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Apple won't allow demos, trials, betas on Mac App Store

post #1 of 114
Thread Starter 
Apple this week provided more information to developers regarding its forthcoming Mac App Store, and informed them that, unlike on iOS, trial versions of software will not be allowed.

Apple issued a handful of updates via its News and Announcements for Apple Developers Thursday evening regarding the Mac App Store. The software download destination for Mac OS X Snow Leopard is expected to launch by the end of January.

"Your website is the best place to provide demos, trial versions, or betas of your software for customers to explore," Apple wrote. "The apps you submit to be reviewed for the Mac App Store should be fully functional, retail versions of your apps."

That's a change from the highly successful iOS App Store policies, in which iPhone and iPad users can download free limited trials of paid software. For example, the popular 99-cent game "Angry Birds" has a "Lite" version that is consistently among the top free iPhone titles.

Apple also issued tips for developers on how to meet the Mac App Store guidelines. For example, Mac apps submitted to the App Store must ensure that files are written in the appropriate location.

"This avoids being confused when applications store data in unexpected areas of the system (e.g., storing databases in the user's Documents folder or storing files in the user's Library folder that are not recognizably associated with your application)," Apple's documentation reads.

Another update provides tips for creating custom controls in a Mac application. It reminds developers that they can create their own custom controls, if the one they need is not available, as long as the element or behavior supports Apple's interface design principles.

Since it announced the Mac App Store, Apple has been providing developers with more information leading up to its launch. In October, the Cupertino, Calif., company gave an initial outline of what developers will need to do to get their applications listed in the digital storefront.

Apple is expected to release its own updated iWork '11 suite alongside the launch of the Mac App Store. The three applications included in the bundle -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- will be available for purchase individually when the Mac App Store debuts, along with the existing applications in the recently updated iLife suite.
post #2 of 114
Spectacular decision. They apparently have learned from iOS.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 114
I for one like having the demo versions of some of the products on the iOS store. Really think Apple needs to rethink this decision...
post #4 of 114
Could they put up a lite version for 1$ and a pro version for the real price then want?
post #5 of 114
Exactly. I mean, I've never heard that there were trial versions on iOS. You can not have a free app, and then "upgrade" to paid version. How is that different now?
post #6 of 114
Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.
post #7 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.

Rethink your BS.

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post #8 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple this week provided more information to developers regarding its forthcoming Mac App Store, and informed them that, unlike on iOS, trial versions of software will not be allowed.

Apple issued a handful of updates via its News and Announcements for Apple Developers Thursday evening regarding the Mac App Store. The software download destination for Mac OS X Snow Leopard is expected to launch by the end of January.

"Your website is the best place to provide demos, trial versions, or betas of your software for customers to explore," Apple wrote. "The apps you submit to be reviewed for the Mac App Store should be fully functional, retail versions of your apps."

That's a change from the highly successful iOS App Store policies, in which iPhone and iPad users can download free limited trials of paid software. For example, the popular 99-cent game "Angry Birds" has a "Lite" version that is consistently among the top free iPhone titles.

Apple also issued tips for developers on how to meet the Mac App Store guidelines. For example, Mac apps submitted to the App Store must ensure that files are written in the appropriate location.

"This avoids being confused when applications store data in unexpected areas of the system (e.g., storing databases in the user's Documents folder or storing files in the user's Library folder that are not recognizably associated with your application)," Apple's documentation reads.

Another update provides tips for creating custom controls in a Mac application. It reminds developers that they can create their own custom controls, if the one they need is not available, as long as the element or behavior supports Apple's interface design principles.

Since it announced the Mac App Store, Apple has been providing developers with more information leading up to its launch. In October, the Cupertino, Calif., company gave an initial outline of what developers will need to do to get their applications listed in the digital storefront.

Apple is expected to release its own updated iWork '11 suite alongside the launch of the Mac App Store. The three applications included in the bundle -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- will be available for purchase individually when the Mac App Store debuts, along with the existing applications in the recently updated iLife suite.

Makes perfect sense. Demos only waste time both mine and Apple's anyway.

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post #9 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungenio View Post

Exactly. I mean, I've never heard that there were trial versions on iOS. You can not have a free app, and then "upgrade" to paid version. How is that different now?

It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.

This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.

When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.

For example,

App Store:
Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299

You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it
On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $899

So where will you buy it from?

Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.

They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.
post #10 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"This avoids being confused when applications store data in unexpected areas of the system (e.g., storing databases in the user's Documents folder or storing files in the user's Library folder that are not recognizably associated with your application)," Apple's documentation reads.

