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Apple to take down apps from Mac OS X Downloads page

post #1 of 66
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Apple has revealed to developers that it will be shutting down its Downloads page for Mac OS X on Jan. 6, the day of the Mac App Store launch, as it focuses on the Mac App Store as "the best destination" for Mac OS X apps.

The Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker announced last week that the Mac App Store will debut in 90 countries on Jan. 6. Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the store at the October "Back to the Mac" media event, promising that the store would open within 90 days.

In an email to developers, Apple revealed its plans to remove downloadable apps from the company's Mac OS X Downloads site, instead redirecting users to the Mac App Store.

Thank you for making the Mac OS X Download site a great destination with apps that offer users new ways to work, play, learn, and create on their Mac.

We recently announced that on January 6, 2011, the Mac App Store will open to users around the world, presenting you with an exciting, new opportunity to reach millions of customers. Since the introduction of the App Store in 2008, weve been thrilled with the incredible support from developers and the enthusiastic response from users. Now were bringing the revolutionary experience of the App Store to Mac OS X.

Because we believe the Mac App Store will be the best destination for users to discover, purchase, and download your apps, we will no longer offer apps on the Mac OS X Downloads site. Instead, beginning January 6, we will be directing users to explore the range of apps available on the Mac App Store.

We appreciate your support of the Mac platform and hope youll take advantage of this new opportunity to showcase your apps to even more users. To learn how you can offer your apps on the Mac App Store, visit the Apple Developer website at http://developer.apple.com/programs/mac.

For years, Apple's Mac OS X Downloads site has served as a repository for Mac OS X apps. Though the site promotes a number of third-party applications, Apple also uses the page to feature several of its own Mac OS X applications, such as iTunes, Safari and iWork.

In November, AppleInsider exclusively reported that the Mac App Store would launch in January 2011 and would include the release of Apple's iWork '11 productivity suite.

Like the App Store on iOS devices, developers will receive a 70 percent share of sales through the Mac App Store, with Apple keeping 30 percent. Unlike iOS, the Mac App Store will not be a "walled garden," leaving developers free to offer their apps through other avenues. Developers have been encouraged to use their own websites for demos, trial versions, or betas of their software, since the Mac App Store will only accept "fully functional, retail versions" of apps.

By taking down the Mac OS X Downloads section of its site, Apple is effectively casting an 'all-in' bet on the Mac App Store. Apple's latest email to developers creates a unified front by communicating the message that the Mac App Store will be the go-to place for Mac OS X downloads.

Evidence of Mac App Store support has been found in developer builds of Mac OS X 10.6.6. The store will be available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard users as a free download through Software Update.
post #2 of 66
No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?
post #3 of 66
makes sense.
post #4 of 66
Since there is already a huge market for Mac apps, and they do not all instantly comply to the App Store guidelines, they could be alienating a very large portion of the developer community.

This needs to be a transition.
post #5 of 66
This was expected. Bring on the Mac App Store.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pika2000 View Post

No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?

Apple isn't forbidding development on the Mac outside of the App Store. Take a look at www.macupdate.com, there are far more there than Apple's site. Also, for power users, Fink, macports, HomeBrew won't be in the App Store, but I don't see them going away either.

App Store is just providing an "Apple-backed" way of distributing software. If devels see the advantage to themselves , they can certainly participate, if not, this isn't the end of the world.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pika2000 View Post

No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?

Apple is basically saying "Give us a 30% cut of your Mac sales or go take a hike."
post #8 of 66
Does anyone use this, really? I've used it to find a couple of dashboard widgets over the years, but I've never used it as a destination to find apps. That's what Google is for.
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Since there is already a huge market for Mac apps, and they do not all instantly comply to the App Store guidelines, they could be alienating a very large portion of the developer community.

This needs to be a transition.

You underestimate the power of Apple. Developers will follow.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

You underestimate the power of Apple. Developers will follow.

Not necessarily. Not all will. Dave Nanian was a recent guest on MacBreak Weekly and said that 30% was too big a hit to take on his profit. He also said that some of the guidelines would prevent at least one of his apps from being listed by Apple - SuperDuper in particular requires root access in order to back up the entire filesystem, and root access is prevented under the App Store guidelines.

I'm sure plenty of developers will follow, particularly the ones who are not already well established, just not all of them.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pika2000 View Post

No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Since there is already a huge market for Mac apps, and they do not all instantly comply to the App Store guidelines, they could be alienating a very large portion of the developer community.

