Saturday, January 8, 2011

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.6.6 Update, Mac App Store

As promised, Apple on Thursday, launched the new Mac App Store, the first step in bringing iOS features "Back to the Mac."

Access to the new Mac App Store is provided by way of a new Mac OS X application that is bundled in with the 10.6.6 update for Mac's running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.  The Mac App Store will be a built-in feature of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, due out sometime during the summer of 2011.

The Mac App Store bring many of the iOS App Store features to the Macintosh platform.  Linked to your Apple ID account, Mac users can purchase apps for their Mac using the Apple Store One Click feature and the app is automatically downloaded and installed on your Mac.  Updates to Mac applications are also handled like updates to iPhone and iPad applications - you are notified of an update and you are able to download and install it for free.  (Major version upgrades are suppose to be paid upgrades.)

One of the nice features of the Mac App Store is that you can download purchased content on other Macs that you may own.  This feature has been available on iOS devices for a while now, and is finally available for Mac Apps.

Another thing that I like about the Mac App Store is that you can purchase Apple's iLife and iWork applications separately for the first time.  You now have the freedom  to purchase only the apps that you want.  For example, I can now upgrade iPhoto, GarageBand, and Keynote individually without having to spend $80 each for iLife '11 and iWork '09.  (The last time I upgraded, I purchased the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Box Set that includes Mac OS X 10.6, iLife '09 and iWork '09 for $130.)

To get started with the Mac App Store, use the Software Update application, in System Preferences, to install the Mac OS X 10.6.6 update.  After installing the update, the Mac App Store icon will appear in the Dock to the left of the Finder icon, and looks similar to the new iTunes 10 icon.
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