Mac App Store: the good and the bad

January 6, 2011: 6:10 PM ET

Today Apple launched its long-awaited Mac App Store, a desktop version of the popular marketplace that iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad owners already use to download mobile apps.

The new Mac App Store.

Image by sjsharktank via Flickr

To access the new App Store, Mac desktop users need to download Mac OS X update 10.6.6. Afterwards, the App store icon appears in your dock, and once you enter and browse, they'll find it works similarly to the iOS app store, asking that users log-in with their iTunes account once they're ready to download an app. The store's layout looks virtually identical, with charts like Top Grossing and Top Free apps, and products that are organized into over 20 familiar categories like Education, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Games. In fact, the experience resembles the iOS store so much, we're wondering why they weren't integrated from the get-go.

Apple  (AAPL) says over 1,000 apps are currently available for download, more than half the number that were available in the Chrome OS store when it debuted a month ago. The quality of those apps surpasses Google's marketplace, too -- you can pick up everything from Angry Birds and Bejeweled 3 to Aperture 3 and iLife -- though conspicuously missing is Adobe Photoshop. Is the high-profile omission yet another sign of the bad blood between Apple and Adobe (ADBE), or is Adobe taking its sweet time? You decide. More

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