This needs to be a transition.

I guess you two need refreshers in reading comprehension. The Mac apps store is optional. It will not be like the iPhone app store. Developers can ignore the Mac app store if they so choose. Nothing will change for developers if they don't want to participate. They can market and sell their products the same as they are now. But there will be a huge incentive for developers to get their products into the store, namely the free marketing and advertising, hence the 70/30 split with Apple. Most developers won't be alienated. Far from it, they will be chomping at the bit to get their wares into the store. Applications like VueScan, GraphicConverter, Toast, and others will be easily available for purchase by millions of Mac users with the click of a button.
post #12 of 66
it doesn't matter what you say. some people will make up their mind to believe anything and there is nothing you can do about it. it's pretty amazing really.
post #13 of 66
I see people complaining here and people saying that it's no problem. But no one has mentioned the obvious. You need a Mac to browse what's available for the Mac, with the new Mac App Store. You used to be able to see what sorts of apps were available to mac users, through a webbrowser on a Windows PC. I think Apple would be wise to keep a web interface to the store available, even if you can't buy/download through the web interface.

Greg
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Apple is basically saying "Give us a 30% cut of your Mac sales or go take a hike."

Exactly.
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

it doesn't matter what you say. some people will make up their mind to believe anything and there is nothing you can do about it. it's pretty amazing really.

Nothing, mispost.
post #16 of 66
The major downside here is that there is much more than Apps on the Downloads page.

I often check out the Desktop Images and designer Icons available - it's really nice to have them all under one roof, instead of searching hap-hazardly all over the web.

Perhaps the Mac App Store will continue to offer these categories, but it seems highly unlikely - and I've yet to hear tell of it so far.
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Apple is basically saying "Give us a 30% cut of your Mac sales or go take a hike."

Apple is saying they themselves will have ONE software download service, not two.

This was obviously coming: that Mac downloads page has long been the 3rd item in the Apple menu on Macs. It should surprise nobody that it will now point to the newer, better service instead.

There are plenty of other ways to find non-App Store apps without Apple maintaining two parallel services. CNet Downloads for one.
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pika2000 View Post

No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?

Host it on your own site or somewhere else, then.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by leafy View Post

Apple isn't forbidding development on the Mac outside of the App Store. Take a look at www.macupdate.com, there are far more there than Apple's site. Also, for power users, Fink, macports, HomeBrew won't be in the App Store, but I don't see them going away either.

App Store is just providing an "Apple-backed" way of distributing software. If devels see the advantage to themselves , they can certainly participate, if not, this isn't the end of the world.

This means you either have to abide by Apple's restrictive rules for the App Store or you have to have the resources to do additional marketing on your own. Obviously, it's not Apple's responsibility to market your apps for you, but take a look a the apps that are on the download page. How many are shareware or demos or violate the App Store's restrictions in one way or another? Demos and trials are a valuable tool to let people check out your app. But that won't be allowed in the App Store. And if customers have to find your web site to download a demo, then they can find it just as easily to make a purchase. So you don't need the App Store.

Again, it's Apple's choice/right to do this. But I think it's going to mean that a bunch of cheap, little apps limited by Apple's restrictions will take away sales from and potentially kill off better, more functional apps that can't/won't be in the App Store. Not because they are better apps, but because they were easier to find.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Not necessarily. Not all will. Dave Nanian was a recent guest on MacBreak Weekly and said that 30% was too big a hit to take on his profit. He also said that some of the guidelines would prevent at least one of his apps from being listed by Apple - SuperDuper in particular requires root access in order to back up the entire filesystem, and root access is prevented under the App Store guidelines.

I'm sure plenty of developers will follow, particularly the ones who are not already well established, just not all of them.

SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner should be given a special pass on this. Without those two applications over the years the Mac experience would have been very different, at least for me. They are indispensable utilities and root access is obviously required to do what they do. I love Time Machine but I won't go without a clone of my boot drives too. My suggestion is Apple have an advanced section (or what ever name they wish) for utilities such as this that have long since proven themselves as gold standards for the Mac community and it would a shame for them not to be in the App Store. Those applications in that section can actually have a far more stringent approval process but be allowed permission based root access.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #21 of 66
Since buying a Mac in 2002 I can't remember visiting Apple's download page once for anything other than Dashboard widgets and, more recently, Safari Extensions. Eventually both of those ended up on Versiontracker and MacUpdate though so once again, it's irrelevant.

