This free news reader remains one of the nicest around, and this new update looks particularly smart, with new toolbar icons and a complete re-write of all the code behind the scenes.
Note that “Lite” means “lite”. This is a deliberately lightweight, stripped-down cousin of the much meatier NetNewsWire application (which will be on the App Store at a later date). That means that some features some people insist on – like syncing with Google Reader – are not included.
But if, like me, you just want to keep an eye on some feeds and do it quickly, NNW is an excellent choice of news reader. Recommended.
If you bought your copy of excellent FTP client Transmit directly from its makers at Panic Inc, then stand up and shout “YAY”, because you can go grab yourself an updated version today.
But if you bought your copy via the magical Mac App Store, turn towards Cupertino and shout “BOO”, because the exact same update was submitted to their approval system three weeks ago, and still hasn’t been approved.
Mizage, makers of the Divvy window management application, have come up with a clever way round the problem of migrating customers from traditional online purchases to official Mac App Store purchases: if you can prove you’ve bought their app twice, they’ll refund your original payment.
As you might expect, the new App Store manages software updates in a manner very similar to the iOS Store you’ll be familiar with if you use an iDevice.
If there are updates available for any of your installed applications, the Updates icon in the toolbar will sport a numbered icon telling you how many, as shown above.
To install the updates, just go to the Updates tab and click the UPDATE button:
During the update, you’ll see a little progress bar in situ, telling you when things are downloading and when they’re installing. If you previously removed the app from your Dock when it installed from the App Store, it won’t be re-added to the Dock by the installation process.
There’s still some confusion regarding the new Mac App Store, and how it works with applications you already own.
The App Store software tries hard to spot which applications you already have installed, but it doesn’t always get this right.
The result is that sometimes the Store will show you an “Installed” icon, but sometimes it won’t even when it ought to. In which case, it will offer you the chance to buy an app, even if you already own it.
As far as I can see, there are several likely scenarios…
One of the more tempting offerings on offer there is TextWrangler, the excellent all-purpose text editor from Bare Bones software. It’s been free on the web for years, and now it’s free on the store.
I already had a copy installed, but on closer inspection, my existing version was 3.1, and the one in the App Store was 3.5. What would happen, I wondered, if I clicked the “Install” button? Would the App Store version be installed separately? Would there be some kind of conflict? Or would it Just Work?
I’ve just spent some time poking around the shiny new Mac App Store and there’s only one feature I expected to see, but can’t: an official way to uninstall what you’ve installed.
The traditional way of removing apps does still work. Go to the Applications folder, select the app, and move it to the Trash.
With any other application, that’s it, job done. But with apps installed via the App Store, you are asked for your system password before the trashing can commence.
I’m not complaining, and I don’t think this is a particularly big deal. But I did expect to see some kind of Uninstall control available somewhere (perhaps on the page that lists all your purchases), and as far as I can see, there isn’t one. Not yet, anyway. I suspect this is something that will be fixed in a future update.
Got your App Store installed yet? What do you make of it? Is this the future?
The team at Realmac Software – makers of apps like LittleSnapper and RapidWeaver, among others – have posted their thoughts about what changes the Mac App Store may bring.
Lower prices is one. Perhaps not as low as we’ve seen for iOS, but certainly lower than many developers charge right now. The old argument applies: Apple is creating a marketplace that didn’t exist before. That’s why it takes its 30% cut, and why the overall volume of sales should increase (hopefully).
Another prediction is simpler apps that do, ahem, one thing well. Complicated do-everything applications are hard to put into categories, and hard to explain to customers in the limited space available on a typical App Store page. Apps that just do a single job are easier to understand in an instant, and therefore easier to sell.
That said, it’s important to remember that the Mac App Store is, for now at least, just one way to get software installed on your Mac. Developers will be free to sell their wares via their own websites using traditional methods. There’s going to be a transition period where software is bought and sold both ways. The question everyone’s asking is: how long will that period last? Years? Months?
If you develop for OS X, do you agree with Realmac’s thoughts? Are you planning to reduce prices, and re-focus your apps for selling in the App Store? Do you think the App Store is going to completely take over, and how long will that take?