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Resourceful users have found a way get paid Mac App Store apps for free

Apple loves to brag about numbers, so it should come as no surprise that the boys from Cupertino are overjoyed by the news that the newly launched Mac App Store crossed the one million downloads mark in just 24 hours.

"We're amazed at the incredible response the Mac App Store is getting," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Developers have done a great job bringing apps to the store and users are loving how easy and fun the Mac App Store is." 

The Mac App Store provides users a simplified way of searching for, purchasing, and installing OS X applications. Anyone that is familiar with the App Store for the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad would feel right at home using the complimentary service for his or her MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.

Interestingly enough, even though Apple's Mac App Store seems to be off to a good start, it still has it problems. Many users were getting an "error 100" message when trying to access the store early yesterday. The only way to clear the message for many users was to Log Out of their current session of OS X and log back in.

Even more troubling is that fact that some paid apps can be easily pirated by downloading the .dmg files from the internet and using a "purchase" receipt from a free app.



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RE: What a coincidence!
By Tony Swash on 1/7/2011 1:35:49 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
A better coincidence is you commenting on another Apple article and already being rated at -1 before anyone else has commented.

Congrats :).


What can one do except keep posting the same ghastly unpalatable truth that offend and shocks so many so much that they have to avert their eyes. Apple make products that are insanely popular. They are insanely popular because they offer a feature set not found in other products (and to clarify for you goofy techies that does not mean a spec list).

How and why Apple can keep having such big hits, how and why Apple keep creating such disruptive products should be genuinely interesting to anybody with an interest in the future of technology and technology markets.

Sadly there are many around here only interested in the past and who are terrified of the future.


RE: What a coincidence!
By Luticus on 1/7/2011 1:59:59 PM , Rating: 1
They Are Insanely popular because "Do They offer a feature set not found in Other Products What feature set? What Can an ipad / mac do that Other Competing devices can not? Heck even if i remove all others (android / linux / etc ...) and focus only on Windows, What Can it do? The answer ... Nothing. Even in the hardware spec that's a father superior tablets / notebooks / PC 's Than Apple offers. Even with the bells Such As backlit keyboards (my desktop and laptop Have begged backlit keyboards for years now), multi-touch (hp laptop with a simple 3rd party programs enable two finger scrolling Easily), the App Store ... well windows Does not Have an app store per say ... You'd Have to include Linux for That in and said I was not going to do that so I'll spare you That one ... terrified of the future. The ONLY thing I'm "terrified" of ice, the idea That one day in Might Have less say in What hardware / software i can run on all my systems. That's a future in hope to never see.


RE: What a coincidence!
By Solandri on 1/7/2011 3:15:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
They are insanely popular because they offer a feature set not found in other products (and to clarify for you goofy techies that does not mean a spec list).

The one thing the Apple products have is a great user interface. This is what allowed the technically inferior iPod to conquer the MP3 player market.

In nearly all other areas (features, price), Apple products are inferior. But most companies vastly underestimate the importance of a good user interface. I'm an engineer and Linux wizard. I love geeky gadgets with tons of options. I imagine most of the engineers at other companies designing these products are like me. It took me a while to realize that most people are not like us. They don't care how many features a product has, or that it's operating in a more efficient manner under the hood. They just care that it does what they want it to do, and that it's really easy to make it do what they want it to do.

This is what Apple does really, really well, and why they're successful. But a lot of Apple fans make the opposite mistake, and assume that since Apple is successful in certain markets, that means their products have an overall superior feature set. They do not. It's just that the importance of the one feature Apple gets right (the UI) is much, much greater than everything else on the tech spec list.

But user interface design is not like other technologies. It's not protected behind a secret manufacturing process. It doesn't take high level calculations of esoteric math to derive the optimal form. Indeed, the greatest strength of a good user interface is its simplicity.

So while Apple leads on this feature, it's a tenuous lead. Anyone who puts some effort into it and/or has some flashes of insight can dethrone them. If Jobs were smart, he would be diversifying to solidify Apple's position in the market. Now that he has the brand recognition, the critical mass, and the attention of businesses, he should be offering more features and options to satisfy people like me, who want more than a slick interface. But he's not. He seems content to reside in this little niche.

And yes it's a niche. The importance of a clean, simple UI is inversely proportional to the complexity of the product. As the product gets more complex, by definition the user interactions with it have to become more complex. And the simplicity of the UI becomes lost in the complexities of all the available functions and options.

For a simple product like an MP3 player, a good, simple UI is very important, which is why the iPod owns 3/4ths of the market. For a more complex product like a phone, it's less important, which is why the iPhone is only about 1/6th of global and 1/4th U.S. smartphone sales. And for very complex products like computers, it's even less important, which is why Macs are only about 1/15th of computer sales.

