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It's All New

January 6, 2011 - Dave Hecei
It’s All New The year is now 2011 and everything is new again - well, almost. At least the year is new. CES officially starts today and Apple has already shot a preemtive strike. The new Mac App Store is now online.

If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or new iPad, then you are familiar with an App Store. The App Store model that Apple created for the mobile platform has been such a hit they decided to port it over to the Macintosh platform too.

The consensus is mixed on whether this is a good or bad thing. On the good side, a Mac App Store will make buying and installing software and updates a no-brainer, especially to new Mac owners. If the Mac Apps follow along the lines of iPhone/iPad Apps, there will be a huge selection and bargain pricing.

On the bad side, will this be the end of traditional software sales? For most software titles, especially casual gaming, there really is no need for CDs, books, and boxes. Plus, Apple has a reputation with the iPhone App Store. While there are hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, Apple has to evaluate every title and approve it. If they don't like something in the App, either just the look of it or if it violates any of their guidelines, they will refuse to publish it.

If you want to use the new Mac App Store you must have a Mac running, or capable of running, Snow Leopard - Mac OS X 10.6. If you are running Snow Leopard now, just run the Software Update utility (it's in the System Preferences or the second menu selection under the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen). There is a new 10.6.6 system update that will add the new Mac App Store to the Dock. If you are not running Snow Leopard you can purchase an upgrade disc for only $29.

Be aware that Snow Leopard, while being an inexpensive upgrade, is a significant upgrade. Your Mac will likely run a bit faster, but you might to run into a few snags, especially if you have been running Tiger or Leopard for a while. Check to see if all the software and drivers you have now will run in Snow Leopard. I had to update a few programs. One that I use quite a bit is Roxio Toast, which had to be upgraded to fully work with Snow Leopard.

Two other significant changes in 10.6 is the loss of AppleTalk and a very big change to QuickTime. If you need AppleTalk for any kind of printing workflow or if you do video/audio media production, you may want to reconsider Snow Leopard.

Starting today, the new Mac App Store goes online. Apple claims to have more than 1000 Apps available today, including several of their own. This includes Pages, Numbers, Keynote (iWorks 09), iMovie, iPhoto, Garage Band (iLife 11), and even Aperature 3 - Apple's pro-level digital photo workflow software.

The Mac App Store is likely to be a huge hit and another source of income for Apple, who even in this economy shines very brightly. With the new Mac App Store, you can find, download, and install great Mac software with just a few easy clicks.


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