Mac App Store

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For the iOS version of the app store, see App Store (iOS).
Mac App Store
App Store OS X.svg
Mac App Store (OS X) Screenshot.png
The Mac App Store on OS X Yosemite
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release January 6, 2011; 6 years ago (2011-01-06)[1]
Stable release
2.2 / June 24, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-06-24)[2]
Development status Active
Operating system Mac OS X Snow Leopard or newer
Platform Mac
Type Digital distribution

Mac App Store is a digital distribution platform for macOS applications, created by Apple Inc. The platform was announced on October 20, 2010, at Apple's "Back to the Mac" event.[1][3][4] Apple began accepting app submissions from registered developers on November 3, 2010, in preparation for its launch.[5]

It was released on January 6, 2011, as part of the free Mac OS X 10.6.6 update for all current Snow Leopard users.[1][3] After 24 hours of release, Apple announced that there were over one million downloads.[6]


Like iOS App Store, Mac App Store is regulated by Apple.

To submit an app for consideration, the developer (or his company) must be a member of the Apple Developer Program. As of July 2015, the membership fee is US$99.[7]

Applications must be approved by Apple before becoming available on the store. Disallowed types of applications revealed by Apple include:[8][9]

  • Software that changes the native user interface elements or behaviors of macOS.
  • Software that does not comply with Apple Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.
  • Software that is similar in look or function to current Apple products (e.g. Mac App Store, Finder, iTunes, iChat, etc.).
  • Software similar to other software that is already released in Mac App Store (e.g. Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw, Photoshop Lightroom & Apple Aperture, Cinema 4D and 3D Max, etc.).
  • Software that contains or displays pornographic material.
  • Software that is or installs shared components (kernel extensions, browser plugins, QuickTime components, etc.).
  • Software that provides content or services that expire.
  • Software that does not run on the currently shipping version of macOS.
  • Beta, demo, trial, or test versions of software.
  • Software that references trademarks unless the developer has explicit permission to use them.
  • Free software licensed only under the GPL (because the App Store Terms of Service imposes additional restrictions incompatible with the GPL).[10][11]
  • Apps that use software libraries that are either optionally installed or deemed deprecated by Apple for OS X users. Examples given:
  • New apps that are not sandboxed (as of June 1, 2012).[14] At WWDC 2013, Apple announced that this rule no longer applied, and that so-called "temporary exceptions" may be used when the app has a reason not to be sandboxed.

Usage by Apple[edit]

Since the opening of Mac App Store, Apple Inc. has increasingly used it as the primary means of distribution of its own in-house software products at the expense of Apple-branded software applications being sold at Apple Store locations. This position was perceivably increased with the July 2011 release of OS X Lion, which was the first release of OS X not sold in the form of DVD boxes which had been traditionally used to distribute the operating system at Apple Store.

This method limited the reach of distribution of the operating system to those who currently use OS X 10.6.6+, although other means offered by Apple after the release included a USB flash drive containing the operating system and a digital in-store download of the operating system through Apple Store locations.

This has also affected Apple's prior means of distribution through its own website, with the Downloads gallery being removed in July 2011 and replaced with links to the Mac App Store information page. However, it has not affected the Dashboard widget gallery, nor has it affected the Safari Extensions gallery, both of which remain online and web-based. Apple Support Download section also remains online, as it provides mostly security updates for current and older software applications and operating systems, many dating back to before 1998.

