As far as Apple is concerned, there is no need to have two of the same thing, especially when they serve identical roles and functions. Starting next month, the Cupertino company will yank all links to downloadable content on its home page in favor of redirecting users to the native Mac App Store, which will soon serve as the sole repository for downloadable apps from Apple’s homepage.
Read on to find out more.
Contrary to Apple’s desire for cleanliness and simplicity, accessing downloadable applications on the Cupertino company’s homepage is anything but clean and easy, and for one very simple reason. Unlike most traditional webpage designs which sport a dedicated ‘Downloads’ page for accessing most downloadable software, Apple has instead chosen to put download links in each of its product pages. The result: only people who know exactly what they are looking for can easily find the downloadable apps, while other have to resort to some hunting in order to find the link they need.
And apparently, such an issue must have weighed in on Apple’s usability agenda as well, especially when the company is due to launch its own Mac App Store in a matter of weeks. In an email that was sent out to all of the company’s registered developers, Apple Head of Developer Relations Ron Okamato stated that the various download pages scattered all over the Apple homepage will be dropped in conjunction with the Mac App Store’s launch. Instead, users will be directed to the Mac App Store, where it would supposedly be easier for them to search for the apps they want there.
“Because we believe the Mac App Store will be the best destination for users to discover, purchase, and download apps, we will no longer offer apps on the Mac OS X Downloads site,” said Okamoto. “Instead, beginning January 6, we will be directing users to explore the range of apps available on the Mac App Store.”
And for those who are curious, it appears that 9to5mac has managed to obtain some leaked screenshots of the Mac App Store launcher: apparently, access to the Mac App Store will require either an AppleID or a valid MobileMe subscription.
While we have to admit that the Mac App Store is definitely a much better way to search for downloadable apps from Apple’s servers, we cannot help but feel that this move may put some Windows users off initially. Unlike OS X 10.7 which will come preloaded with the Mac App Store Launcher, Windows users will probably need to download and install an application that would grant them access to the Mac App Store, and Apple has not exactly issued any information as to whether a Windows binary of the launcher will ever be released.
That being said, Apple’s App Store for OS X is definitely going to shake things up in the market, and it will be very interesting to see how its competitors will respond to the Cupertino company’s latest plans.