The App Store
I was amused by a comment I overheard in the office last week, just after the announcement of the iPad. It went something like this:
People will buy the iPad instead of a MacBook because the iPad has Applications.
My initial reaction was "how daft". A laptop running MacOSX, or Windows, has access to billions of application, built through the ages. It's ridiculous to think that there could be more applications available to a souped-up mobile phone.
But it immediately struck me that he had a point. Shareware died in the land of sophisticated web browsers, and the proliferation of viruses and spamware. Thinking back, they were awful. "Proper" software, like Office or Photoshop is priced beyond the realm of individuals.
Really, I can't believe that we missed it for so long. What people wanted was a safe, reliable, place where they could spend pocket money on little apps that were beautifully built. They found it in the App store. And you know what? I think Apple underestimated it too. Otherwise there would be an App Store for MacBooks.
- So there's a review process, hated by developers. But equally, there's no spamware.
- There's no multi-tasking. But equally, there's no battery intensive, memory-hogging, background-running daemons.
- Apps costs money. But Apple already has your card details from signing you up to iTunes. They had a micro-payments model, beating Facebook and Paypal (whose customers have been begging for one) by miles. £1.50? That's only half a pint these days. No problem.
In the land of the laptop, the only competitor (excluding webapps and shareware), is the widgets. We have widgets for weather, clocks, telling the time, calendars, weather forecasts, clocks, and the weather. Handy.
It's here that I'd like to see the App Store. Why can't I drop an iPhone app onto my dashboard (or sidebar)?
The iWork for iPad apps are $10 each and will be available at the iTunes App Store.
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