Counterfeit apps[edit]

Not long after independent game developer Wolfire Games placed its game, Lugaru, on Mac App store, as Lugaru HD for $9.99, the developer noticed a counterfeit copy of their game also being sold on the App Store for $0.99 USD. The developer contacted Apple on January 31, 2011, and on February 10, 2011, the counterfeit copy of the game was removed from the App Store.[15]

A number of news sites have remarked that for all the scrutiny Apple places on apps listed in their store, a counterfeit copy of an existing app should not have made it through the process, and the days it had been since the developer had alerted Apple to the counterfeit software is disconcerting to developers.[16]


Mac App Store launched with over 1000 programs on January 6, 2011, including Apple's own iWork '09, iLife '11, Aperture and third-party applications ported from iOS, such as Angry Birds, Flight Control, Things and Twitter for Mac.[3][17][18][19] Most of the apps belonged to the Games category, which had nearly three times as many apps in the next largest category, Utilities.[18] The most common price point was $20–50.[18] Angry Birds, a popular video game on iOS App Store, was the number one paid app on Mac App Store on the first day.[17]

An update to Mac App Store for OS X Mountain Lion also introduced an Easter egg in which, if one downloads an app from Mac App Store and goes to one's applications folder before the app has finished downloading, one will see the application's timestamp as "January 24, 1984, at 2:00 AM," the date the original Macintosh went on sale. This is the first time an Easter egg has appeared in a piece of Apple software since Steve Jobs' ban on Easter eggs when he returned to lead Apple.[20]

On November 11, 2015, a number of applications purchased through Mac App Store began to fail at launch. Users worldwide got error messages and were forced to delete and re-download affected apps.[21] It was discovered the next day by Tapbots developer Paul Haddad that the issue had to do with an expired security certificate.[22] On November 17, Apple sent an email with explanations to developers. The company stated that most of the issues were resolved and that troubleshooting information was provided to the AppleCare support team.[23]

On December 17, 2015, responsibility for overseeing App Store was given to Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.[24] Previously App Store was led by Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Darren Murph (December 6, 2010). "Apple Mac App Store: open for business starting January 6th". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved December 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ "OS X 10.10 Yosemite release date". Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Muchmore, Michael (January 6, 2011). "Apple's Mac App Store: Hands On". PC Magazine. PC Magazine. Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ AppleInsider Staff (October 20, 2010). "Apple's new Mac App Store coming to Snow Leopard within 90 days". Retrieved October 31, 2010. 
  5. ^ Mac App Store Review (November 3, 2010). "Apple Now Accepting Submissions For The Mac App Store". Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Mac App Store Downloads Top One Million in First Day" (Press release). Apple Inc. January 7, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ "How it works - Apple Developer Program". 
  8. ^ Dan Frakes (October 23, 2010). "The Mac App Store: The devil will be in the details". Mac Publishing, LLC .. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  9. ^ AppleInsider Staff (October 20, 2010). "Apple issues review guidelines for Mac App Store". Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  10. ^ "GPL and the Mac App Store". 
  11. ^ "More about the App Store GPL Enforcement — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software". Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Packaging a Java App for Distribution on a Mac". Oracle. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ Dinacci, Marco. "Take your Java application to the Mac App Store.". Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Download". 
  15. ^ "News - Apple Pulls Counterfeit Lugaru From Mac App Store". Gamasutra. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ Tan, Maurice (February 3, 2011). "Lugaru shamelessly resold without consent on iTunes". Destructoid. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Frommer, Dan (2011-01-06). "Surprise, Surprise: "Angry Birds" Already The #1 Paid Mac App". Silicon Alley Insider. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  18. ^ a b c Gaywood, Richard (2011-01-06). "Mac App Store by the numbers -- almost 1,000 apps on Day One". TUAW. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  19. ^ Scott Snibbe (January 6, 2011). "Gravilux: An iPad App Moves to the Desktop via the New Mac App Store". 
  20. ^ "The Easter Eggs Are Back in OS X—And This One Is Insanely Great". Gizmodo. 
  21. ^ Steve Kovach (November 12, 2015). "There was a glitch in the Mac App Store that made some people re-download their apps". Tech Insider. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  22. ^ Alex Hern (November 12, 2015). "Apple user anger as Mac apps break due to security certificate lapse". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  23. ^ Dan Thorp-Lancaster (November 17, 2015). "Apple issues apology to developers over recent Mac App Store certificate issues". Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  24. ^ Chris Welch (December 17, 2015). "Apple's Phil Schiller is now in charge of the App Store". The Verge. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 

External links[edit]