Why is Apple’s Mac App Store so bad?

“The Mac App Store is horrifically bad,” Alexander Fox writes for Apple Gazette. “It’s filled with fake software, overpriced applications, and zero modern features. Sure, it’s not like Windows is doing much better, but the Mac App Store is a huge joke. What is keeping Apple from improving the Mac App Store?”

“What makes the Mac App Store so bad?” Fox writes. “There’s more than one reason, that’s for sure.”

The Mac App Store is also filled with scams designed to prey on the technologically illiterate. To be fair, most app stores are like this: Google Play and Microsoft are constantly battling fake and malicious apps in their store. But with Apple’s walled-garden approach, we expected better,” Fox writes. “Just search ‘Microsoft Office’ to find a ton of absolute garbage.”

“It’s hard not to see this neglect as a symptom of Apple’s overall disinterest in the macOS platform,” Fox writes. “While new Mac hardware is finally coming out, it’s been clear for a while that Apple’s heart and soul are in the iPhone and iOS.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in April 2016:

When you’ve sold yourself on the idea that the iPad is the future of personal computing by swallowing your own marketing hook, line, and sinker, and then fail to deliver on that promise for too long (skimping on RAM, offering underpowered multitasking, etc. – now, finally, largely corrected with iPad Pro), you neglect the horse that brung ya (Macintosh is his name) and shoot yourself in the foot (Q216 results, Mac sales unable to make up for the continued iPad sales decline, and Mac’s streak of outgrowing the PC market shattered)… A big picture revision and course correction would be well advised.

Since we wrote that, Apple’s management has witnessed the indomitability of the Macintosh and of Mac users.

Apple’s course correction (apologies to Mac users, the iMac Pro, promises of a new Mac Pro, etc.) hasn’t yet percolated down to the godawful Mac App Store and the one lonely intern who we imagine is tasked with running the thing. We wouldn’t advise holding your breath waiting for the Mac App Store to transform into something useful.

60 Comments

        1. As a humanist/agnostic, I thank you.

          Live in the Bible Belt American South where there are almost more churches than people.
          Our church is when Bill Maher comes to town on his comedy tours. When he starts to riff on religion it really fires up the (un)faithful.

    1. All Mac devices have evolved to their current designs, which involve adhesives and such. I do not see the MAcBook, MacBook Pro, or iMac returning to a screwed together assembly circa 2007, although I will continue to press Apple to provide reasonable user access to upgrade memory and storage. Even the simplistic Mac mini at the bottom end of the Mac lineup, which was formerly designed for easy upgradeability, has followed the sealed design trend.

      Given that situation, the only possible Mac that will meet your requirement in the foreseeable future is the upcoming Mac Pro. It had certainly better be user accessible and upgradeable much like the cheese grater design, or Apple has failed and the pros who are on the fence will depart.

      Therefore, if you refuse to buy a sealed-shut box, then you had best be prepared to carry your Mac Pro around with you, because the MB/MBP designs are not likely to satisfy your ultimatum anytime soon. Those who issue ultimatums are generally doomed to disappointment.

      1. And the iMac Pro and the MacPro are only as good as Apple makes the platform.

        As it stands, like it or not, if you are into advanced technology in any way… Windows is the place to be. Whether it is gaming, home automation, IT, a single operating system, application development, virtualization, virtual reality, a wide choice of devices, and on and on, Windows owns it and Apple has driven the Mac into a ditch and left it there.

        They believe that all computer users will be using iPhones and iPads.

        Not gonna happen.

  1. MDNs take is dead on.

    I absolutely love my 2017 iPad Pro but it will not replace my MacBook Pro and I like getting software for my Mac out of apples walled garden.

    It works for me with my iOS devices but not my Mac.

  2. Is this because of Tim Cook, who seems to have a conviction that Apple’s future lies in iPhone/iOS, and Mac and iOS should converge? If so, there is no hope. Tim has to go. Too much neglect and too much losing of hard earned reputation and market share to other…:-(

    Separate the phone biz and have Cook take care of it. He loves it and would be good at it too. But we do not need him for the rest of the Apple’s product line. I am afraid that he would eventually run Apple down to the ground…and soon… Dangerous….

    1. Nah, it’s because Apple is going in the PostPC direction that Steve Jobs spelled out a LOOOONG time ago. A LOT of people have gotten the hint and moved on to other platforms. Some stick around hoping beyond hope that Apple will return focus to the desktop form factor. I’m sure they will keep making them for awhile longer. 10,000 bucks is 10,000 bucks and they’re more than happy to take your money. Just don’t look for a refresh for, like 3-4 years.

      Meanwhile, iOS will continue to be updated on a yearly schedule.

