We've had them for the iPod, iPhone and iPad for some time and they are clearly a big earner for Apple, so it's no surprise that Apple has recently announced that the Mac App Store will open for business on Thursday 6 January.
The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries at launch and will feature paid and free apps in categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities. I'm not entirely convinced that what works with simple mini programs on a handheld device will really catch on for desktop computers, but we'll see. I suspect we'll initially see a whole raft of iPhone apps appearing with minimal changes as alleged Mac apps in the hope of making the writers a few dollars!
However, it could be a good opportunity to try out new programs, so I'm not totally against it. It will make good housekeeping even more important on your Mac though to prevent your hard disk filling up.
Apple's press release explains how it will work: “The Mac App Store lets you browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, view staff favourites, search categories, and read customer ratings and reviews. Like on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, you can purchase, download and install apps in just one click and start using them immediately. Purchased apps can run on all of your personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store so it’s easy to keep all of your apps up to date.”
The Mac App Store will be available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard users as a free download through Software Update, so it will just appear on your Mac as if by magic on 6 January. Can't wait.