Introduced in 2010, the Mac App Store is Apple's digital software distribution platform for OS X applications that run on Mac machines.
The Mac App Store offers a wide range of games and apps from both Apple and third-party developers. It is also used to distribute new versions of OS X, security fixes, and firmware updates, along with updates to stock Apple apps like Safari. While developers have the option to offer apps through the Mac App Store, Mac apps can also be installed outside of the Mac App Store through traditional downloads.
Apps installed through the Mac App Store typically offer greater security as they have been vetted by Apple and are free from malicious code.
'Mac App Store' Articles
macOS High Sierra's App Store System Preferences Can Be Unlocked With Any Password [Updated]
A bug report submitted on Open Radar this week has revealed a security flaw in the current version of macOS High Sierra that allows the App Store menu in System Preferences to be unlocked with any password. MacRumors is able to reproduce the issue on macOS High Sierra version 10.13.2, the latest public release of the operating system, on an administrator-level account by following these steps: • Click on System Preferences. • Click on App Store. • Click on the padlock icon to lock it if necessary. • Click on the padlock icon again. • Enter your username and any password. • Click Unlock. As mentioned in the radar, we can confirm that the App Store preferences login prompt does not accept an incorrect password with a non-administrator account, meaning there is no behaviour change for standard user accounts. We also weren't able to bypass any other System Preferences login prompts with an incorrect password, with any type of account, so more sensitive settings such as Users & Groups and Security & Privacy are not exposed by this bug. Apple has fixed the bug in the latest beta of macOS 10.13.3, which currently remains in testing and will likely be released at some point this month. The bug doesn't exist in macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 or earlier. On the current macOS 10.13.2, the bug gives anyone with physical, administrator-level access to a Mac the ability to disable settings related to automatically installing macOS software, security, and app updates. This is the second password-related bug to affect macOS High Sierra in as many months,
Apple Plans to Let Developers Release Universal Apps That Work Across iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Apple aims to allow developers to release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac as early as next year, according to Bloomberg News. Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it's running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware, according to people familiar with the matter.Apple tentatively plans to begin rolling out the change in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 next year, and it could announce the news as soon as WWDC 2018 in June, according to the report. The exact timeline is subject to change. Apple typically previews the next major versions of its iOS and macOS operating systems at WWDC in June, with beta versions of each platform available to developers and public testers until September, so it's possible APIs for universal apps will begin rolling out in the pre-release software. Apple currently requires developers to design separate apps for iOS and macOS, but iPhone and iPad apps often receive more attention than their Mac counterparts in a mobile-first world. The report said it's unclear if Apple will eventually merge the less-popular Mac App Store with the App Store for iOS. The project is reportedly codenamed "Marzipan" and is considered to be one of the biggest changes on Apple's roadmap next year. The report speculates that universal apps would make it easier for Apple to one day create a single operating system for all of its devices, should it ever go down that avenue. Apple would be following
Popular Game 'Prison Architect' Comes to Mac App Store
Popular Steam game Prison Architect, which was originally released in October as part of Steam's Early Access program, is making its way to the Mac App Store today through a partnership between developer Introversion Software and MacPlay. Prison Architect is a top-down simulation game where the goal is to build and run a successful prison. Players are tasked with building cells, recruiting prisoners, hiring staff, establishing utilities, developing prisoner schedules, managing entertainment and reform programs, and keeping prisoners from escaping. Prison Architect features two game modes -- story and escape. In story mode, the player follows the story of Edward, a man who is facing the electric chair for committing a crime of passion, while in escape mode, the player takes on the role of a prisoner attempting to escape from the prison. On the Mac, Prison Architect requires 4GB RAM, a Core2 Duo processor or better, and 300MB hard drive space. In addition to being available in the Mac App Store, Prison Architect can also be played on the iPad, as an iOS version of the game was released earlier this year. The Mac App Store version of Prison Architect is priced at $29.99. [Direct Link]
