Thursday, January 6, 2011

Apple setting an example for developers by cutting it's own app prices

The Mac App Store came out today via Snow Leopard update 10.6.6. Apparently, the store contains just about or over 1000 apps to start with more along the way.

Most of these applications have already been available elsewhere, usually straight from the developers website or other repositories among the web. The Mac App Store is certainly an improvement in the discovery and installation of new applications and, hopefully for the end user, cheaper. It seems that Apple is taking the first steps by cutting the prices of its software. From the ability to buy individual iWork Suite applications, to Aperture and Apple Remote Desktop being both dramatically cheaper, it looks like Apple is saying, "You see this, developers? In the Mac App Store people want cheap, so price it low and go for volume."

Add to the fact that any software you buy off the app store is able to be installed and used on any of your personal Macs associated with your iTunes account (I'm assuming up to five, just like with iTunes music), then applications through the Mac App Store look to soon be orders of magnitude cheaper than previously.

We will just have to wait and see, but I'm sure that the price race to the bottom, though definitely slower than with the iPhone App Store, will still happen... what, with being able to compare two apps of similar function right next to one another? It's just like deciding between two deordorants in the aisles of CVS: you see they both say "spring-fresh scent," but one is two dollars cheaper. Which one would you get?

A couple of apps I'm waiting to see drop are like Elgato's Turbo.264 HD Video Converter, Things, iBank, and one app called "alpha" looks pretty interesting -- but it's also $229.99.

Eventually, most all developers will want to find a way to spot their apps in the Mac App Store. Though, I'm not sure technically how complex "pro" apps like Pro Tools or Final Cut Pro can have a simple drop-into-the-dock install process. But seeing how the App Store on the iPhone blew up mobile gaming, I'm wondering just what kind of effect the Mac App Store will bring to the long-neglected gaming platform OS X. In a way, it directly competes with Steam and their game store. We'll eventually see a struggle from some game developers looking to get on the Mac in deciding which store to launch games on. Price wars and competition...

It'll work itself all out, I'm sure.

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