Microsoft and Steam will have to make a little effort to remove their ugly folders out of our document folders!
post #11 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Rethink your BS.

Maybe I am wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic. You know in line with the "Apple is doomed" posts we usually see.

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post #12 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Maybe I am wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic. You know in line with the "Apple is doomed" posts we usually see.

Could be, my sarcasm detector is not feeling well today.

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post #13 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.

This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.

When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.

For example,

App Store:
Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299

You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it
On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999

So where will you buy it from?

Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.

They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.

Adobe CS will not be allowed anyway.

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post #14 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.

So you'd rather have a store drowning in flaky betas, demos and free crap rather than tested, working software of value?
post #15 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.

This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.

When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.

For example,

App Store:
Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299

You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it
On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999

So where will you buy it from?

Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.

They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.

You nailed it. This post should end the thread, because it's so clearly right.
post #16 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

For example,

App Store:
Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299

You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it
On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299

I changed your example just a bit.

In this example, I would ALWAYS buy it from Adobe, never from the Mac store, even if the prices were the same between Adobe and the Mac Store.

Reason? Because I CAN get a demo version on the Adobe site and try it out before I commit. At that point if the prices are the same (assuming), then I'm already doing business directly with Adobe and would never use the Mac store for that app.

I'm seeing zero advantage to me in a Mac store, except for giving me the ability to search for software that I might not know about from smaller software vendors.
post #17 of 114
I have an app in the iOS app store, and I don't mind paying 30% there. Well, there's no alternative, anyway.

30% for inclusion to the desktop app store looks way too much, because there are lots of much cheaper alternatives. The fee should be 10-15%

I will think about the tip for pricing the app store version higher... for now it looks like this will not work, because such app will get loads of negative reviews. This may work if the app store edition is actually different from the website edition. For example, put a simple cheap edition into the appstore (simple but fully functional within its set of features), and have a "pro" edition on your web site, which costs slightly more that the appstore edition... have to think about that...
post #18 of 114
1) I dont think large apps from MS, Adobe et al. would work for the Mac App Store (MAS) as it would require them to use Apples modern Xcode and keep up to date at Apples pace, not their pace. However, some simpler versions of apps could suit many peoples needs and yield a solid profit. I think these companies would be remiss to completely ignore this additional revenue stream.

2) With an alternative to the MAS already in place Im okay with it not having trial version, but I think this is sorely needed on the iOS App Store.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.

Which monopoly position in the PC market are you referring to? Also, are you saying that Apple should force all developers to only use the MAS for their software instead of telling them that other, unregulated by Apple method for obtaining apps is where devs need to put their demo, trial and beta apps? Do you see how you have that back-asswards?
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post #19 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Maybe I am wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic. You know in line with the "Apple is doomed" posts we usually see.

I think you're wrong. He's serious.
post #20 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.

This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.

When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.

For example,

App Store:
Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299

You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it
On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999

So where will you buy it from?

Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.

They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.


What you're describing is no different to the current situation - people shop around for the best deal and purchase accordingly. If the app store is another source, then what's the difference? You're not restricted to purchasing only from the app store, and there are other sources for demos and of course the developer's own web sites. Why would a developer shaft apple? They are going to want to take advantage of sales, not prevent their own software from selling.
post #21 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by spunkybart View Post

I changed your example just a bit.
I'm seeing zero advantage to me in a Mac store, except for giving me the ability to search for software that I might not know about from smaller software vendors.

The advantage is for smaller software houses and developers to get a better sales channel. Also an advantage for customers who might discover software they might not have found otherwise.
post #22 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by serkol View Post

I have an app in the iOS app store, and I don't mind paying 30% there. Well, there's no alternative, anyway.

30% for inclusion to the desktop app store looks way too much, because there are lots of much cheaper alternatives. The fee should be 10-15%

I will think about the tip for pricing the app store version higher... for now it looks like this will not work, because such app will get loads of negative reviews. This may work if the app store edition is actually different from the website edition. For example, put a simple cheap edition into the appstore (simple but fully functional within its set of features), and have a "pro" edition on your web site, which costs slightly more that the appstore edition... have to think about that...

I don’t see how this can’t work. You say 30% is too much, but if you can sell 5x as many copies of your app in a given time frame you profit.

I don’t think anyone expects to see high-priced, low volume apps on the MAS because there is a very real possibility that the increase in exposure, and therefore sale, won’t be enough to warrant its usage. But also note that many high-priced, low volume apps use older coding methods which may not pass Apple’s testing process, thus making it a moot point.