This is what's going to kill the iPad IMHO. Right now it's positioned in the market as basically a glorified web browser. Simple and limited in functionality, which plays to Apple's greatest strength. But I don't see tablets being limited to web browsers. In the next 5-10 years, I see them becoming a huge part of business as they replace the old pen and paper clipboard. But businesses don't want an uncustomizable tablet with no direct media slots and which can't print. They want something more functional, more complex. So unless Apple changes the product, I see the iPad's eventual market share settling somewhere in between the 1/4th and 1/15th of the iPhone and Mac.


RE: What a coincidence!
By Tony Swash on 1/7/11, Rating: -1
RE: What a coincidence!
By Solandri on 1/7/2011 5:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is a deep commitment to design, especially in the small things: a trivial but telling example - when a Macbook goes to sleep the little light on the side starts to pulse. it pulses at the rate that a heart pulses when at rest and relaxed. This design feature was deliberate and is probably never in itself noticed by users. But lots, and lots of small features like this (which are invisible on a spec list, not really part of any UI and which are considered as trivial floss by techies) adds up to a different sort of experience and it's that different experience that consumers flock to.

Another example - the Apple value stack. Apple has carefully assembled a value stack for its products that includes bundled software that isn't craplets, no third party craplets, a superb retail experience, a highly rated customer service system, a single integrated ecommerce and payment system across all it's devices that is very easy to use, the world's biggest digital music collection, software and hardware integration that makes syncing stuff across computers and devices a breeze, a big media collection, a safe (no malware, no system crashers) way to buy cheap apps from a huge library of apps, etc etc.

I've said this before in other threads. I've used Apple products. I actually like Apple products. But their problem is they're monolithic. But not providing many options many people are looking for, they're limiting themselves to just a swath of the market. A wide swath mind you, but it's still limiting. Let's take your little heartrate blink example for instance. People have different heartrates. Personally, I consider the rate the Mac's suspend light blinks to be rather frenetic. It does not soothe me, and detracts from my user experience. I prefer something closer to the frequency of ocean waves hitting the shore.

quote:
A comforting fairy tale that explains nothing about the real world. Think it through. Do you really think that the user interface of a complex object is less important than that of a less complex one? That seems an unsupportable hypothesis to me. If anything I would have thought is was the other way around.

This is the problem with Apple fanatics. Anything they disagree with is a fairy tale. Just because you don't believe it doesn't make it false.

Yes the user interface of a complex object needs to be good too. But a UI is all about the user learning what to do to make the device do something. If a device has 4 functions and the UI adds an extra step, you've gone from 4 things to learn to 5 things to learn. A 20% increase, which is significant. But if a device has 400 functions and the UI adds an extra step, you've gone from 400 to 401 things to learn, which is only a 0.25% increase. It's an annoyance, but it's completely swamped out by the greater complexity of the system. And so the relative importance of a good UI decreases with the complexity of a system.

quote:
If you think that the iPad and it's thousands of Apps is selling a glorified web browser than you have truly lost the plot. Just use Google for god's sake and survey the sort of stuff the iPad is really being used for. The ex-Blur front man Damon Albarn has just released an album he recorded and created solely using his iPad in hotel rooms on tour!

Have no concept of using the best tool for the job? I don't understand how you can in one paragraph advocate the simplicity of Apple's UIs, and in another cite as a plus using a terribly limiting and restrictive device for recording, mixing, and editing. People use the iPod because it plays music effectively, easily, and reliably. People use the iPad for browsing the web because it does it effectively, easily, and reliably. Yeah you can use it to record music, and I can use a pogo stick to get to work. But they can't do these things effectively, nor easily, nor reliably. Its limitations make it a poor tool for that job, so you're not going to see iPads replacing recording/mixing equipment. It's as simple as that.

quote:
The momentum of the iPad in the coming year will shock and amaze you. No tablet will come close to catching it in 2011 or in 2012. It may never be caught - just like the iPod was never caught.

I'll repeat. The consumer market for this type of product at the current price point is approaching saturation. You either have to lower the price (which Jobs hates to do), or expand the market. The next big market for it is going to be business, and the iPad in its current form (designed to cater to subscriptions services in the publishing industry, where it's failing) is unsuitable for business. Unless Apple adds several of the key features I outlined, the iPad is going to be relegated to about the same market share as the Mac.


