What The New Mac App Store Means | Integrated Vs. Fragmented

Apple announced the new Mac App Store.  But what does that really mean?  I think it means a lot actually.  In fact, I thing it changes everything we know about software and how it is used, distributed, made, and shared.  In fact, I think this creates a whole new era of developers and user interaction with “instant access” software.

What Apple has done was raise the bar on the entire model of software distribution.  Think about an app.  It’s there when you want it. It’s easy to download and use right away. It’s easy to get it updated and it really begins an era of software innovation the likes of which we have yet to see.  Fast forward to a year from now and I imagine the majority of Mac users will be getting all their software this way.

I advocated for this a long time ago and I’m glad to see it’s coming to fruition.  This means you can spend less on software while enjoying the ability for all these apps to share information and be used amongst mobile devices.

And this is where the future of software applications are headed.  Economies of scale.  You can now make an app that is distributed worldwide, have it shared among all your devices, and have it priced at a much better pricing point than full blown software and bring it to market that much faster.

But here is what this all really boils down to and it’s something Steve Jobs said already.  Integrated vs. Fragmented.  The new Mac app store represents the new era of integrated software. The ability to share it between all your Apple devices is truly the beginning of a very integrated system.  It makes sense too.  Think about iWork.  You have to install it in multiple places on all your devices and there is really no convenient way to share all the stuff you make.  But now, that all changes.

One App + Multiple Devices = Integrated Software = Better overall experience.

Time will tell how this all plays out but I am going to guess right now that we will be pretty pleased with this ability to use apps in this manner. And if I were a developer I would be equally as excited about this.  It also gives developers more of a chance to increase their own revenue for all the hard work they do.

I am looking forward to this new era of Integrated software.  What about you?

Comments

  1. Tony says:

    The more I think about this, the more amazed I am. And excited.

    And, of course, it’s completely obvious. Of course Apple was headed this way.

    The iPhone has enlisted thousands of developers who now work in Objective C. They can now code Mac apps. Now they have a market for it. This will move thousands of iPhone developers into the not-small Mac market who are currently not even thinking of developing for the Mac.

    Imagine a demo of a full-power PC game in the Mac Store? Just download it and play. And then buy the full version.

    Imagine all of the biggest productivity apps on iOS creating a desktop version. A version that syncs with the mobile version.

    Lots of iPhone games could have a Mac version. Nothing in Angry Birds wouldn’t work with a mouse.

    Imagine trolling through the Mac App store for new apps, especially games. And how easy it will be to try them, buy them.

    Ease of buying. Can I buy a Mac game right now online? Sure, but which ones and how? Where? How do I pay for it? Can I install it? Can I uninstall it? I know _just_ how the Mac App Store will work and I will love it. I’ve been trained by the iPhone App Store and that same ease of use will be in the Mac App Store. Revolutionary.

    Imagine the apps that can be created for a 2 gig processor, full keyboard, trackpad/mouse. They aren’t being created right now because there’s not an easy market for it. Apple has just created that market. The apps will come pouring in. The talk lately is Apple ignoring the Mac, which is how it seems to be. Now I see the Mac as the high-power portion of the iOS universe. Integrated, everything fits together.

    Jobs didn’t mention it, but I’m sure the Mac Apps are curated. Which means that before long, all App development on the Mac will be curated Apps. The open Mac development world will disappear, not by fiat, but by neglect. I’m sure that Jobs will not eliminate open-endedness on the Mac. Just yet. It will just not be the way people find and buy software. Remember, Jobs said in the summer we support two platforms: the open web with open web standards and our App Store. That same thing will be true for Mac application development.

    We’ve just seen one aspect of PC complexity disappear: App management and App sales. This will have a huge benefit on UI. I can see where the next major change of Mac OS is going to be, Mac OS Eleven or whatever. It’s going to be a major rethinking of file storage that moves us beyond folders. I don’t know what that will be, but when it comes, the Mac will be as delightful to use as the iPhone.

    This is going to remarkably increase the value of the Mac platform. All apps on the Mac will eventually be sold on this. PhotoShop, DreamWeaver, heck, even MS Excel. That’s where you’re going to want to be. I haven’t actually bought an application for my Mac in years. I bet I’ll buy some with this new Mac App Store. Madden 2011 for $20? That’s a Friday-night impulse purchase. Development of desktop apps has come to a complete halt. This is going to spark it on the Mac.

    They’re opening the Mac App Store in 90 days. Any guesses as to how many Apps they’ll have when it launches? iPad had 2,000 apps. The Mac App Store will have as many, probably many more because it’s a bigger market. There are many, many more Intel macs that will run Mac App Store apps.

    What do you think the total after-market value of application sales are for the Mac? I’ll bet it’s less than $100 per machine on average. This will increase that. This is a payday for Mac and iOS developers.

    1. Shane says:

      Hi There! Thanks a ton for the awesome comments. For some reason Disqus just now notified me there were comments!

      At any rate, I really think you hit the nail on the head on several fronts. For one thing, I feel sincerely that this changes things forever in terms of software. Imagine when you can spend $7.99 on an app that can share data between all your devices….now….can you get that with regular non-app software? No. And that sharing is a HUGE value add for all of out there running around with multiple devices…..

      Here’s another interesting point. I think that this also mean we will now look at software differently. Once the app store is up and running (I am guessing there will be several thousand apps right away) we can then sort by software types and what’s popular, etc. Plus, it really puts the pressure on developers to make very good software to catch our attention.

      I think the total after market value of application sales are very low….maybe $75? So this is going to completely change that and yes…it’s a huge payday for developers that can now get their apps on over 50 million potential user machines out there.

      All around…and I’ve said this from the very beginning about 3 months ago…this is exactly where apps needed to go. On The Mac.

  2. AlfieJr says:

    quick auto updating of all software is the big prize for me. keeping it all up to date is imporant, and now a royal pain in the butt, even using an update service like CNET’s. except for Apple’s current Software Update for some (not all) Apple software, it’s all manual copy/install with password every time.

    1. Shane says:

      Hi there!

      Thanks a ton for the comment. I had not thought about it completely but you are spot on with the quick updating…If i saw things correctly in the demo this means that the apps will not only load super fast but they can be updated very quickly – and that’s a huge win for me. More than that, however is the fact that you can now have the same app on all devices sharing the same data! Now that is a HUGE step forward. Additionally, these apps take up way less space which points us right in the direction of the continued use of Flash based memory!

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