The benefit will be a plethora of great tools and services to make the Mac better in ways we have likely never thought of. Heck, automatic app installations and updates are enough to make me happy as I still can’t figure out how to explain to someone who is knew to Mac OS X or computing, how the Safari Downloads window, .DMG file, the mounted image, the app within, and the multiple copies users now have of those apps are all different things.
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post #23 of 114
Any program that requires license keys or activation will NOT be allowed on the Mac app store.
post #24 of 114
Awesome. I hate it when apps have ads in them that pushes you to pay to upgrade.
post #25 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.

What monopoly? Do you understand what a monopoly is. Better not tell Adobe and Microsoft that Apple have a monopoly on Mac software and purchasing...
post #26 of 114
Quote:
I still cant figure out how to explain to something who is knew to Mac OS X or computing, how the Safari Downloads window, .DMG file, the mounted image, the app within, and the multiple copies users now have of those apps are all different things

Many apps that I use automatically update themselves when they are started. The app says that there's a new version available and asks you if you want to install the update. It downloads the update, installs it and relaunches. I will make my app behave the same way.

I don't think that the desktop app store will give much more visibility to an app than all other download web sites combined. There are lots of other well-known web sites, and lots of people use them - this is the way they find apps now. This situation is different from iPhone. Form the start there was no other way to get an iPhone app. All people know other ways how to search for desktop Mac app.
post #27 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaceslin View Post

I for one like having the demo versions of some of the products on the iOS store. Really think Apple needs to rethink this decision...

Not sure I agree. It is necessary on the mobile app store, but in the Mac app store there are plenty of ways to distribute software outside the store itself. Limitations such as this may help to provide a consistent, reliable experience.
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post #28 of 114
I wonder if Apple will tie the MAS SDK to the iOS App Store SDK. Right now, I can log into my iPad or iPhone to play Words with Friends, but being able to also play on my Mac and get push notifications would also be great. This would open up the door for iOS devices being used as satellite computers connecting directly back to the Mac.
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post #29 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by serkol View Post

I don't think that the desktop app store will give much more visibility to an app than all other download web sites combined. There are lots of other well-known web sites, and lots of people use them - this is the way they find apps now. This situation is different from iPhone. Form the start there was no other way to get an iPhone app. All people know other ways how to search for desktop Mac app.

If Apple does this right, and I expect they might, you might be surprised. Even as a technology enthusiast I find those software listing sites to be frustrating and limited. I actually prefer Google searches more at times. Someone who is not familiar with these things will be far more interested in the Mac App Store, and those people will have already been introduced to the concept through their phone or iPod Touch.

It could be huge.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #30 of 114
Quote:
I find those software listing sites to be frustrating and limited

I find the iOS app store to be frustrating and limited too. I have 3 kids, and I want to buy quality educational apps and games for them. 90% of app that I buy there is disappointing junk. The iOS app store is full of junk and not organized well enough. I don't think that it is organized much better than any other app-listing web site.

I think that other app-listing web sites (especially mac-focused) have already started redesigning there web sites, to meet the new mac app store well-armed. I think that mac app store will have some competition.
post #31 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaceslin View Post

I for one like having the demo versions of some of the products on the iOS store. Really think Apple needs to rethink this decision...

I agree. Not allowing demos is a BS decision.
post #32 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it
On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999

Minor point, but check your math - 30% off of $1299 is $909.30
post #33 of 114
I don't understand why the iOS store and the Mac app store don't allow trial functionality for developers.. Not only would that clean up the app store from having Lite free apps and Full paid apps cluttering up the store it makes the developers job easier by allowing one code base and I think would turn in to more converted sales for apps if they could be tried out first.

The Zune app store for Windows Phone 7 has this type functionality and simplifies the process from going from a limited version to a full paid version.
post #34 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by serkol View Post

I don't think that the desktop app store will give much more visibility to an app than all other download web sites combined. There are lots of other well-known web sites, and lots of people use them - this is the way they find apps now. This situation is different from iPhone. Form the start there was no other way to get an iPhone app. All people know other ways how to search for desktop Mac app.

I think you might be missing the point here. It’s not that there aren’t options that people can use (Apple obviously is denying users those options) but that the options simply aren’t being utilized by most. As previously stated, the whole Disk Image concept is confusing to many.

Honestly I can’t see my mom going to one of those sites to download an app. Even if she found the site how does she know she can then go to the developer’s website, put in her CC info and know it’s on the up and up? You say these apps are “visible” but most people don’t even know these sites exist and probably don’t even know there are ways to customize their systems with great apps from great developers. The MAS offers this option.

