Saturday, January 8, 2011

Apple's App Store

Update III.--Ok, more walking through and reading some blogs and Websites. I'm beginning to dislike and like the App Store, but more dislike. I hate that some vendors are selling their applications exclusively through the App Store, which means all your free updates they offered when you bought the app from them will now cost you the price of the app again.

Update II.--Ok, walking through it, some notes. First, the catagories are different and confusing, less specific as the old Websites and harder to find good ones (tool showy). Second, the automated update tool doesn't work if you already have the app and an update is available from the vendor. You have to buy it through the App Store app. That sucks for many who have the apps.

Update.--Ok, after updating OS-X to 10.6.6 and Apple App Store app icon appeared on my desktop and I found all the apps available. And ok, it's better than the worst I thought, because it's not a Website but a separate app. It's an iTunes-like app. It still sucks because it's a lot of show and takes more time to browse and find things. But I'm open to being wrong.

Orginal Post.--I own a new Mac Pro, bought after having a Power PC G5 for almost 5 years. I like Mac's and my 3 month old iPad. After using a PC with various flavors of Microsoft's Window system for that last 3 year of my government work I retired and decided I would never use a MS-based PC or a MS software package or application ever again. And I haven't and never missed it.

Before I used a PC at work I used main frame and Unix workstation systems for almost two decades I found MS the most onerous, dumbed-down, user-unfriendly system anyone could create for a personal or work computer, and ended up making it emulate a workstation since 90+% of my work was with a Unix system. I simply made the PC be a Unix-clone as much as possible and only used the PC parts when outside forces required.

But after almost five years with Mac's, and still liking them, I have to say Apple has done a worse thing than Microsoft. Really? Yes, really. But then probably not since Microsoft would screw this up too. And that's Apple App Store. First the iPad Website and iTunes interface really sucks for efficiency and user-friendliness. Great to look at, but don't expect to actually find anything easily.

Apple made the App Store look neat but forgot useability. For Mac's they had the download Website which I really liked and used frequently. It was relatively easy to use, to find updates and the occasional surprise. But they dropped it in early December for the new App Store which opened today, except there's nothing there except a few apps. What's the story?

All those apps from the old Websites couldn't be transferred for some content? Reading the backstory, not. It seems Apple also changed the rules for application developers which eliminated the use of undocumented Application Programming Interfaces (API's). That pretty much busted most of them until they can be converted to comply with Apple's new third-party applications rules, if the company has the resources and interest.

And that sucks too. So, Apple has two strikes. One, the presentation and useability sucks. And two, far fewer good apps and too many lost to dumb rules. Did users complain about these API's? No. Did developers complain? No. So, it's an Apple unilateral decision to rob users of good applications. Like we don't already have the previous version and we can't go elsewhere to find apps? Care for a third strike, less customers and more complaints?

What don't you understand you screwed the customer? Not smart. And clearly made going there less inviting or necesary. I liked visiting the old Website and I hate the new ones, the iPad/iPhone one and now the Mac one. The opening day I saw all of 15 apps for Mac's. Gee, comparted to hundreds on the old, non-defunct, Website? That's an improvement for the customer?

I will keep checking back, albeit reluctantly, but so far both app stores are disappointments, especially from Apple. All show and not much else, especially from a company known for good, user-friendly computers.

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