Apple appears to be caught between a rock and a hard spot when it comes to the Mac App Store. The Mac maker needs app developers, encourages app developers to create apps for the Mac, but doesn’t want to appear to play favorites.
How else can you explain the flimsy, anemic search and sorting options on the Mac App Store app?
Categories can only be sorted by app Name or app release date, and not by downloads or ratings. That’s not an oversight on Apple’s part. It’s by design. Apple would prefer to promote new or recently updated apps at the expense of user reviews. In other words, users are being forced to see new or recently updated apps instead of the most popular or most downloaded apps in a category.
Ratings are a problem, too. Not that ratings are bad, or not reflective of an app’s popularity. Ratings for new and recently updated apps are almost non-existent in the Mac App Store.
Click on the Categories tab. Then click on any Category. Utilities is a good example. The Mac App Store will display the most recent apps with an option to See All. Click See All and apps are sorted by Release Date with an option for sorting by Name. Therein lies the problem.
Not only is there not an option to sort app Categories by downloads or rating popularity, there are hardly any reviews at all for most apps on the first few pages of any category listing. Out of over 150 apps on a page, only a half dozen had any user reviews at all.
It could be that many are newer apps which haven’t yet been downloaded a sufficient number of times to garner reviews. After all, the default sort for a category is Release Date, which favors new or frequently updated apps.
This could also be a case of user fatigue with apps. How many apps does a Mac user need, or need to try out? Or, there are just too many new apps for the limited Mac user base.
Whatever it is the problem hasn’t been addressed by Apple which still prefers to limit customer’s search and filter options in the Mac App Store. Obviously, as much as Apple likes to talk about the user experience with their products, the iTunes App Store and Mac App Store are not included in Apple’s efforts to create a better user experience.