10 Reasons I Don’t Like the Mac App Store

I realize the Mac App Store workflow is designed for the “average” Mac user, but I happen to download Mac apps from across the Web. Does that make me an edge case?

I’ve just found the Mac App Store to be a bit… disappointing. Yes, I like that Apple is making it a bit easier to discover vetted software, but there are some places where the Mac App Store just falls short in my book.

You can’t expect something to get better if you do nothing but praise it.

  1. What’s up with that interface? Seriously? If this is what we can expect in 10.7, fine – but give it to us then, not now. Is this where iTunes is headed after a much-needed overhaul?
  2. You’re not surfacing my apps directory / subdirectory for updates on apps you know are already listed in the App Store. Why? I would have to “re-download” the app from the App Store in order for you to recognize that there’s an update available. You have a “Purchases” sheet, so why not a general “Installed” sheet, too? Bridge the gap, man.
  3. You don’t give me a choice as to where I might install the app. Most people would choose the Applications folder, but I’ve reinstalled and moved computers one too many times to keep things in there. I created a “Tools” subdirectory, and you can (obviously) see that.
  4. You always place an icon for an installed app in the dock. Do you not see that I keep killing them as quickly as you create ’em? Finding an app quickly is what Spotlight is there for.
  5. Sometimes you tell me that I’ve made no purchases, even though I have – and I’m still logged in. Baffling.
  6. Why do I have to launch the App Store app to find out if any apps have been updated? Maybe Sparkle has spoiled me, maybe the App Store app needs to be more proactive?
  7. You show me that I have apps installed, but… why not go a step further (for the every-man, in particular): make it easy to uninstall an App’s traces from your system, including cleaning up preferences that AppZapper usually has to get?
  8. In the “Purchases” sheet, my inclination to get more information about an app is to click its name. But that doesn’t do anything, here. Sure, the clickable icon is right there – but what’s keeping you from hyperlinking the title, too? Seems more than a bit unintuitive.
  9. It’d be nice to be able to browse changelogs, or see a zeitgeist of how often an app has updated (and when). Unfortunately, most developers are horrendous at marketing or revealing information, so if you’re really trying to boost the ecosystem, at least put yourself in the user’s shoes.
  10. Still no clear software refunds policy. I’ve been burned a few times (not through the App Store, but if the App Store doesn’t provide me a blanket of security – what’s the point of using it over a developer’s own Web site).

Dunno. It has promise. But, as far as scanning my system for software updates is concerned, I’m just as inclined to use AppFresh (while imperfect) over anything else.