Mac App Store Commentary

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wirelessmacuser, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    Competition be damned

    Similar to existing Apple apps: Apple will decide which apps it wants to compete with, user preference be damned.

    If you control the platform — hardware, operating system, and access to software — you get to control the competition. And with this barrier to competitive entry, Apple will decide which direct competitors it allows into the Mac App Store.

    Take, for example, Apple's iChat instant messaging app. Today, Mac users are free to choose to use it — it comes bundled with Mac OS X — or they can instead install Adium, AOL's AIM, Microsoft Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, or other iChat competitors.

    When the Mac App Store goes online, Apple may choose to allow those apps a place in its sacred store, or it may not — and that removal of a consumer's right to choose, again, is the point: Apple will choose what apps its mainstream consumers have access to, not consumers themselves.

    Which raises an interesting and somewhat unsettling point: although Jobs has said that the Mac App Store "won't be the only place" to get Mac apps, he hasn't said whether all types of apps available from, for example, third-party websites, will continue to be installable on future versions of Mac OS X.

    Which raises an interesting and somewhat unsettling possibility, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that Apple might use some form of software-keyed lockout to allow only apps it approves of to be installable, and to ban installation access to apps it considers competitive.

    We scurry to point out that this Brave New Worldian restriction is, of course, mere speculation. But we wouldn't call it unthinkable — if not in Mac OS X 10.7, aka Lion, then maybe in Cougar, Bornean Clouded Leopard, or whatever Jobs & Co. choose to call their future feline OS releases.

    "We see tremendous value in having Apple, rather than our users, being the systems integrator."
    — Steve Jobs, 2010

    Objectionable or crude content: Apple will extend its current iOS App Store Puritanism to its new Mac App Store.

    If Apple brands something as objectionable or crude, that's that. If your definition of objectionable differs from Cupertino's, too bad. As with all of Apple's other restrictions, they decide — not you, not the market, not prevailing societal norms, not nothin'.

    Paternalism, thy name is Apple.

    Professional apps:

    The store, simply put, isn't designed for large, complex apps. Three guidelines stand out:

    "Apps must be self-contained, single application installation bundles, and cannot install code or resources in shared locations."
    "Apps that require license keys or implement their own copy protection will be rejected."
    "In general, the more expensive your app, the more thoroughly we will review it."
    The way we read the shared-code restriction, apps and app suites that make use of shared libraries won't be allowed into the Mac App Store.

    Needless to say, this restriction not only would prevent a hefty chunk of Apple apps from being available in the store — think GarageBand and its Apple Loops and support for AU, converted VST, and other shared audio plug-ins as a consumer-level example — but, more importantly, Adobe CS and even Microsoft Office won't be welcome.

    The prohibition against copy protection also militates against pro apps.

    And that final warning — "the more expensive your app, the more thoroughly we will review it" — appears to be a direct challenge, and a warning to not even try to apply to the Mac App Store if your app is targeted at professionals.

    It remains to be seen just how iOS-y Mac OS 10.7 Lion turns out to be, and how much Apple values its relationship with its devoted professional base.

    As we mentioned above, Steve Jobs defines Apple as a "high-volume consumer-electronics manufacturer." And as one anonymous source close to Apple's professional-application development team told The Reg, Jobs & Co. are deemphasizing the company's own pro-app development teams, and moving those resources to consumer efforts.

    The Mac, of course, is and has been for many years the go-to platform for creative professionals. But it doesn't have to be. With the possible — and arguable — exception of Final Cut Pro, most Mac-centric creative apps are either available in Windows versions or have capable Windows substitutes.

    If the Mac disappeared from the pro market, life would go on. And perhaps Steve Jobs could then lock all app distribution into the Mac App Store, and achieve his perfect computing ecosystem — one which he controls completely: hardware, operating system, and software distribution.

    We're not saying that such a world will come into being next summer when Lion is uncaged. And we're not saying that such a world is even on the distant horizon. But still...

    If Jobs & Co. decide that profit margins, support costs, engineering resources, and "curated" control would all be optimized in an Apple with a consumer-only focus, that might be Cupertino's future.

    And it'd be Steve's world — you'd just be living in it.

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I have not seen anywhere that indicates Apps for the Mac will exclusively be available in the App Store

    As far as I know, you will still be able to go to places like MacUpdate, download Adium, install it and run it
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    heard of the internet before? OSX has unrestricted access to it.

    pro apps don't need an App Store. those who need it know about it.
  4. Merthyrboy macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    I agree with you on that. I have logic stdio 9 on my mac as like my main pro app and that was lie just shy of 60 GB's to install everything. Imagine that as a download from the mac app store, would take forever and I imagine other pro apps could take up just as much space. I know that the loops take up a load of space though with logic. I don't see the app store as restricting the mac platform but making it easier for people to use. Most websites will require you to input your card details then you download it and launch it and its quite time consuming for an average user, on the mac app store all you do is enter your apple ID password and it installs it for you. Huge time savings and I think it will benefit the developers inside the mac app store because of the lack of hassle.
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I see the Mac App Store as a convenient way of obtaining and updating various Mac Apps, with many advantages for being included there.

    However, I don't see Apple closing off the Mac OS in such a way that Apps can only be installed from the Mac App Store. I could be wrong, and none of us know what the future holds. However, I think it is premature to judge something none of us have even seen.
  6. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    I think you are on to something here, but I don't think you have taken it far enough. Jobs also hasn't said whether Macs will be replaced by super intelligent flying pigs with telepathic powers. Talk about an unsettling point! :eek: It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Apple might use the pigs to control the very people that he convinces to purchase them with his reality distortion field. Heck, the field might be what he uses to bend our reality to allow for the existence of super intelligent flying pigs with telepathic powers in the first place!

    And what if the pigs develop sentience! You ask your super intelligent flying pigs with telepathic powers to prepare a simple pie chart, and it just goes ahead and decides that a 3D bar chart may be more appropriate. What if you can't convince it to change its mind? Or worse, what if you agree!? Was it your own free will to agree? Or was it the pig manipulating your mind?

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