While the App Store launched on the iPhone in July 2008, the Mac App Store didn't become available until January 6, 2011, when Apple released Mac OS X Snow Leopard version 10.6.6. Appropriately, today marks the 10th anniversary of the Mac App Retailer.
Apple announced that the Mac App Retailer was "open for organization" in a news release timed with the release. "With more than 1,000 apps, the Mac App Store is off to an excellent start," said Steve Careers, Apple's co-founder and previous CEO. "We believe users are going to love this impressive new way to discover and buy their favorite apps."
Within its primary year, the Mac App Store achieved a few milestones, topping one million downloads on its primary day and 100 million downloads by December 2011.
All applications submitted to the Mac App Store are reviewed by Apple, and must be sandboxed, a security mechanism that assists protect user info from unauthorized gain access to by apps. Developers can tend to distribute their software directly on the web, without sandboxing, but all Mac applications must be notarized by Apple to be able to operate by default on macOS Catalina and in the future to make sure these apps are free of known malware.
Based on the App Store on different platforms, Apple collects a thirty percent commission from developers on the sales of paid Mac software and in-app purchases tied to digital goods and services. However, Apple just lately introduced a Small Business Program that reduces the App Store's commission charge to 15% for developers earning up to $1 million per calendar year in net income. Developers must sign up for this program to participate.
Since its inception, the Mac App Store has attracted its fair share of criticism from developers. Apple has addressed many of these complaints over time by allowing developers to offer no cost trials via in-app buy, create application bundles, distribute applications on multiple Apple systems as a universal pay for, viewpoint analytics for Mac apps, react to customer assessments, and more, however, many developers remain unsatisfied with the Mac App Shop because of Apple's review process, the lack of upgrade pricing, having less sandboxing exceptions for trusted developers, the lack of TestFlight beta assessment for Mac apps, and other reasons.
In 2018, the Mac App Retailer received a significant redesign within macOS Mojave, filled with a new "Discover" tab that highlights preferred apps and video games and features editorials from Apple. Apple as well softened its guidelines surrounding sandboxing. Immediately after these changes, Microsoft Business office and Adobe Lightroom started to be on the Mac App Store, and some popular software like BBEdit and Transmit came back to the Mac App Shop.
In 2019, with the release of macOS Catalina and Xcode 11, Apple managed to get easy for developers to easily create a Mac version of an iPad app. Generally, adding macOS support to an iPad iphone app is as straightforward as starting an Xcode project and clicking the Mac checkbox under Standard > Deployment Info, even though some developers faced issues.
2019 also marked the start of Apple Arcade, which includes its own tab in the Mac App Shop for discovering all the games available within the subscription service.
Another advancement to the Mac App Store came on 2020, when Apple built iPhone and iPad software on Macs with Apple silicon, given that the M1 chip on Macs shares the same Arm architecture as A-series chips on iPhones and iPads. Developers can opt out of distributing their iPhone and iPad software on the Mac App Shop if they desire.
In general, Apple offers certainly made improvement with the Mac App Retailer over the last 10 years, however, many developers feel that further improvements are essential if they are to embrace the storefront. Another 10 years of the Mac App Retail outlet begins now.