Screen­shot Tour: The New Mac App Store

Herbert Lui

The original iTunes App Store was open on July 10, 2008 to cater to iPhone and iPod Touch users. The app store brought synchronization and an easy way to acquire software to these devices, and was very popular amongst users. Apple announced that they would be opening a Mac App Store for OS X users, and it was released to the public on Jan 6 this year. Here’s a tour.

Overview

Upon first opening the App Store, this main screen pops up. It is quite reminiscent of the iTunes App Store.

Main Scroll

The highlight of this page is the main scroll box at the top, which shows popular apps.

Mac App Store Menu Bar

Navigation in the Mac App Store will be mainly through these five buttons at the top, respectively titled Featured, Top Charts, Categories, Purchases, and Updates.

Here are the featured free Mac Apps on release day. There are a surprising amount of them, to my delight. Notice that ratings appear right with the listing, and as the Mac App Store grows in popularity then more ratings will appear. This will make it easier for users to differentiate between the decent apps and the less useful ones.

Featured Free Apps In Mac App Store

There 21 categories so far, which demonstrates quite a diverse selection of apps. Each category displays a thumbnail of the most popular app and lists the top three.

Mac App Store Categories

One application that jumped out at me was Things. Notice that the App Store is quite comprehensive in the listing, including features and screenshots.

Thumbnail Sum

Each listing is accompanied by information that the developer chooses to upload. For example, Things has a review by Dan Frakes that got 4.5 stars.

Review Sum

Listings feature an information bar on the side, informing the user of size and various other pieces of info.

Page Info

Listings also show different screenshots of the application in action, similar to the navigation on the Main page. Clicking the thumbnail version of one will bring the large version to view.

Page Scroll

The listing for an application features Customer Ratings below the screenshots.

User Review1

Each listing also has user reviews, which is great in helping people decide between applications. Hopefully, this feature doesn’t get abused by sketchy developers.

The following reviews are for an application called Smart Recorder, as Things didn’t have any at the time.

User Review3

Thumbnail Sum2

Smart Recorder is available for a limited time for free. With such a great offer, how could I not try it out? 🙂

Smartrecorder App

Smart Recorder works well, and is actually downloaded straight into your Mac’s Applications folder. This further streamlines the Mac application installation progress, which I thought was pretty smooth already.

The Purchases page allows users to re-download applications after they might have transferred computers or changed hard drives. No more needing to worry about physical copies, nice!

Screen Shot 2011 01 07 At 5 14 44 Pm

From what I’ve seen so far, the Mac App Store looks promising. It is included with the recent software update. If you’ve got a craving for more electronic distribution, check out Bodega, another Mac distributor that already has a diverse selection of applications.


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