My mom does feel safe buying iPhone and iPad apps and it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the only non-jailbroken way to get apps on your iDevices. She does it because it feels simple and safe. I bet the average user has downloaded more app for their iOS-based iDevice than they have for their Mac or PC.


PS: Removing the info to who you are replying disrupts the flow of a thread, especially when you are only quoting a small segment of their original reply.
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post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Microsoft and Steam will have to make a little effort to remove their ugly folders out of our document folders!

I know, right? The only reason I don't install Steam for Mac is because of it's startup daemon. Perhaps if they want to go on the App Store they will cut that sh*t out and I will finally be able to enjoy it.
post #36 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Makes perfect sense. Demos only waste time both mine and Apple's anyway.

Yeah, go buy a software which costs 200 USD without trying it out first... These are not 0,79 cent Apps like on iPhone

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

So you'd rather have a store drowning in flaky betas, demos and free crap rather than tested, working software of value?

The purpose of demos and betas are different. Und free software maybe of even greater value (good quality on par with non free counterparts, +saved money), and this is sometimes really the case.
And exactly because free apps are so popular - Apple does want to limit it - to make easier on their servers and increase return on investment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

What you're describing is no different to the current situation - people shop around for the best deal and purchase accordingly. If the app store is another source, then what's the difference? You're not restricted to purchasing only from the app store, and there are other sources for demos and of course the developer's own web sites. Why would a developer shaft apple? They are going to want to take advantage of sales, not prevent their own software from selling.

The question is whether Apple is going to restrict the installation of the Software only through their Apple Store. Why not - they are doing it already for the phone. This would be really.... monopolistic... and "revolutionary"
post #37 of 114
...however, as others have noted, that's an unrealistic example, because anyone looking to purchase a professional, high-end product like that likely doesn't need the App Store to hold their hand, so to speak.

I'd imagine the Mac App Store is intended more for the "Grandma crowd*"--you know, people who don't know how to look for, find, or install software to begin with--and for smaller, less expensive apps anyway.

So, let's use, say, Panic's Candybar as an example. They charge $29 at their site.

If they sell it through the Mac Store at full price, the customer pays the same $29, but Panic only gets $20.

However, there's an awful lot of folks out there who haven't a clue how to look for software, or what companies to trust, or how to install it or any of that--they just want to be able to make their icons look cool. Without the App Store, most of them will never find Panic's website, so Panic earns $0 vs. $20. Since it's software, it's not like there's any ongoing labor/parts cost per unit (aside from providing support for another user), so *any* revenue is better than none at all.

Even if Panic discounts it on their own site, a lot of sales will still be done via the App store because that crowd will never find it.

It's the same reason Best Buy can get away with selling HDMI cables for $30 when you can buy them online for $3 apiece--if the Best Buy shopper doesn't know about the online source, they'll pony up the $30.

*(no offense to any tech-savvy Grandmas out there)
post #38 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post

The question is whether Apple is going to restrict the installation of the Software only through their Apple Store. Why not - they are doing it already for the phone. This would be really.... monopolistic... and "revolutionary"

Hopefully never. That being said, they like having the power to make choices for you, so I would say a small chance of this happening with Lion and with a much larger chance of it happening in 10.8.
post #39 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post

It's the same reason Best Buy can get away with selling HDMI cables for $30 when you can buy them online for $3 apiece--if the Best Buy shopper doesn't know about the online source, they'll pony up the $30.

Yeah, it is often too hard to find something...
That is why I am anticipating the App Store - I hope it will make it easier to find those deals for 3 USD
And don't forget the shipping cost - so you are paying 3+5 USD
post #40 of 114
...better than I did (see my post just above this one):

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Honestly I cant see my mom going to one of those sites to download an app. Even if she found the site how does she know she can then go to the developers website, put in her CC info and know its on the up and up? You say these apps are visible but most people dont even know these sites exist and probably dont even know there are ways to customize their systems with great apps from great developers. The MAS offers this option.

My mom does feel safe buying iPhone and iPad apps and it has nothing to do with the fact that its the only non-jailbroken way to get apps on your iDevices. She does it because it feels simple and safe. I bet the average user has downloaded more app for their iOS-based iDevice than they have for their Mac or PC.

Bingo. Nailed it. *WE* think that VersionTracker (well, before C|Net took 'em over), MacUpdate and so forth are common knowledge. However, *WE* only represent perhaps 10% of the consumer market (ok, perhaps 20%)--the other 80% has little or no clue about any of these sites, or how to use them, or which ones are reputable, etc etc.
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AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Apple won't allow demos, trials, betas on Mac App Store