Apple Brings the App Store to the Mac

If you haven’t heard, earlier this week Apple opended up a new App Store for Mac computers. Based on the extremely successful iTunes App Store for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, the new Mac App store actually lives right in the dock. At least it does after a quick update to Snow Leopard.

I installed it last night and spent a little time checking out the available apps. Currently there are over 1000 apps but that number will probably rise quickly as app developers start ramping up their products for the larger screens. Another notable is the pricing structure for the apps, which has been a pretty hot topic around the Internet. The apps range in price from free to moderate but the majority are in the $2 – $10 range. This is a huge departure from the way pricing has been handled for computer programs over the past 20 years.

Even Apple’s own software is remarkable less expensive in the app store than its boxed versions. For example, if you go to the store and purchase Aperture 3 you can expect to pay about $199. That same program is a mere $79 when downloaded from the App Store. That’s a pretty signifcant price cut and makes it an awfully tempting purchase.

While I was poking around I thought I might see what other photo-related apps they had in the store. A quick search turned up 71 different photography related apps. Most of them are small little programs that are kind of what you might call “one trick ponies” but there are also some full-fledged programs like FotoMagico, and the crazy-expensive Alpha collage maker ($229).

You have to hand it to Apple, they know a good thing when they see it. They have proven that the app store concept is a proven winner and I think this innovation is only going to strengthen the Mac brand in the marketplace. What do you think?

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