad is for “all the apps on your Mac.”

"@Chucky That would be evil. What’s your source?"

My source turns out to be non-canonical.

It came from this story. It was linked from the MacSurfer Headline News main page, so I assumed it had been sanity checked, but there is no particularly reason for that assumption to be true.

Apologies for spreading unfounded rumors without doing my own separate sanity check. My only excuse is that I'm now regularly expecting unhappy news from Cupertino, so I'm overly credulous when a new item tends in that direction.

There's plenty of complaints you can bring up about Apple's App Store(s), but insinuating that they are in it for the money seems silly, when they aren't making money on it. Even the combined profit of the iTunes store and App Store amounts to very little (comparatively).

http://www.asymco.com/2010/10/25/visualizing-apples-profitability/#more-2187

"Unfortunately, this improved user experience only seems to apply to apps sold in the App Store. It would have been great if Apple had solved this problem for everybody, rather than just for the developers who agree to give 30% of their revenue to Apple, and who will be accepted into the store."

Well, it's just a signed flat package. This can already be done, for free.

@stephane A built-in directory of applications, auto-downloading into the Applications folder, displaying the progress in the Dock icon, a standard way to update to new versions—none of these can already be done.

> A built-in directory of applications

A built-in mess. MacUpdate (or apple.com/dowmloads) are already there.

"auto-downloading into the Applications folder"

> An installation package.

"a standard way to update to new versions"

> An installation package and Sparkle or any other simpler 100 lines of code solution.

> displaying the progress in the Dock icon

It's sure worth $99…

[...] ($5) is currently my GPS fitness app of choice. It’s configurable interface is reminiscent of Kinetic ($4), but it’s simpler and more accurate at tracking my route. MotionX-GPS ($1) has far [...]

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