Monday, December 20, 2010 [Tweets] [Favorites]

And So It Begins

Apple (via e-mail):

Because we believe the Mac App Store will be the best destination for users to discover, purchase, and download your apps, we will no longer offer apps on the Mac OS X Downloads site. Instead, beginning January 6, we will be directing users to explore the range of apps available on the Mac App Store.

Not a surprise, but it’s a shame. There are lots of great applications that will not be allowed in the Mac App Store, and it hurts both developers and users for Apple to make them harder to find. Apple did keep some system modification utilities off the Mac OS X Downloads page, but that’s a smaller number of titles by an order of magnitude or two. (It remains to be seen whether Apple will continue to list non-application software on the Downloads page.) Hopefully, sites such as MacUpdate will maintain a unified directory of both App Store and non–App Store applications.

12 Comments

"And So It Begins"

May I suggest that this should be regarded not as the beginning, but instead as the end of the beginning.

It actually began at one of two moments several months ago when the signals started getting sent from the mothership.

The first was when plugged-in company shill blogger John Gruber, (our very own Paul Thurrott!), started calling OS X the new Apple II.

And if that wasn't official enough for you, then check out Steve-o's Lion keynote. During his announcement of the MacAppStoreMonster, Jobs won't even look at his audience. Then when he adds that the App Store "won't be the only way to get software" in Lion, he literally says it through gritted teeth, with his back to the audience.

Steve-o has never been particularly interested in hiding his feelings, which is an admirable trait for someone in his position. He is willing to tell you exactly what he's thinking, just as long as you're an educated listener who is willing to pay close attention and decode. (Also, note how he never sends out a single e-mail with a tagline like "Sent from my MacBook Pro".)

After I watched the Lion keynote, I went out with friends and had a sumptuous meal. It's a useful human ritual to feast after a funeral.

I have nothing to add to this discussion, I would just like Chucky to explain why he refers to Steve Jobs as "Steve-o". What does the "o" stand for, or signify? I patiently await an answer from Chucky-o.

"I would just like Chucky to explain why he refers to Steve Jobs as "Steve-o"

Why not? I like nicknames. That one seems to fit.

I like metonyms and synecdoches too. Writing that hits the correct parts of a reader's brain tends to work better. Language is a user interface that can implemented elegantly or inelegantly.

Chucky, old boy, how about we actually let the future play itself out instead of continuing to inflate the self-fulfilling prophecy?

"...instead of continuing to inflate the self-fulfilling prophecy?"

You overrate my influence, Jesper.

"Chucky, old boy, how about we actually let the future play itself out instead of continuing to inflate the self-fulfilling prophecy?"

So, let Apple continue on this march to a closed environment, without comment? Really guy?

Yes, the writing has been on the wall for some time. That does not make this any easier for the many Mac developers for whom the Mac App Store is:

a) unsuitable for whatever reason, or

b) a blatant 30% revenue grab by Apple

"That does not make this any easier for the many Mac developers for whom the Mac App Store is..."

It also does not it any easier for longtime Mac customers who rely on the continued availability of the kinds of software that is never going to be suitable for the MacAppStoreMonster.

Whither QuicKeys?

Even if Apple doesn't pull the full lockdown after Lion, (and I'm betting they will), what is the New Five Year Plan going to do to Startly's business and future development efforts?

If OS X is the new Apple II, both developers and customers are going to have to start making decisions quite soon. We're approaching the moment when I start to be reluctant to buy a Mac box that I expect to keep for three years.

In the absence of any winks or nods from Steve-o, pretty sane folks are going to start to feel as I do. And my big worry is that Cupertino just doesn't care. I get the sense they are walking away from serving customers like me by design.

It's the CEO's company, but that doesn't mean I can't be a dissident about the current regime.

Apple's Mac OS X App Store move is really a necessary evil.

If someone is looking for an application or utility to fill a need or solve a problem, where do they start?

Go to a retail store, even an Apple Store, and take a look at the paltry number of Mac OS X software titles on display. It's always been that way. (I've been an exclusive Mac user since 1985)

Where does the non-geek user, one who doesn't even know about MacUpdate or VersionTracker, start? Do they really want to scour Mac news sites, blogs and articles for tips and suggestions?

There are tons of excellent utilities, applications and interface tweaks available for Mac OS X that not so many and certainly not the flood of the past few years' new Mac users have ever heard about. I'm constantly introducing friends to different bits of Mac software that they never knew existed.

I hope the Mac App Store is a level playing field for developers to present and sell their products. I hope it's a place where people discover some of the wide array of excellent tools and tweaks to help their productivity and make their Mac using life a bit smoother and more fun.

@Mr. Reeee The Mac App Store could be great. Apple could have made the approval process non-evil; it’s just that they didn’t.

"The Mac App Store could be great. Apple could have made the approval process non-evil; it’s just that they didn’t."

There's a whole checklist of relatively simple stuff that would be needed for the Mac App Store to be a good thing for the platform, instead of an AppStoreMonster that is coming to devour the platform:

- A statement of long-term principles that the MAS will continue to be a supplementary way to install software. The importance of this really can't be overstated. It isn't paranoid to question Cupertino's intentions in moving the Mac platform towards the game console model of iOS. That would be a bad thing.

- A statement of long-term principles that software installed with MAS shouldn't get access to special OS features that aren't available to non-MAS software.

Then, we're just left with the potential evil of Apple disapproving software merely to suit its business purposes, and thus denying some folks a better advertised distribution channel. That would be the evil that Apple does on the iOS platform, but as long as Apple pledges not to disadvantage non-MAS software, it would be an evil folks could grudgingly live with on the Mac side. (Though it still would be evil.)

But all this presupposes that Apple wants OS X not to end up on the iOS game console model, and I remain to be convinced that that is what Apple wants...

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