The way we buy software for our computers is changing. You used to have to go to the Apple store, Staples or Office Max to buy software for your computer and then install the disk that came with it as well as enter a long serial number to validate it. Those days are quickly ending… The Mac App store is the new way to get software for your computer. It is located either on your dock at the bottom of your screen, (looks like a big blue circle with the letter “A” in it), or from the black apple logo at the top left of your screen. You can now purchase and install some great software for your Mac with the click of a button. Software ranges anywhere from cool screensavers to professional banking and editing programs.
If you’ve yet to experience the Mac App Store you should take some time to open it and look at some of the great programs it offers. The Mac App Store is packed with more than 1,000 applications, spans 21 different categories and has excellent ways to learn about the apps as well as read reviews to see if they are right for you. It offers sections like, “Top Charts,” “New and Noteworthy,” “What’s Hot,” and “Staff Favorites” making quick app perusal and discovery a breeze. If you see something you would like to buy the purchase process works the same as it does for the iTunes store or the app store for your iPhone or iPad. When you click the “Buy” button next to an app you will be asked for your Apple ID and password. This is the same Apple ID and password that you use to purchase things from the iTunes and App store on your mobile devices. The program will then begin to download from the internet and install itself on your computer. It installs itself to your “Applications” folder located in your “Finder” on your dock at the bottom of your screen.
One of the best befits of buying from the Mac App Store is that once you buy software it is yours forever. If you get a new computer you can log back into the Mac App Store and look at all of your previous purchases and re download them for free. The Mac App Store also knows what’s on your system, so if you already own iPhoto it shows that as Installed, and that applies to third-party apps if they’re available from the App Store. Our favorite part of the Mac App Store is the pricing. With hundreds of apps ranging anywhere from free to a few dollars it makes lots of sense to take some time to look around. We have often found applications that we think would or should cost a lot of money but often don’t and its a great bonus.
So spend some time having fun and exploring some the great programs that are available in the Mac App Store as you might be surprised by what you find.
MacInspires Director of Education