      1. Well interestingly the Mac is still maintaining or increasing market share so clearly anyone leaving is being replaced by others, or your observation is simply wrong in regard to people moving away. Not that I feel they are not indeed neglected, no doubt frustrated and even tempted perhaps in some case,s though not me as yet I have seen the other side and the hidden costs and duplicity and it makes me shiver.

        This is just another example of Apple’s lack of focus in recent years however. And often their road to ‘end of life’ for a product and neglect until the light bulb goes off and they see new vision’ (thus true internal investment) for a product are difficult to distinguish.

        Their focus is certainly on iPhone/iPad one can’t deny it, but don’t forget the iPad itself went through a similar and disgraceful neglectful period for years and clearly they never saw that line being discontinued. There is a meanness to Apple at times reminiscent of J Paul Getty and despite great accruing riches they just hate spending the dosh unless they see big returns on it and a sizeable marketing opportunity to promote that. Gradual progress is far less interesting to them.

        The Mac will be ‘revitalised’ (presently in a low key sort of way forced on them by public sentiment) but it will probably be after a big new role for it as part of the iOS/MacOS merging of operating systems that will at some stage be launched to the usual fanfare no doubt.

        What happens thereafter is the big worry because while iOS will flourish and expand within the fluidity of that combination it does allow for the Mac methodology to decline within that joint platform without it ever being an actual discontinuation of the specific platform. Whether what remains is a true iteration of it, a replacement or adaptation or simply becomes unrecognisable over time is the big question and in that regard I am not sure if I trust Cook, though he may not actually be the head by the time that future is truly realised.

      2. When Steve mentioned “PostPC” I took it to mean portable products that offered popular programs most people use on a desktop PC like e-mail, Internet, movies and music, etc. In other words, a choice for people to decide if they needed a full computer.

        I did not take it to mean Apple would stop selling powerful desktop PCs altogether forever. Do you have direct quotes from Steve to prove your extrapolation you keep posting over and over?

        Bottom line: Powerful PCs are crucial to a host of industries that include defense, finance, special effects, science, medical, publishing and more.

        I worked and still work in those industries and no portable device from Apple is not even in the same league by light years. Time to get REAL, WA.

        Bottom line: The most powerful trucks ARE needed now and far into the future. Apple ignoring this constant revenue stream, ceding the whole market to PCs and as others pointed out, when the iPhone market saturates, is just plain DUMB …

      3. Apple’s disregard for the Mac and lip service to the base of Mac users has opened a seam that could be used in the future to disrupt the company. All companies and technologies get disrupted and Apple has traded being a one trick pony dependent upon the Mac to being a one trick pony dependent upon the iPhone.

        If the Mac was a stand alone company it would rank as a substantial business. In Tim Cook’s Apple it seems to get the love shown a Red-headed Stepchild.

        The Macs being sold today are too expensive, too limited inflexible in configuration and have far too short a shelf life. Maybe you do not mind dropping a couple of thousand on a sealed up Mac with Vampire Video (integrated graphics) and no ability to easily swap storage or batteries, but I do and am not alone in this.

        Apple’s profit has come from the ability to resist the normal pattern in consumer electronics. Look at the change in pricing of HDTVs, Blu-Ray Players, DVRs and other devices- they steadily drop in constant Dollars and in current prices. Then look at Apple’s pricing on the Mac and the iPhone- the prices are going up instead of down.

        As to Steve Jobs- he said some would prefer cars (iOS devices) and some trucks (Macs). Apparently someone at Apple thinks nobody wants a truck or does not care that they are overpriced and underpowered. A company worth close to a Trillion US Dollars with over 100,000- headcount should be able to keep a mobile and Desktop OS current and the hardware to operate it.

        Since the Mac is a smallish portion of the business, maybe they should just license the mac OS out and let people like H/P- who actually give a shit about computers- do the hardware.

  3. Some time ago (a year or so?), Tim Cook and Jim Cramer sat down on an outdoor bench for an interview and Q&A. Jim was apparently extremely well prepared and asked many well-researched questions that made a lot of sense to everybody, and something we really wanted to know. Tim’s responses were so elementary, just masking them with embarrassing smiles, with no significant content in them. He was not dogging the questions, but it was obvious that he really did not know the answer, or how to answer to Jim’s professional grade questions. I totally lost whatever remaining confidence or hope with him since then. Neglecting the Mac line is a long time problem, and Cook always acknowledged it, but no visible response yet. Sometimes I have to wonder if he knew what he was doing, or where he wanted to bring our beloved Apple to. He looks like just a hired caretaker, unlike many owner/founders with drive, such as Jobs, Gates, Bezos, Musk, Ellison and Page/Brin (Google) and other all star casts you name them. Cook is not in that league. Oh well……

  4. If Macs ever go app store only it will be apples death bell. very few pros actually use apps available on the app store. yes, i am including imovie pro and garageband pro in that statement.

