Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Mac App Store, which launched on January 6, 2011. The iOS App Store, which launched in 2008, was already huge success in 2011 – a success that continues today. The Mac App Store, announced at Apple's 'Back to the Mac' event in late 2010, offered the alluring promise of revitalising the Mac app market with easier access to customers, and, it was hoped, greater financial success for developers.
Posts tagged with "mac app store"
Sketch, the popular image creation and design tool for OS X and winner of an Apple Design Award in 2012, is leaving the Mac App Store. Developer Bohemian Coding has announced the move in a blog post today:
Today, we’re announcing an important change in how you receive updates to Sketch. After much thought, and with a heavy heart, we’re moving Sketch away from the Mac App Store. If you’re a Mac App Store customer, all you need to do is download Sketch from our website, launch it and enter your email address to receive your license.
As for the reasons behind this decision, Bohemian Coding mentioned a few usual suspects:
There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.
Sketch is, quite possibly, one of the most popular image editing apps for professionals who use Macs nowadays, and it's yet another high-profile departure from the Mac App Store. Bohemian Coding doesn't rule out returning to the Mac App Store if things change, but, for now, they are going to be selling the app directly on their website.
At this stage, we are far beyond the point of acknowledging there is a problem on the Mac App Store. We are not talking a bunch of isolated cases anymore – leaving the Mac App Store has become an accepted trend among developers, which is compounded by the sad state of abandon in which Apple has left it and other issues developers illustrated in the past.
The simple reality is that, gradually, developers of the best apps for OS X are finding it increasingly hard to justify doing business on the Mac App Store. I hope Apple also sees this as a problem and starts doing something about it.
I'm a bit behind in mentioning it, but Watermarker 2 is out. This Mac app from developer (and former MacStories writer) Don Southard lets you quickly resize and add professional watermarks to batches of photos. It's a great-looking app that elegantly accomplishes its goal.
You can use custom text, import your own logo or image, and apply a customizable strike-through "X" over an image (all with adjustable transparency). You can also add pixelation to an image to obscure parts of it, and annotate images with additional shapes.
Watermarker 2 offers powerful batch photo manipulation features such as renaming groups of files based on patterns and resizing using pixel or percentage constraints.
You can save your watermark settings as presets, and apply them to batches in the future with a couple of clicks. There's even an Action Extension for sending images from other apps to Watermarker, and a Share Sheet for sending watermarked images to others.
I've been an Acorn user for years now. I first started using it as my primary photo editing tool because I could open, edit, and export a perfectly-optimized web image before Photoshop had finished bouncing in the Dock. Photoshop has improved its launch time in recent versions, but Acorn has stepped up its game, too.
Acorn 5 came out this week, and it adds some powerful new features. Notably, it adds tools for vector manipulation and generation, as well as additional bezier and vector tools, PDF Import, snapping to grids, guides, other shapes, and more.
If you're a Photoshop user looking for an alternative, Acorn has the tools you're used to: dodge and burn, hue and curve adjustments, custom selection editing, and everything you need to do advanced photo editing. Acorn 5 can even import Photoshop brushes. Given the wide diversity of custom brushes available on the net, this opens up a lot of possibilities.
Version 5 also adds additional non-destructive filters and adjustments for both raster and vector layers, and the new Shape generators and processors are stackable and non-destructive as well. The layer adjustments are stored in the native Acorn file format, so you can always access and update them.
Acorn still has all of the great tools from version 4, including professional photo editing tools, Smart Layer Export for automatic 1x and 2x images, and the best compression on exported PNGs you're likely to find.
Acorn 5 is $24.99 US on the Mac App Store (also available for direct purchase, with a few small differences). Check out the website for more info, and read the release notes for a mind-boggling list of all of the new features.
Realmac released Typed, their new Markdown editor, as a direct sale product a little while ago. Today it hit the Mac App Store.
I was excited to discover Revisions For Dropbox, a Mac app for viewing a history of changes for any file or folder in your Dropbox account. I'd been looking for precisely this solution, and it didn't disappoint.
A great overview of Desk's 2014 by its developer, John Saddington:
The bottom-line, though, is that it means that it is quite possible to “make it” as an indie developer and eek out an income that is substantive and worthwhile. I hope this report, if anything, gives some encouragement to all of those that are interested in seriously (or semi-seriously) pursuing an independent app that creates great value for users and customers.
Desk is a new text editor and publishing app for OS X, and John has clearly put years of thought and passion into it. What struck me in his blog post is how he reinvested the app's revenue into advertising instead of settling on what he had achieved, going after a very committed audience that produced interesting results.
Fascinating story, and good business sense. See also: Joe Cieplinski's thoughts.
Jason Snell, reporting from Çingleton:
I’m in Montreal for the Cingleton conference. On Saturday Rich Siegel of Bare Bones Software gave a presentation in which he announced that the next version of BBEdit would not be sold in the Mac App Store. (The existing version will remain, and existing Mac App Store customers can upgrade to the next version directly with Bare Bones.)
Siegel’s talk was notable for its restraint and care. This was not a scorched-earth denouncement of the Mac App Store. In fact, at the end, he admitted that it’s not impossible that BBEdit might return to the store someday, if conditions change.
When the Mac App Store launched over three years ago, many of us thought that it would be a panacea for independent Mac software – designed after the success of the iOS App Store, it would provide a unified marketplace with all the benefits of Apple's infrastructure.
For thousands of developers, that was absolutely the case. But, at this point, it's clear that all the problems of Apple's infrastructure couldn't be sustainable for developers of apps that weren't simple utilities or games. I noted this in 2012 after popular indie developers had already exited the Mac App Store. I wrote:
I am thus going back to my initial point: developers seem cautious about the future of the Mac App Store and the restrictions that Apple could, in theory, bring up again. The numbers and facts speak for themselves: developers are still using the Buying Direct option. And when the download numbers of the Mac App Store aren’t so great, who can blame them? And when you start adding Sandboxing, iCloud, and Top Charts dominated by Apple apps (and the operating system itself, listed under “Productivity”) to the list of complaints, who can blame an indie development company for their decision to sell software through the good ol’ Internet?
The departure of BBEdit from the Mac App Store is yet another example of the platform's limitations and it's sad, but it's probably for the best and everything will be okay. The Mac App Store isn't meant for apps like TextExpander or BBEdit, and Apple doesn't seem to be willing to change its underlying nature.
It is disappointing to conclude that the Mac App Store can't be the unified marketplace for everyone, but at least web browsers can still be used to buy software.