The new Mac App Store will be available from January 6 and is certain to be a big success. At the moment, unless you read tech blogs and Mac magazines there is no real pressure to buy new apps. This will change with the App Store in the same way that the market for mobile apps was revolutionised by the iPhone and the all-new way of buying applications. It's not only the centralised and accessible market place that we'll love, it's also the ease of installation. No more downloading files, unzipping them and following instructions for installation. And, above all, no more registration codes to enter and remember. From January 6 the whole process will be as easy and automatic as it is on the iPhone. Of course, not all Mac applications will be suitable for the AppStore because of restrictions, most of them sensible, that Apple will impose.
There is one restriction that concerns me. Developers are to be prevented form allowing user-specified locations for data, all of which will end up in an Apple-specified area of the Library. Increasingly, however, I prefer to keep all my data on Dropbox and I can see problems arising if I'm prevented from doing this in future. Already I don't use the otherwise admirable Bento because the database cannot be relocated from the Library. Bento is produced by Filemaker, a subsidiary of Apple, incidentally. The Mac App Store will be a success and I look forward to browsing for useful free and paid applications. I just hope that the restrictions are not too onerous for consumer.