For me my app search goes something like this: 1) MacUpdate, 2) Versiontracker, 3) Google, 4) IRC or forums to see if such an app even exists for what I'm trying to accomplish, 5) Scour Sourceforge for some UNIX app I can compile and run in OS X, 6) See if a Windows app exists that will run acceptably under WINE.

What's changed is that I'll probably head to the App Store to purchase apps if I already know exactly what I need and the developer doesn't offer a way to purchase it online themselves.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Since buying a Mac in 2002 I can't remember visiting Apple's download page once for anything other than Dashboard widgets and, more recently, Safari Extensions. Eventually both of those ended up on Versiontracker and MacUpdate though so once again, it's irrelevant.

For me my app search goes something like this: 1) MacUpdate, 2) Versiontracker, 3) Google, 4) IRC or forums to see if such an app even exists for what I'm trying to accomplish, 5) Scour Sourceforge for some UNIX app I can compile and run in OS X, 6) See if a Windows app exists that will run acceptably under WINE.

What's changed is that I'll probably head to the App Store to purchase apps if I already know exactly what I need and the developer doesn't offer a way to purchase it online themselves.

I concur. BTW how are you finding CNET's handling of Version Tracker?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pika2000 View Post

No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?

They use a self owned site, macupdate etc

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #24 of 66
I hope they keep the widget section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Since there is already a huge market for Mac apps, and they do not all instantly comply to the App Store guidelines, they could be alienating a very large portion of the developer community.

This needs to be a transition.

Do you even know what "Mac OS Download" page is?! It is basically a list of available Mac OS software. It links directly to the downloads file of third party software. I has nothing to do with developing software for Mac. It have no payment system, no hosting.. etc.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I concur. BTW how are you finding CNET's handling of Version Tracker?

I don't end up there often enough to judge. MU is usually sufficient.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I concur. BTW how are you finding CNET's handling of Version Tracker?

(OK, so your comment was not directed to me... oh well... )

I think there are plus and minus of VT transfer.
The transition was badly done -- they kept my pro subscription money I had pre-paid with nothing given in return .

While their current interface of a VersionTracker 'list' that directs to Download.com is functional, there is a lot that Download.com never picked up from VersionTracker.
Missing is: (a) the version history details, which I used to make reference to a lot. (b) meaningful user comments. Yes, a few user comments are there, but all the detailed and in-depth comments that used to be on VT are gone. (then again, some of VT comments were getting spammed... )

Overall, I liked VT better than new VT/Download.com.
Progress forward is not always progress...

But, back to topic at hand.

In general, I am sad to see Apple Downloads disappear.

I have used it regularly over the years, and from the looks of things, a bunch of stuff will just not make the cut or will be dropped.

To the commenter that says in essense - who cares, just use google.
No, it is not the same at all.

The Apple Downloads was a site that I could trust had real, non-spam, non-scam product information. You just cannot say that about the search hit returns on google.

Looks like another some-get-scr____ transition in store...
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post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pika2000 View Post

No! I mean what about devs that don't necessarily agree or want to be in the App store, but still wants to develop Mac apps?



i am afraid they will have to go to other platform. why would not a dev agree with the app store?
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Apple is basically saying "Give us a 30% cut of your Mac sales or go take a hike."

They're gonna make a bundle on all those free apps, too!

Wait. What?

Developers see some benefits if they sell their applications through the Mac App store:

- They pick the price
- They get 70% of sales revenue
- They Receive payments monthly
- No charge for free apps
- No credit card fees
- No hosting fees
- No marketing fees

You seem to think that it costs developers nothing to handle all the backside stuff themselves, not true.

Since pre-release and demo applications won't be carried in the app store, developers can, and are encouraged to distribute them from their own sites. Some applications (MS Office, etc) don't make sense in the mac app store, and there doesn't seem to be any requirement that if an application is carried in the app store, it can only be carried there.

Paranoia is fun and all, but not so much if you don't actually have enemies.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Host it on your own site or somewhere else, then.

Exactly. Anyone willing to pay for their own bandwidth, not get creative about their margins, etc. ... stick with what you've got and pay Apple nothing. Everyone else who wants access to millions of users instantly, welcome.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Since there is already a huge market for Mac apps, and they do not all instantly comply to the App Store guidelines, they could be alienating a very large portion of the developer community.