RE: What a coincidence!
By Tony Swash on 1/7/2011 7:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Have no concept of using the best tool for the job? I don't understand how you can in one paragraph advocate the simplicity of Apple's UIs, and in another cite as a plus using a terribly limiting and restrictive device for recording, mixing, and editing. People use the iPod because it plays music effectively, easily, and reliably. People use the iPad for browsing the web because it does it effectively, easily, and reliably. Yeah you can use it to record music, and I can use a pogo stick to get to work. But they can't do these things effectively, nor easily, nor reliably. Its limitations make it a poor tool for that job, so you're not going to see iPads replacing recording/mixing equipment. It's as simple as that.


All I am doing is pointing out that if you think all most people mostly use the iPad for is web browsing you are far from reality. I think the market for the iPad is vast and Apple are rushing to exploit it. I think Apple will sell over 30 million in 2011 and maybe as many as 50 million. I think Apple will retain at least 80% of the tablet market in 2011. Care to offer your projected figures for iPads sales and market share and take a bet on this one?


RE: What a coincidence!
By vol7ron on 1/7/2011 8:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think Apple's key to credit is their screen quality.

They really don't have many products cutting-edge anymore, like the iPod was in its heyday.


RE: What a coincidence!
By bigboxes on 1/8/2011 12:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
All I am doing is pointing out that if you think all most people mostly use the iPad for is web browsing you are far from reality.


Actually the iPad is also used as a paperweight until is brought out for guests to go "oooh" and "ahhh" as the owner has long been bored with its gimmicky lack of function. Oh, but it's got the form!


RE: What a coincidence!
By Tony Swash on 1/8/2011 6:46:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually the iPad is also used as a paperweight until is brought out for guests to go "oooh" and "ahhh" as the owner has long been bored with its gimmicky lack of function. Oh, but it's got the form!


I guess you are right, the iPad is just an iFad. It's all a gimmick. People really don't like them much and why would they? So in the coming year the iPad sales will falter or flat line and the new iPad competitors will come from behind to overtake Apple (just like happened with Windows and Macs). All will be well in your universe.

There is only one problem with that view. It's just not what is going to happen like that in reality. And when things don't happen as you expect what will you do? Change your mind?

quote:
When the facts change I change my ideas. What do you do?
John Maynard Keynes


RE: What a coincidence!
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/9/2011 2:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes the user interface of a complex object needs to be good too. But a UI is all about the user learning what to do to make the device do something. If a device has 4 functions and the UI adds an extra step, you've gone from 4 things to learn to 5 things to learn. A 20% increase, which is significant. But if a device has 400 functions and the UI adds an extra step, you've gone from 400 to 401 things to learn, which is only a 0.25% increase.


I only ask that you don't use this to excuse poor implementation. Unnecessary obfuscation and complication tells me that the designer, who like all of us is a fallible human being, screwed up.

Little things like changing user permissions is so much better handled in OS X or Ubuntu than it is in Windows 7 (which I also like, to be clear). What literally takes six steps if you know exactly which tab and which button to click takes only two steps in OS X. This unnecessary complication of preference panes and panels is all over the place, because the tools are just as capable and powerful in OS X. The layout was just done with some real thought behind it.

If I create something and the user has a difficult time with it, the fault is mine for not doing a good job with the interface, not the user. A tool, even a complicated one like Photoshop or Maya or Final Cut Pro, should have real thought behind the user interface, and they do.

The Windows UI has some of the most thoughtless design behind it, which is infuriating because otherwise I love it. If they just flat out COPIED the OS X submenus and preference panes and such, I would be thrilled. Its complication and obfuscation adds absolutely nothing, it only adds to me thinking that monkeys are running around certain departments in Redmond and making the company look bad.


RE: What a coincidence!
By Alexstarfire on 1/10/2011 9:05:48 AM , Rating: 2
Now this I can totally agree with. It's not that you can't do what you want in Windows 7, but they made a lot of it more complicated than necessary for seemingly no reason. I'd rather they not copy OS X myself. If I wanted OS X I'd get a Mac.


RE: What a coincidence!
By sxr7171 on 1/8/2011 7:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
What you say is generally true, but believe it or not Apple knows that it must keep at the forefront and at the very least offer what the competition is offering. The first iPhone was a real joke, it was limited severely compared to the smartphones of its era. However today's iPhone runs everything. Where before skype and google voice was not allowed, it all runs on the iPhone today. This is all thanks to Android.

The current iPad is also severely limited but it can be because there is no competition yet. It's still better than anything else out there. When this year's new crop of tablets shows up, you better bet the iPad will add whatever it needs to keep up. These guys are experts at providing the absolute least necessary to get the device to sell and then maximizing revenue by selling new products that provide again the absolute least needed to get the device to sell. Over time this strategy maximizes revenue. This is bad for the consumer but it is the simple lack of competition that allows this to happen.

