There isn’t anything wrong with the Mac App Store that I couldn’t fix with a memo and a few bullet points. Unfortunately, Apple’s Tim Cook doesn’t reply to emails the way Steve Jobs has. I have this love hate relationship with the Mac App Store. I love that it’s there. I hate that Apple won’t fix it.
It’s The Apps, Stupid!
I can imagine that someone from Apple would say that it’s not Apple’s fault, “It’s the apps, stupid!” That means a few of the problems I can identify are not Apple’s, but that of the app developers. Nevertheless, Apple could fix each one.
Here’s one that gets my goat. No try-before-you-buy option for MAS apps. I don’t mind wasting 99-cents or even $1.99 on an app that has a few dozen positive reviews, though I end up hating the app because it’s really crappy and feel as if the positive reviews all came from the app developer’s family. At $4.99 I’m not inclined to spend money at all on an app without a lite version, or a demo version, unless the reviews are like Angry Birds (1,000 to one positive).
How Hard Can This Be?
How hard can it be for a developer to provide a free lite version, or a demo on the developers web site? How hard would it be for Apple to require Mac app developers who submit apps to MAS to have a web site and a demo version of the submitted app?
That’s one simple bullet point on my list. One.
Some developers don’t even have a web site. That speaks volumes as to how much they care about showing off their wares, no? If they don’t care enough to put up a web site with screenshots, a description, and bullet points of features, or a video of the app in action, then they’re a fly-by-night developer with an idea and a dream of getting rich quick at $4.99 an app. Or, worse– more than $4.99.
It wouldn’t take but a few minutes for Apple to add my bullet point requirements to their developer agreement. Within a month the Mac App Store would be functioning the way it should.
How about this one? Bullet Point #11 – a headshot video of the app developer telling the viewer and prospective customer why his or her app is so good and why we should buy it.
Hmmm. That gives me an idea. We have political candidates on stage debating all the time. Most of the time they lie or dodge the questions. Let’s have developer debates. If their apps are similar, then they get to debate each other. Then, we could have user debates via Skype on why one app is better than another app.
See? Right there I added two new bullet points. Steve or Tim should give me a call. I can come up with more, but for now, this is the last one.