Are Apple afraid of iOS?


Mac App StoreYesterday, the Mac App Store launched and I have to say, it’s pretty darn good.

It just makes sense. Why not follow the iOS model and allow users to quickly purchase software without the need for fiddly installations from DVDs? Software is suddenly more accessible, more attractive and, as shown in the case of Aperture, cheaper.

But why? Why have Apple done this?

I have a sneaking suspicion they’re a little frightened of their own creation: iOS itself. Its rise to fame has been nothing short of meteoric and dependence placed on it at home and in business immeasurable. This has caught many by surprise. Perhaps not least Mr Jobs.

A month or so after purchasing my iPad I realised that I hadn’t touched my MacBook Pro for anything other than studio duties. Before the iPad, my trusty laptop would always be on hand, ready for a quick web surf or email, but now it had almost cemented itself to my studio desk, being asked only occasionally to run Logic. A waste, no?

It’s no coincidence that Apple’s newest piece of hardware, the redesigned Macbook Air, is at the centre of all App Store advertising, either. This is a product which is difficult to place in their lineup. The iPad is there for quick, mobile internet access, while their range of Macs (portable or otherwise) are there for traditional computing-purposes the iPad isn’t up to. So why make such a fuss about the new Air? Larger battery, thin as ice, ‘instant on’… its almost an iPad itself…

Aha!

Apple are clearly frightened the Mac is slipping out of the spotlight. The mobile computing boom triggered in no small part by iOS and its devices is drawing people away from their computers quicker than you can say ‘there’s an App for that’. Apple needed to do something to remind them of the heavy grey box collecting dust on the desk…

…enter the Mac App Store.

Clever.

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