Big Brother is watching you. If it’s not the government, it’s Google. If not Google, it’s Amazon. If not Amazon, it’s Apple. Apple?
Isn’t our favorite Mac maker on the side of the customer? Isn’t Apple all about the user experience? Apple wouldn’t spy on us for profit or gain, would they? Here’s why the much beloved Mac App Store can be dangerous for Mac users.
Apps Sweeter Than Candy
Apple’s drop-dead-easy to use Mac App Store is so new, so simple, we may have already forgotten what happened to us with the iPhone’s App Store.
How can anything bad come out of something that seems so good?
Without question, the Mac App Store is the future of online app shopping, buying, updating.
Mac app developers are flocking to the store, in some cases dusting off old software, slapping on a price tag, and selling it as new wares.
As customers continue to buy, app prices are going down, the number of apps continues to grow, and the danger mounts. Anything this easy and fun must have a downside. It does.
Let history repeat itself. There are more iPhone users in the world than Mac users. What’s one thing most of us iPhone users have in common? Lots of apps.
The Mac App Store Is Dangerous
You don’t have to go to the Mac App Store. It comes to you. The last update of Mac OS X Snow Leopard automatically installed the Mac App Store, so, as it is with your iPhone’s App Store, it’s ready when you are.
#4 – One Click To Buy: This is a no brainer and one reason why I have almost 300 apps, games, utilities on my iPhone. Humans like to collect things. We collect iPhone apps. Now we can collect Mac apps.
What’s another 99-cents? $1.99? I spend much more than that at Starbucks every weekday morning. Impulse buying isn’t just a supermarket phenomenon. Apple is studying of search habits, our viewing habits, our purchasing habits. They know more than we know and, like Amazon and Google, Apple will shove apps and games and utilities into our faces until we buy some new app.
#3 – No Backtracks: I’ve run into this already. As it is with the iPhone App Store, Apple regulates the quality of the apps in the Mac App Store. Turn on your Mac, check the App Store for updates, click to download. Easy, right?
What happens when an update goes wrong and doesn’t function properly? Sorry, there’s no way to revert to an older version until the developer irons out the kinks in the offending app. That could be weeks. In the meantime, suffer.
#2 – No Trial Apps: One of the benefits of shareware and commercial Mac apps has always been the ability to try an app before you buy. Whether it’s a two week trial, a 30-day trial, or even a crippled trial, a trial is a good thing.
The Mac App Store has no trial capability built-in. Smart developers might offer a free or lite version, with an option to purchase more features (sound familiar—that’s already common in the iPhone App Store).
#1 – No Upgrades: In the near future, this is a big deal. In the distant future, not so much. If you have a Mac app now and the latest version comes to the Mac App Store, there’s no way to upgrade to the App Store version.
For the foreseeable future you’re stuck in limbo land. Let the App Store make it easy to update new apps, while you keep track of older apps the old fashioned way (wait for an annoying pop up).
Bonus Round: If my Top 4 are not dangerous enough, try this one. One of my strongest concerns has to do with information. Apple will collect plenty of it over the next few years. What will they do with my shopping habits? Share it? Use it against me to sell me more? Will Apple find out which apps Mac users truly love and come out with Apple versions (with a price) the next year?
I like using the Mac App Store. It has great potential for good. And potential for harm, too. Be wary, my friends.