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 …

  8. I hope everyone realizes that Mac OS and Macs in general are light years ahead of everything else out there.
    There is no competition.
    I am forced to use a new Windoze 10 machine at work and it’s a nightmare. I am not exaggerating when I say my productivity is reduced by 50% compared with my productivity at my prior employer where I used my Mac.
    So remember this – Apple allocates resources where they affect the most people and where they have the most competitive threats.
    Macs have no competition. And iOS affects billions across the globe.
    When someone else makes a computer that gets close to the Apple experience, then we can legitimately complain about Apple’s priorities.
    Until then, they are doing exactly what they need to do.

    1. BS if Mac users say nothing they will get nothing, the planned Mac Pro update is a direct result of thousands of “Pros” (a very loose term but whatever) screaming bloody murder at Apple for years. I don’t need a Mac Pro, but I know that neglect of that small but important market filters down into the consumer laptops which leads to overpriced, stuck keyboard, battery hog, gimmick bar kludge.

    2. I too have been working with all-Mac employers for three decades until five years ago when I landed in my first all PC shop.

      Now using Windows 7 and crappy Dell boxes, already on my third box in less than five years — productivity is hands down by 50%. Having read such statistics for years it never really sunk in fully until I experienced it day to day. Mac OS rules in ALL areas, but NOT Apple hardware.

      “When someone else makes a computer that gets close to the Apple experience, then we can legitimately complain about Apple’s priorities.
      Until then, they are doing exactly what they need to do.”

      I beg to differ on one point you made. The “experience” does not trump hardware firepower that inspired Cook’s admission they neglected the Mac line, particularly the high-end MacPros.

      True story and I posted some of this previously. Because of my prior experience with Macs my department head asked me to spec a MacPro with firepower, with the help of one IT staffer well versed in Macs (beta tester for Apple), that could handle three areas of software we were having major trouble with on current PCs — high end number crunching, 3D modeling and video/sound production.

      The proposal was submitted and I’ll never forget what the head of IT concluded. Something like why would I buy a Mac, when I could buy a PC that is twice as fast at half-price as is easily upgradeable. I had nothing to say because the cult Apple “experience” cannot replace raw firepower at an affordable price.

      This happens any day all around the world and Apple’s neglect of the Mac line, particularly the MacPros, has two negative effects:

      1. MacPro power users leaving Apple in droves for years.

      2. Apple leaving billions of dollars on the table.

      My biggest Apple wager ever: the PROBLEM gets FIXED this year …

      1. I’m curious, What would you say was the biggest bottleneck using PC’s over Macs that contributed to a 50% loss in productivity for you? When you were dealing with the Windows OS? I/O? Driver issues? Buggy software? More frequent crashing? I would assume once you are in the application it would be relative smooth sailing (as much as it ever is in any OS).

        I still predict a Dec. 31, 2018 starting ordering date for the 2018 Mac Pro. With first deliveries in Feb/March 2019.

        1. All of the above, Peter.

          A few specifics:

          For the first time in my career my work computer was totally taken down by a virus and had to be restored on new hardware from backups. IT keeps a fresh supply of new boxes in inventory for just such an event. What Mac shop does that?

          Day to day software operation that requires twice as many clicks to perform the same task on a Mac too numerous to mention. Open a pull down menu and it asks to see more? More clicks. Scrolling is not seamless and the needy OS gets in the way all the time on simple functions asking if you want to do this or do you want to search Windows for an answer. More clicks.

          Because of all the IT backups and virus protection running in the background opening and using programs is noticeably slower all day long in everything I do. To maintain my same level of expertise I have to add on additional hours to complete a project that took less time on a Mac.

          Crashes and program freeze happens DAILY. A good day is not having to restart my computer more than once.

          E-mails from IT routinely stating you have to shutdown your computer for several hours on this date and time for updates.

          Calling IT sometimes weekly to resolve a computer issue. I worked in an all Mac shop for 12 years inside the swamp beltway and years would go by before I saw anyone from IT at my computer.

          Many more, but those are the highlights.

          Fingers crossed on NEW BEST EVER MacPros this year …

          1. Thanks for your insights. I need it to bolster my faltering belief in the delivery of a new decent Mac Pro that suits me. (Currently using an updated 2010 Mac Pro temporarily.)

            From your lips to the Apple gods ears my Mac Pro droogy brothah! With a shout out to the ever vigilant DavGreg on similar long-in-the-tooth disgust and near-future expectations.

  9. If Apple thinks the future of computing is the iPad, they are seriously effed in their collective heads.

    We need to have a mouse AND physical keyboard to be able to be much much MUCH more productive. The iPad is at best, an important novelty.

    1. True as far as it goes, but just an iPad with a mouse and a physical keyboard would still not have the “horsepower that some of us need for our daily work. Would be a good start though.

  10. Hi
    Apple developers have always been on their own in Mac OS products especially software which is good. There are people who always want apps for free especially desktop publishing apps like Quark, adobe products and others long gone and disappeared. But on the pc side have always been sharing software for years and software developers have walked away due to the lack of protection n windows. Remember you get what you pay for, but the developers of Mac software are there too compared to pc side. Be happy Apple has a system that regulated and controlled and developed compared to Windows side. The Mac OS store is there for everybody especially new users who are looking for software for the family to use and products available in general, some think everything should be for free but how disastrous that would be with no developer support. Stop wiening, I’ve been hearing this for 25 years

  11. Im trapped in their products totally disillusioned with their constant arrogant direction. I haven’t made a blog on Apple for over a year and no longer feel the need to come to their defence when people tout samdungs latest phone.

    no I can not move I use their applications (of old) but they don’t really care anymore about anything except the iPad vision and iPhone.
    a great company of headless chickens.
    where the F is the Mac Pro!

  12. Well, reading this take and comments, I’m thinking we should all just give up, trade in our Apple devices and go HP and Android. Then y’all don’t have to agonize over Tim Cook and co. and many lower your blood pressure. (Written on my beloved 2017 iMac. No problems on this end… Hey- they even upgraded Logic Pro again! Fantastic.)

      1. Buddy the App Store locked me out for no reason can’t play games and shit, need to update. Just makes me wait like 15 days and randomly works for like 3 days and everytime I need to update PUBG I get fucked over. Like there’s no explanation complete bug, I’ve wrote in to them and they said they fixed it but I’m pretty sure they’re fucked in the heads so I called in and they told me it was my bank visa and credit card, LOL. Man, How did these inbreds get pushed internationally? You can’t design a App Store? It’s essientially limewire you spastics. I never really played APPs before but now that I’m inconvenienced regularly by shitty innovation in general, thought I’d just jot down a person Fck you to apple while I’m here. I google my error info and everyone’s just shtting on apple over something so simple, literally change like 10 codes in two interfaces of the App Store? The problems been happening on the latest model and the original.. LOL

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