Neil Gupta

Initial Thoughts on Mac App Store

237 words • 1 minute to read

Apple finally released the Mac App Store yesterday, which will undoubtedly change how most people use their computers forever.

Like everybody else, my initial reaction after launching the App Store was to look quizzically at the new user interface. Tim Morgan details each change in his interesting analysis of Apple's design decisions.

However, the inconsistent UI shouldn't surprise people anymore. Apple has a history of experimenting with different UI's in each of its products, such as the strange stoplight buttons in iTunes, the scroll bars in iPhoto, etc. Each time, it bugs me that Apple is breaking its own HIG, and for no clear benefit either. For better or worse, we are stuck with these inconsistent and unique interfaces, and should get used to third party apps following that trend as well. While I personally believe that ignoring the HIG is a bad idea, only time will tell how Apple's decision plays out. At least the App Store is still way better than the old way of installing apps: downloading individual DMGs.

As a side note, the only worthwhile apps in the App Store for me seem to be Apple's own apps. Being able to get Aperture for $80 (vs $200 before) or individual iWork apps for just $20 is awesome. If only companies like Adobe and Microsoft would join in, but that is unlikely to happen due to the 30% profit sharing with Apple.

Written on January 7, 2011 in San Jose.