This needs to be a transition.

There's plenty of transition: they told developers weeks ago to get ready to start giving Steve 30% of their income. Who needs more time than that to understand a very simple message?
post #31 of 66
Oh I called this quite a while ago.... and theres always macupdate for people's downloads....
post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Exactly. Anyone willing to pay for their own bandwidth, not get creative about their margins, etc. ... stick with what you've got and pay Apple nothing. Everyone else who wants access to millions of users instantly, welcome.

1. By what percentage do you imagine the Mac audience will grow because it has an App Store?

2. When your app is reduced to being one of half a million other records which all share a uniform layout in a database with one of the weakest search engines for actually finding things. exactly how will that do more for you than being able to market creatively and independently with the entire web at your disposal?

3. Will people really buy more software when they're not allowed to get demo versions of it? These aren't 99-cent toys like most of the busy-box gadgets for iOS; many great Mac apps cost $49, $99, $149, and more. No demo. Impulse buy for two hundred bucks? Hardly...
post #33 of 66
Something is moving.......

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post #34 of 66
I stopped using the Apple Downloads page a couple of years ago when they redesigned it. It used to just have a flat list of all the new downloads, so you could check every day for new items at a glance.

But then they changed it up big time, all sorts of new categories and oversized icons. All very good looking and a lot less usable. I will not be sorry to see it go.
post #35 of 66
So what about those users who have a non-intel Mac? I know the number of users is dropping, but there are still a lot of machines around which cannot upgrade to Snow Leopard or above.

They won't be able to have the Mac App Store, and now losing the downloads page.

I good compromised by Apple would be keep the OS X downloads page for PPC versions of software only. There would obviously be the option for Intel users to run Rosetta to run the PPC apps, but I think over time, the convenience of the App Store would prevent this.

How will the App Store deal with Shareware? It will be free to download but users would then buy a license from the software developers website? Would this result in all software becoming shareware?

Phil
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I guess you two need refreshers in reading comprehension.

How arrogant.
post #37 of 66
I can only speak about my own experience, but... I never buy software for my Mac. I'm an average user who uses a MacBook to surf the web, share photos, download media, whatever... but I don't have to buy software to do any of that. I guess I bought Office a while ago when I was in school, but other than that, I don't have a need for anything else.

But I buy LOTS of apps for my iPhone and iPad. LOTS. These are apps I don't really need, but they're so convenient to buy and easy to install, why not?

Do you see where I'm going with this? The real value of the Mac App Store isn't for power users who buy software from developers who wont make the margins to sacrafice 30% other revenue. It's for developers who can view the 30% as a marketing tool and get poor saps like me to notice their stuff.
post #38 of 66
It doesn't make any sense for Apple to maintain the current Mac OS X software site once the app store opens. Two sites for software is just confusing, which one is one supposed to use?

I also think developers who are worried about the 30% have bigger problems than this site closing. If extra exposure to more users with an easy, reliable, secure way to buy software doesn't improve your sales by more than enough to cover the 30%, you may just be making software with very limited appeal. (Or, you're serving a niche market and probably weren't helped by the current software site.)
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by womble2k2 View Post

... How will the App Store deal with Shareware? It will be free to download but users would then buy a license from the software developers website? Would this result in all software becoming shareware?

No, there won't be any shareware, demos, trials, etc. in the Mac App Store. It's either free or paid. If you want to distribute shareware, you'll need to do it through your own web site. The shareware model has rarely been financially viable anyway. (Yes, there are notable exceptions, but those few didn't succeed because they were shareware.) You're much better off distributing some sort of limited demo from your web site and selling the full version on your own or through the MAS.
post #40 of 66
I may just stop using Mac for good over this...now apple will control innovation on the mac just like they do on the iphone? no thanks, Steve and co make great hardware and OSes but I dont want them dictating what I can buy and not buy in top of their platform. I know 3rd party non app store apps are still possible, but if an app is not allowed into the store, it will be aleinated and not make enough money to continue, this app store idea on PCs and Macs is going to lead to fracturing, the suburbs of the app store and the indie devs who dont play ball will find themselves in the tech equivalent of the ghetto, all the shops around them closing up, and no new business coming in.

I am concerned because Apple has a nasty reputation of thought policing and banning apps that duplicate OS functionality. These factors are bad news for all.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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