    1. You DO realize that EVERY SINGLE “PRO” in the world could stop buying Apple hardware RIGHT NOW and never buy again and it just really wouldn’t matter at all. There might be a “slight” dip in revenue but it would be completely overshadowed by the growing Services profits.

      So, no, not Apple’s death bell 😉

      1. You do realize you are “Wrong Again” and have ZERO HARD DATA presented to back up your misguided OPINION.

        Sorry you have either PC envy or simply hate PCs so much …

      2. He didn’t say it was apples death 😂 however the App Store for iPhone is enough to send everyone looking for a better producer of mobile in genereal. Which I agree with, the battery life should just be longer in general, it’s not that bad, but the App Store, omg, Steve jobs just mholested God

    1. Yup. I think Tim doesn’t realize that we largely bought our iOS devices to RUN WITH OUR MACS.

      So, if we don’t have Macs anymore, why buy iOS?

      Time to throw the endineers back on the Mac and deliver top quality software and hardware.

      1. Regular Mac upgrades matter. Give us your best, not your neglectful, dead end, sealed off, pathetic and apathetic service to the very foundation of what is and has been Apple.

        As far as I’m concerned it’s still Apple COMPUTERS, Inc..

  5. The lame App Store app is beta quality and has been so since day 1. That was the big indicator to me that we were in for a crappy time. I have bought & downloaded some stuff from the Mac App Store. But I highly prefer to buy direct from developers whenever possible.

    Obviously, Apple got bored with Mac. It’s the neglected GENIUS CHILD. What a sad state of affairs. It’s time to spank the parents for a change! 💥👏 Bad Apple! Naughty Apple!

    1. The crappy Mac App Store should be an embarassment to Apple.

      Sometimes, Apple acts like a bunch of Olympian gods, transcendental creatures who, although conspicuously exhibiting the arrogance and pride of their human inferiors, are immune to shame and admit to no error. The same could be said of every other company, but some of us once thought Apple to be different, because of a special trance they had put us in, but has since worn off.

      1. I find it bizarre.

        Apple makes statements that they want ‘perfection’ in everything including door thresholds and door handles in their new Campus. One and half years to design those door handles according to Reuters.

        Yet they can accept the Mac App Store and the Mac Pro, a 2013 Machine, being sold in 2018 as one of their ‘flagships’ on their webpage .
        So where the insistence on ‘perfection’ here? Yes where the embarrassment ? They are sangfroid about selling a 5 year old PC, one of their PRODUCTS, but they are incensed when glass doors are not perfectly polished. Bizarre.

          1. I’d call it unfocused, foolhardy and misplaced priorities.

            (Typical for those who live in their recently constructed & resplendent Ivory Tower and forget to inhabit the mindset of their customers and their desperate true needs, wants and desires. People who helped buy them those spaceship building dreams. All I can say is I hope to never hear Phil Schiller ever say again “Can’t innovate my ass.” Because you didn’t Phil.)

  6. Tim Cook, pls just stop doing your social justice warrior thing for now, and prepare Apple for the day the smartphone bubble would burst, which will surely come, and sooner than later, and rather suddenly. What are you going to do, or doing now, to save Apple from this expected sea change, when you are too dependent on more than disproportionate 75% of the revenue from the iPhone, while only 8 % is drawn from the Mac related products (10% from the service is good though). This is not at all a heathy structure and we are talking almost close to $trillions?
    Brrrr, chills in spine. Let’s get serious, won’t you? Pls at least bring the revenue proportions to a more balanced and healthy state. Keep selling the iPhone while you can, but raise the status of the Mac line higher and sooner (ASAP). Thank you,

  7. the Mac App store is perhaps one clue on why Apple leadership mistreat the Mac.

    Unlike IOS many Mac users buy apps like Photoshop subscriptions etc. elsewhere. So to the Apple bean counters Macs don’t produce a lot of app revenues and Services revenue is now the new holy grail for Apple (to please wall street. ) Recurring services revenue is a big deal. So they neglect the Mac.

    Personally I think it would be better for Apple to make kick ass Macs, make a lot of hardware profits (Macs still make more than iPad and more than ‘other products’ combined) and fix the Mac store so that they at least make some revenues off light games and products from smaller developers. As seen from the quarterly reports there’s still Billions to made from Macs, not to mention Mac users are Apple’s longest loyal customers.

      1. Yes indeed, makes perfect sense.

        Pirate flag notwithstanding, Mac users, particularly the pros are a different breed wild and free. No ecosystem revenue streaming or icloud handcuffs on this hombre …

    1. Yes, indeed and well said including your suggestions for a growing Mac business approach.

      “Billions to made from Macs, not to mention Mac users are Apple’s longest loyal customers.”

      Too many here on the forums including loyal Apple customers forget that …

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