The Mac App Store arrives this week and I have been thinking about how it will impact and change the way I do things. There is one aspect of the requirements for developers that many people may not be aware of, which is that any applications in the App Store must work across all of the user’s Macs.
This requirement has been in place for iOS-based devices since the release of the App Store. This is a huge step forward for realizing truly ubiquitous applications across all of our devices. This may work well for families, or individuals, that have multiple Macs and use the same iTunes account for their purchases. There is still the limit of five devices that can be attached to an individual iTunes account, so this should limit some piracy from occurring.
There may eventually be an unintended consequence because of this requirement. It may eventually turn out that prices for applications steadily rise due to potential increase in support prices. With more users, the cost of supporting the increase goes up. Now this may not happen because of the other requirement that forbids applications that require root privileges, thereby eliminating a vast majority of installation support questions that may arise.
In regard to prices, there has not been any indication of typical pricing for applications, but I would speculate at minimum $10 for most applications, and probably somewhere near $25 to $30 per application.
I don’t know about the rest of the Mac audience, but I am excited to see what is going to be released on the Mac App Store. I am hoping that we see iWork ’11, and I have the money set aside for the entire suite just in case. There are still a ton of questions surrounding the Mac App store that have not yet been answered, but hopefully most of them will be answered in the next couple of days as the store opens.