The Mac App Store Review And The Best Free Mac Apps

The Mac App Store officially launched yesterday and that begs the question; How are the apps that are available right now?  At the launch the store had already contained over 1000 apps. Nothing helps a successful launch more than actually having content and products in it.  But first, let us review the store:

Installation & Intergration

Grade: A

Installing the store was a piece of cake.  Just run your Apple Mac Update, wait about 5-10 minutes, a restart and your ready to go.  The store icon shows up in your dashboard. No, really, it’s that simple.

If you previously owned some software that now is available in app format your App Store registers the software already and tells you that it’s already installed.  Example, I had iWorks installed with Pages before the App Store even was around.  If I browse the app store and come up to Pages, it says “installed” instead of “buy”.  Apple sure knows how to make things work and make transitions seamless don’t they?

Layout and User Interface

Grade: A

The design of the store is laid out much like iTunes which makes it very easy to get the hang of if you’re already an iTunes user.  Along the top you have advertisements for featured applications in the store.  In the right sidebar you have a list of the Top Free Apps, Top Paid Apps and Top Grossing Apps. Located in the main section in the center of your screen shows your News and Noteworthy Apps, Whats Hot and Staff Favorites.

Once you click on an item this brings you to the app details.  Here you will find the specifications of the app with screenshots attached.  In the bottom of the page you will find the customer reviews.  There are not that many reviews yet because of how new the store is, but lets hope some brave souls try them out soon and give everybody a heads up on the creditability of the app.

App Prices

Grade: B

I know the fear with some software developers was that prices were going to be 80-90% cheaper than what they deserve for their software.  I haven’t seen much of the LARGE software developers yet releasing anything to the store (except for Apple) but there are a plethora of small to mid size apps.  The small simple apps are priced about right, ranging from .99 to 9.99.

Where I feel prices are a little out of whack is when you start seeing some mid sized apps being priced for 19.99 to 49.99. Let’s take a new app called “Things” for example.  This app boasts to be a simple yet robust task manager.  Categorize and tag your tasks with ease but it can be as complex as you want it.  This app is priced at a whopping $49.99.  Seriously?  If that wasn’t bad, the app doesn’t have a built in sync for your iPhone or iPad.  You have to buy that separately.

My advice to app developers:  Please make apps that integrate with your Mac native applications with ease.  Please don’t brag about syncing but when you buy it you find out it’s a real pain to work with and sync.  It’s my pet peeve.

Overall

Grade: A-

Apple did a nice job with releasing this system of buying apps for your Mac.  The upgrade and start-up was seamless, which for most users can be a real downer if not made simple.  You can not complain about the layout of the store, since everybody is comfortable with iTunes, users can jump right in and get started.  Pricing needs a little work with mid size apps.  But can you blame Apple for that?  This really needs to be directed at the developers. I just hope the store doesn’t get filled with junk and it’s hard to find the well deserved apps.

Best Free Mac Apps

Twitter

Simple lightweight Twitter Application.  Perfect for casual Twitter users.

Twitter Mac Application

Evernote

You got to love Evernote.  This is a great addition to your Evernote obsession.  View and change your notebooks, add notes and images with ease.  Even take video notes with your iSight camera.

evertnot mac app

GarageBuy

A great eBay tool for the casual or serious eBayer.  Search eBay for items from your computer and not from their website.  Make a watch list and place bids directly from the app.  eBay certified!

GarageBuy Mac App

Translator Free

Wow, a simple text translator for your Mac.  Simply drag text to the menu icon on your Mac and poof it translates to another language. Very efficient and effective.

Free Translator Mac App

  • http://www.totalapps.net/ Totalapps

    Hi, Joe
    I like your review very much, information is very interesting and useful for many Mac users.
    Thanks!