How Apple could fix their flawed Mac App Store

“Because I recently discussed the tradeoffs involved in selling apps only on the Mac App Store, some are convinced I hate the entire concept of the App Store,” Rob Griffiths writes for Macworld. “That’s not the case, though — I just think the current implementation is flawed and leads to bad experiences for both developers and customers.”

“However, with a few simple changes—and one not-so-simple changes — the Mac App Store really could be the place to shop for Mac software, instead of a place where you only find apps that meet Apple’s narrow definition of what an app should be,” Griffiths writes. “I honestly don’t expect Apple to address every item on this list. I’m not even sure if they’ll address any of them. But for the sake of the store, and its customers and developers, I hope they do implement many of them, at least: In the long run, a much better Mac App Store is better for everyone involved.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Even the simple fixes would go a long way to helping the Mac App Store improve dramatically. We wouldn’t advise you hold your breath for the Mac App Store to start allowing non-sandboxed apps, though.


  1. Concepts:

    Trash the App Store application and start from scratch. Base the store interface on that of the iTunes Store so that there is literally NO difference. That makes for a simple transition. This is also a useful idea because, AFAIAC, the App Store application never came out of beta. It’s one of the worst, most lazily coded program Apple ever shoved onto its customers. For those who disagree, I can only roll my eyes at you. I’m entirely serious.

    Here are fun examples of just how awful the App Store application is:

    – I bought the ‘Cookie’ application through the App Store, but its app has NEVER EVER shown up my ‘Purchased’ list. What madness is that about? And yet, it will show up on my Updates page when Apple get around to releasing it. *clunk*bang*wheeeze*

    – Because I have a friendly directly relationship with the developer of ‘Cookie’, he very kindly gave me access to the direct download version from his website. He did this for me because I became sick of waiting for Apple to catch up with each update of the app and allow it to be updated via the App Store app. IOW: Apple can be a ridiculous delay factor for updates. For already vetted and trusted apps? Why????

    – There is no possible way to reorder the list of Purchased apps. This outright lazy and stupid. The page has the names of apps and the dates of purchase. Why can’t I perform the entirely basic database functions of reordering the apps? Alphabetical? Nope, can’t do that. Reverse purchase order? Nope, can’t do that. Installed vs Uninstalled vs Update available? Nope, can’t do that.

    And how about stopping the updates of individual apps you no longer wish to use/update? A contextual option to do that would be great! Nope, can’t do that.

    How about Search working within the Purchased list? Nope, can’t do that. Instead you get dumped to a list of results for the App Store itself, NOT your list of Purchased apps.

    Come on Apple? Who wrote this terrible POS App Store app and why weren’t they SHOT for it? Let ME rewrite it for you, despite my lousy coding talents. I seriously could do FAR better. That’s sad.

  2. “Apple’s narrow definition of what an app should be”

    Indeed.. Beautifully put ..This goes along with Apple’s definition of what Pro is.

    Apple is neglecting the Pro, high end user. In most every way.
    The “hard part ” segment of the article is a perfect example of this…
    No serious kick butt application in there…
    Yet THERE ARE many awesome apps that are simply not represented at Mac app store.
    Apple somehow seems to want to tell prople that a Mac is pretty much as functional as a iOS device. With mostly superficial application represented at the app store .

    Example… Look for 3d modeling and animation applications, FX apps..etc
    Going by whats in the app store one would think: ” wow, whats up.. Really, this is the best mac can do? … Look at the stuff availible on windows”..
    Yet there are some trully awesome applications for Mac in this realm
    Cinema 4d, Modo, lightwave, Nuke .. All of Adobe stuff ..Etc… So much out there ..
    But one has to leave the Mac app store and resort to researching on the web to find them..
    Why ? Apple

    Tim, Phil, Team

    I bombard Apple feedback and pretty much every relevant contact i have at Apple with letters and all.
    Hope everyone concerened does too.

    Apple neglecting the True PRO ( for the most part ) is a bad bad strategy !

    Long term it will erode their reputation .


    1. I agree if the accountants are dictating what markets Apple are prioritising or are even in, then that is something very concerning for a company that prides itself on its lateral thinking. The Pro market even in the unlikely event it wasn’t earning real profit is worth it for the very reasons you mention especially for a company that for so many years was accused of producing toys. Ignoring gaming for all those years after originally being at the forefront has only restricted their access to the youth market which took years and much cost to address in other ways and still excludes them from a rump audience that should be a lesson to future planning.

      1. Ahhh.. The gaming market… Another big big issue ..

        I have a few friends who have kids of between 12-17 years old and then add on top all their friends..
        They all started on playstations and Xboxes etc.
        They all have macbooks or iPads of some sort…But now they are all stuck to their pc s nonstop… And the reason….GAMING.
        And to be honest they could not care less if it is Windows or Apple mac….. ..The only thing that matters to them is gaming and congregating with their friends online and playing.( which, at least in my opinion has had and has a viral effect, drawing teens to Windows and pc s)
        They know one thing as clear as day light : PC and windows are the platform of choice for gaming
        And they get drawn to it, attached to it, learn it, and feel more at home with it …..
        If they want gifts.. They ask for pc related performance upgrades ( hello Apple…, customization, remember that phenomenon?? Grrrr ) , gaming gift cards.. Etc.
        That is Bad …. Very bad strategy on Apples behalf ..
        Some decision made at Apple are bewildering to me…….
        Ahhhhhhhhh. Painful …..

  3. It should be possible to buy any software from any device for any other device. On the Mac I already can buy apps for Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. I should just as easily be able to buy a Mac app on my iPhone, and it should be installed on my Mac when I get home.

  4. The user experience declined when they moved to using web pages to display iTunes and App Store pages. The “designers” though that tiny text and low-contrast colour schemes were a good idea. That’s where things when sideways. Apple was right not to use HTML-based pages for iTunes in the beginning.

    I have nothing against web-based apps. I’m a web developer myself, and very passionate about it, but Apple’s implementation tanked with bad design decisions from the very start of the app store.

    1. Ok… Reading your post im an inclined to conclude that Apple has no more room to improve… It has achieved Ethernal perfection.

      And if amyone suggest anything to help improve Appls they are doing so out of their ignorance of not recognizing perfection….

    2. And if i may add.. You said it not fun Anymore…
      Could it be that its not fun Anymore becouse there have been many missfires from apple in the last one year.. And apple supportes are somewhat concerned?

  5. While I agree with your recommendations whole-heartedly, it amazes me how hard it is the communicate with MacNewsDaily itself! Your own App doesn’t work on iPad Pros! Trying to alert you folks is damn near impossible. If you guys can get it to work, please enlighten me. I have 3 Pros, and the App instantly crashes on all 3.
    I hope Apple fixes their very flawed Mac App Store. I hope you guys make it easier to give App feedback (!!!!), and fix your own App!

  6. Fantastic suggestions!

    > Allow demos;
    > Allow refunds:
    > Allow paid Upgrades.

    Yes, yes, yes! I would spend a lot more money on the app store with these few changes.

    Nearly every (if not every) major retailer today pretty much offers a no-hassle return policy because they know that the customer will spend more freely if they have the option of returning a product that doesn’t meet their needs. Here’s the secret retailers know: Few return products, but sales increase because customers have more peace of mind.

    GREAT suggestions!

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