These people are quite experienced at launching products and keeping them just slightly ahead. I very much doubt they will fail.


RE: What a coincidence!
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/9/2011 2:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
I saw Windows tablets, Android tablets including the Motorola Xoom, and the Blackberry Playbook at CES this week. The iPad has nothing to worry about because every single one of those devices are inferior to the iPad in every way.

This isn't Apple's fault, blame everyone else for not properly balancing user interface, functionality, ergonomics, and battery life. Once they get on the ball with a good device, something none of them can claim to be, then they can compete.

The other interesting thing is that the iPad's functionality continues to get extended via applications (something you choose to ignore) and broadly accepted hardware compatibility with other hardware manufacturers, something that also worked in the favor of the iPod with the dock connector being put into everything from alarm clock to cars.

The big thing in home AV at CES this year (aside from Panasonic's STELLAR 2011 plasmas) this year was AirPlay being integrated in pretty much everything. From the lowliest receiver to a high-end McIntosh prepro, it seems that everyone is putting iOS control into their devices (which means goodbye to Crestron and every other touchscreen home integrator and their $15000 systems, woohoo!). Hell, you can even control non-AirPlay or non-wifi components with an iPad app and some IR blasters.

If CES made one thing clear this year, it is that every other tablet out there is a joke, and that they have a hell of a mountain to climb. We'll see how they do. Android is still a very inferior and immature platform, but Microsoft managed to make a very good device with Windows Mobile 7. Again, we'll see who gives the iPad legit competition in a few years.


RE: What a coincidence!
By silverblue on 1/7/2011 3:15:39 PM , Rating: 1
Ironic, considering Apple have barely adopted Nehalem processors and we're already on Sandy Bridge.

As for your claim of one million iPads a week, Apple simply don't have the supply chain necessary to produce one million iPads a week. Additionally, Apple aren't renowned for dropping prices to sensible levels so that's another little fault with this scenario. They sold three million in the 80 days post launch and you're expecting the same number to go in 21?


RE: What a coincidence!
By Taft12 on 1/7/2011 4:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ironic, considering Apple have barely adopted Nehalem processors and we're already on Sandy Bridge.


The irony (and this is Tony's point) is that 99% of the public do not know what a Nehalem or Sandy Bridge processor is and they certainly don't care. Neither will benefit general OSX usage very much over a Core 2 Duo.

Technical mental masturbation on DT is fun and all, but very few in this community can see the forest for the trees.


RE: What a coincidence!
By Solandri on 1/7/2011 5:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, from what I've been reading of Sandy Bridge's power consumption, it will provide a lot of benefit to OSX usage on laptops (where Apple has made the greatest success). I actually think Apple made the smart move mostly skipping Nehalem in its laptops and waiting for Sandy Bridge.

But yeah, most people (I'd say 97% instead of 99%, but that's splitting hairs) don't know and don't care what Nehalem nor Sandy Bridge are. The primary emphasis on a mass-market product has to be on the user interface and user experience. Technical improvements are secondary except to the geek/enthusiast crowd.


RE: What a coincidence!
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/9/2011 2:14:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ironic, considering Apple have barely adopted Nehalem processors and we're already on Sandy Bridge.


Incorrect, Nehalems were in Mac Pros weeks before Dell and HP had them, and the i7 860 and i5 750s were put into iMacs the first month they were out.

As for 13" and 11" Macbook Pros/Airs, blame Intel for not allowing NVIDIA to make integrated graphics after the Core 2 CPUs. It was either an i3 CPU with Intel IGP and crap graphics and no OpenCL, or a Core 2 Duo with an integrated NVIDIA GPU that gives decent graphics and OpenCL. Sophie's Choice, but given the baseline GPU requirements of OS X, it was the only choice. Now that Sandy Bridge is out and outperforming the 320M, it should end up in a 13"/11" Macbook refresh pretty soon.

Sandy Bridge has just barely come out, my friend ordered one of the first ones on Newegg and won't even get it until Tuesday at the earliest. "We're already on Sandy Bridge" is a bit premature.

quote:
As for your claim of one million iPads a week, Apple simply don't have the supply chain necessary to produce one million iPads a week. Additionally, Apple aren't renowned for dropping prices to sensible levels so that's another little fault with this scenario. They sold three million in the 80 days post launch and you're expecting the same number to go in 21?


A million a week is far fetched. That said, I will not be surprised to see 30 million iPads sold by 2012. They will have cleared 12 million iPads sold in one year, and sales only accelerate with every month. Should hit 30 million very easily.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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