I like the new Mac App Store, and think will prove to be a huge success for developers and for Apple. (The Store scored one million downloads on its first day.) There are a few areas in the App Store itself that I’d like to see Apple address. Since the App Store is really a web browser, many of these fixes can be made on Apple’s end without an app update.
1. Clearly, the INSTALLED confusion needs resolution. Right now, if you own apps that are for sale in the App Store, they’re marked as INSTALLED even though you didn’t buy them from the Store. That’s smart, in the sense that Apple doesn’t want customers to purchase apps they already own unintentionally. But it’s also stupid: Apps that you bought separately from the Store can’t be updated from the Store. This has already caused plenty of customer (and developer!) confusion, and Apple needs to treat these differently. I’m sure it will.
2. Quick: Have any apps been added to the Mac App Store since yesterday? If you’re like me, you have no idea. There’s a New and Noteworthy section, but that uses a loose definition of “New” on the iOS App Store, and skews more towards the “Noteworthy” anyway. If you browse the Store by category, and then click See All, you can sort apps by Release Date. But I’d like quicker access to see what’s new each day.
3. My biggest complaint about the usability of the Mac App Store is my biggest complaint about the iOS App Store, too. Confined as it is to a single window, the Store is decidedly unpleasant to navigate in a tabbed world. I want to open multiple apps at once in separate tabs to compare them, or just when I see a bunch that are interesting. I want to leave one app’s page open, click a link on Twitter to another app, and not lose my place.
4. “Best Reviewed Apps.” Apple sorts the best-selling apps, the most-downloaded free ones, and the highest-grossing ones. I’d like to know which have the best weighted rating averages based on a metric that measures total downloads, total ratings, and average ratings.
5. Loading animations. When you click on many things in the Mac App Store, there’s no visual indicator that your click has been noted or that something’s happening. Again, it’s a web browser—just one with no progress bar.
I think the Mac App Store will be a defining achievement for Apple. I look forward to version 2.0.