Mac App Store Opens Today…Some Pointers!

The Apple Mac App Store debuted today January 6th, 2011. The App Store is a new software program, similar to iTunes, for the management (sort of) of applications on your Mac computer. Here is the image that Apple sent to me today to invite me to join the fun (spend more money)!


The Mac App Store is loaded onto your computer as part of an operating system upgrade. I ran the software update option on the Apple menu and the Mac OS X 10.6.6 update was available in addition to some other Apple goodies (updates to Garageband, the iWork suite, Remote Desktop Admin and iMovie). I am assuming that amongst other things, these updates will offer compatibility with the Mac App Store-as from what I can tell, the Mac App Store automatically detects whether or not you have the offered applications already on your system.

I downloaded and applied the system software update about an hour ago and my initial impressions are pretty good. Here are some things that I have learned that may help you as you delve into the world of sand-boxed apps!

1. You log in and make purchases on the Mac App Store with your current Apple (iTunes) id. You will have to read and agree to the new terms of service for the App Store

2. Application downloading and purchases works just like the iPhone (click the buy button) and the application flies to your dock-you even get the same blue progress bar as on iOS devices.

3. Keep in mind that the application shortcuts take residence in your dock even after you close them, so you will have to drag them out of your dock to keep it tidy. But this is okay as the Application takes permanent residence on your hard drive in the /Applications folder.

4. The Applications are tied to your Apple ID through DRM (digital right management) software being applied to them, so the applications cannot travel from system to system without being re-authenticated through the App Store.

5. There is currently no simple way to uninstall the applications. Apple’s preferred method is dragging it from the /Applications folder to the trash. I currently use App Zapper or another in a long line of application sweepers to make sure that the application (as well as supporting libraries and preference files are deleted.

Happy App’ing!

I have compiled a short list of applications that seem to be nice freebies below:

-Sketchbook Express
-Soundcloud (although I made it get a spinning beach ball)
-Text Wrangler
-Mind Node

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