Future of Apps on MacOS

For many years macOS has had its own App Store, just like iOS has its own App Store.

The Mac App Store, believe it or not, has been around since macOS 10.6.6, released in 2011. Apple wanted to make the App Store just as successful as it has been on iOS. For years developers haven’t been on board for many reasons.

Like on iOS, developers are required to follow strict guidelines to publish their apps on the App Store and Apple gets a cut every time the user pays. So most publishers continue to exclusively sell their apps on their website resisting the Mac App Store. For the developer, they have no “boss” and no rules. As for the user, you’re at the mercy of the app distributor, open to the possibility of infectious viruses, security issues, and a little harder to get app updates when they come available.

Another issue is with macOS’s user base. Developers don’t think there are enough Mac users to create Mac-specific apps. Previously you need a team of developers for each operating system, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Twitter was a big name app that was originally featured on the Mac App Store who pulled their app on the Mac for this reason. It’s just too expensive.

Just like on iOS, the App Store seems like a wonderful idea. You know that Apple is keeping developers in check making sure your data safe and secure, payments are easy and secure, and the app is safe of viruses and malware, while easy to find, install, update, and uninstall. As a user what’s not to love.

Things are changing now and more developers are turning their attention to the Mac.

Recently in a surprising move, Microsoft added its Office applications, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook to the Mac App Store. Then a few weeks later Adobe added their pro editing software Photoshop Elements and Lightroom, Adobe’s photo manager to the app store. You can acquire subscriptions for these services via in-app purchases from within the app. With these two big names joining the Mac App Store it seems that developer opinion is changing.

That’s good for developers that already have apps for Mac. What about the development studios that don’t have the finances for a dedicated Mac team? That’s where Project Catalyst comes in. If you have updated your Mac to macOS Mojave (10.14) then you might be familiar with the technology. Apple used Project Catalyst to bring News, Voice Memos, and Home apps to the Mac. Essentially with one click developers can update their iPad apps for macOS, leaving little customization and optimization for the developer to do. So what does this mean for you? This means that more of your favorite apps found on the iPad will be coming to macOS. Twitter has already publically announced that they would bring their app to the Mac. What’s the best way to market their new apps. Well just like they do on iOS, via the Mac App Store.

So in the fall look forward to all of the new apps that will be available through the Mac App Store.