Yesterday, the Mac App Store finally arrived, and millions of people rejoiced as Angry Birds finally became available for people who didn’t want to drop hundreds on the latest Smart Phone, or for those who didn’t fancy using an archaic download system or waiting for physical copies of classic Apple software, such as iLife.
However, a small few – namely small businesses who develop software for the Mac – were celebrating the fact that Apple have just given them their biggest window into their target market in the operating system’s entire history. Now, you can hit front page on a program that comes with every version of Snow Leopard from 10.6.1 onwards. Astonishing news, and ignoring the fact that hackers have already started pirating the downloadable software, I was content to fling small cartoon birds at buildings housing nasty green pigs well into the evening.
It’s a big step forward for the company, as they’re finally throwing their arms wide to admit that yes, their operating system doesn’t run the vast majority of popular software and yes, that means they do need a means of allowing people to download their niche Mac-friendly programs instead of having to traipse down to the closest Apple Store and fork out a higher price for a physical copy. Digital distribution through Apple also means the same thing for developers of business software that Vale’s Steam for Mac platform meant for games programmers – they needed nothing more than a good bit of code and graphics, a cover image, and some copy for the Store blurb.
But if you’re looking for a time to get into developing for the best brand-name in small applications, then do it now. The issue with new sales platforms is that dominance comes quickly and is never released by the few programs that nail the market’s interest within the first few hours. If Angry Birds comes off the top ten at any point this year, I’ll be surprised, unless it’s been usurped by a sequel. In fact, Angry Birds 1-10 would still be a feasible top-of-the-market list.
So jump onto Twitter, Facebook, start sending emails – this week is the time to be a small developer for OSX. Think of this as a friendly nudge from your small business cheerleader – I want to see you guys on that App Store by Sunday evening! The best of luck – price low, and aim high!