The Mac App Store - Making a Killing Last Stop on the App Track

The Mac App Store is here and after playing around and trying to decide what to get, you realize what you really need is a bigger limit on your credit card. This store is EXPENSIVE! And as if to mock you, the featured finance manager application, Money 3, sells for $38.99 (Rs. 1,750 approx). Games for the desktop are unsurprisingly more expensive than those for the iPhone and iPad and therefore what it comes down to is - if you get bored of your games on your iOS devices, you're better off not spending for your OS X.

The Mac App Store, nice little wallet breaker

The Mac App Store, nice little wallet breaker


The setup of the Mac App Store is very simple and a go-between iTunes and the App Store on iOS devices. The categories are a little different from the iOS App Store in that the task bar of the Mac App Store has a Purchases section and a search bar (like iTunes) which iOS doesn't. Also, in the Featured section of the iOS App Store, the New, What's Hot and Genius sections make up three different pages of the Featured tab, while the bigger screen of the OS X App Store allows all three to be on the same page. The Genius section in the OS X App Store is switched out for Staff Picks.


The Top Charts are divided into Top Paid and Top Free with no limit on how many apps they feature in each section. Currently the Top Paid section has 181 applications and is led by (no surprises here) Angry Birds, while the Top Free section has 117 applications. Like the iOS App Store, the top charts by Category is also available and is nicely more accessible. For instance, if you click on Games, you'll be taken to a page with all the featured games with a chart on the side telling you what the top Free and Paid games are. In the iOS App Store, there's a bunch of pages you  have to flip through before you get to that chart.


Moving on to the applications themselves. Before we get into the popular applications, a mention of educational applications needs to be made. The concept of educational applications being used on a laptop screen is a good idea as it creates comfortable space for parent and child, as opposed to the crampedness of an iPhone or iPad.


The most hyped applications at launch were the Angry Birds application, the Twitter application and the iPhoto application. The last one only makes sense if you don't already have iLife. The layout of the iPhoto application is a little different from the software but it performs the same functions. It costs $14.99 (Rs. 676 approx) and makes sense if you don't want to splurge on all of iLife just to get iPhoto. The Twitter application is free and while it's quite lovely to look at, I would still use an application like Tweetdeck as a desktop application. The Twitter application is very neat and functions like retweets and direct messaging are all tucked away, which means it's a little painful to find these functions and use them. The one interesting thing I discovered is that now when you control click links to copy them, there's an option that shows up to tweet them. Therefore, instead of copy-pasting into a tweet, just tweet directly. Pretty nifty.

But coming to the Magnum Opus of the Mac App Store i.e. Angry Birds. At first I doubted it, wondering why the heck I would play Angry Birds on a desktop especially if I have to shell out $4.99 (Rs. 225 approx) for the game. And then I bought it and played it. It is plain beautiful. Ramming those birds into the pigs never felt so satisfying. The downside though, is that the application only exists in full screen mode which means if you want to keep an eye on other activities on your desktop, you won't be able to. Also, since Game Center doesn't exist for OS X yet, you wouldn't be able to social network your scores. Also, you can see this as a benefit or con but you cannot sync your scores between your iOS devices and your OS X device. There is no lite version available for OS X. Also, the latest level, Ham 'Em High doesn't exist in the OS X version. However, gameplay is smooth and it takes a little getting used to because you're playing with a mouse or the trackpad and all the icons aren't where they would be in the iOS version. 


All in all, like I said, the Mac App Store is really a cash cow. One of the featured apps today is a Family Tree application which costs $99.99 (Rs. 4,513 approx). Some lite versions of applications exist but these are very few and far between. It is a pretty good idea though and some money can be saved when you buy individual applications instead of software packs, especially for functions like photo and video editing. Also, just a heads up, applications are already available for grabs (without paying) through illegal channels, but we're not specifying those here. Some of these are also available for Windows devices. If any of you have the Mac App Store, let us know what you think and what apps you've bought.