I’ve recently heard a bit of commentary about the state of the Mac App Store, prompted in the most part by a high profile announcement of “yet another” high profile app that is departing the store. The commentary mostly revolves around how the Mac App Store is falling behind the iOS counterpart, how the restrictions imposed limit functionality and inevitably the lack of upgrade pricing. I’d like to offer another side to this doom and gloom.

I recently “nuked and paved” my 2011 MacBook Pro due to a number of issues I was experiencing and also, well, it was kinda time to clean house. As a result of this I haven’t installed that many apps, mostly only what I’ve needed to use so far in the 5 or so months since.

Here’s what I have installed that’s not from the Mac App Store.

A Better Finder Rename, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Air Video Server, Alfred, AppDelete, Atom, Audio Hijack, MacPhun Creative Kit, Backblaze, Bartender, Carbon Copy Cloner, DropBox, Fission, Handbrake, iStat Menus, LineIn, MailSteward, OmniFocus, Pro Audio Converter, RipIt, Skype, Transmit, VLC, VueScan.

And here’s what I have installed that is from the Mac App Store.

MPlayerX, DaisyDisk, LimeChat, MacTracker, Caffeine, Evernote, 1Password, FlightRadar24, Piezo, iFlicks 2, VidConvert, Reeder, Tweetbot, Soundboard, PDFPen Pro, Byword, The Unarchiver, OneNote, Clarify, PaintCode, MindNode Pro, and Pocket.

I left out Apple software because Apple have an advantage in that any software they want can be put in the store without regard to the restrictions.

That’s a count of 25 external and 22 from the store. Many of those from outside realistically will never make it to the store – apps like Audio Hijack and Bartender dig around in the bowels of OS X and that’s not the sort of app the store was ever intended for. By my estimation about half of the external ones would have no technical reason they couldn’t be in the store.

So, very nearly half of the apps I’ve actually used in 5 months came from the App Store. Sure, it has problems, but it’s not dead or dying as some would have us believe.


Banner image © Apple, Inc. From Mac App Store.

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