Survey Suggests Mac Developers Continue to Be Dissatisfied With Mac App Store
Setapp, a company that offers a Mac app subscription service, recently polled 742 developers to get their thoughts on the Mac App Store and the state of Mac app development. The survey is a follow-up to a survey that was conducted last year, which concluded many Mac developers are unhappy with Apple's platform. That same anti-Mac App Store sentiment can be seen in the results of this year's survey. Of Mac developers polled, just 23 percent use the Mac App Store as their sole distribution platform, while 47 percent use the Mac App Store alongside another distribution method. 30 percent don't bother with the Mac App Store at all. The number of developers using both the Mac App Store and another distribution method is up slightly from last year, but the Mac App Store only category is stagnant. Developers who don't use the Mac App Store cite reasons like the long app review process, the 30 percent revenue split with Apple, and the inability to offer trials. The majority of money made from Mac apps is made outside of the Mac App Store among developers polled. Revenue from the Mac App Store accounted for 44 percent of app earnings, while revenue from outside of the Mac App Store accounted for 56 percent. Developers were asked how likely they were to recommend the Mac App Store as a primary distribution channel to a friend or colleague, and the results were tallied using a Net Promoter Score that can range from 100 (everyone recommends) to -100 (no one recommends). A higher negative score means a more negative opinion. Mac App Store developers had Net Promoter
Puzzle Game 'The Witness' Launches on Mac App Store, iOS Version Still Coming Soon
Jonathan Blow's console and PC puzzle game The Witness has launched on the Mac App Store a little over a year after first debuting on PS4 and Windows PCs. Like other platforms, the game costs $39.99 [Direct Link] and tasks players with deciphering hundreds of puzzles set on a mysterious island. Since its release early last year the game has received critical acclaim for its puzzle design, graphics, and secrets-filled backstory. The macOS version ports the same game and experience over to Apple computers running macOS 10.11.6 or later with 4GB of RAM and 5GB available storage space. The game also requires Apple's new Metal graphics technology to run. You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you. You don't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you got here, but there's one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehow finding your way home. The Witness is a single-player game in an open world with dozens of locations to explore and over 500 puzzles. This game respects you as an intelligent player and it treats your time as precious. There's no filler; each of those puzzles brings its own new idea into the mix. So, this is a game full of ideas. An iOS port of the game has long been in development, and a few developers at Thekla -- the game's creators -- mentioned in passing recently that the game is still being worked on for iOS, but a launch date is unspecified. Since The Witness is so graphically intensive, the iOS port will require a longer
Expiring Developer Certificates Causing Some Mac Apps to Refuse to Launch
A number of Mac apps failed to launch for users over the weekend because of a change to the way Apple certifies apps that have not been bought directly from the Mac App Store. Several users of apps including Soulver and PDFPen who had downloaded the apps from the developers' websites all reported immediate crashes on launch. Developers of the apps quickly apologized and said that the issue was down to the apps' code signing certificates reaching their expiration date. Apple issues developer signing certificates to assure users that an app they have downloaded outside of the Mac App Store is legitimate, comes from a known source, and hasn't been modified since it was last signed. In the past, the expiration of a code signing certificate had no effect on already shipped software, but that changed last year, when Apple began requiring apps to carry something called a provisioning profile. A provisioning profile tells macOS that the app has been checked by Apple against an online database and is allowed to perform certain system actions or "entitlements". However, the profile is also signed using the developer's code signing certificate, and when the certificate expires, the provisioning profile becomes invalid. Victims of expired provisioning profiles over the weekend included users of 1Password for Mac who had bought the app from the developer's website. AgileBits explained on Sunday that affected users would need to manually update to the latest version (6.5.5), noting that those who downloaded 1Password from the Mac App Store were unaffected. The
Apple's Education Bundle With Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro Now Available Around the World
Apple's new Pro Apps Bundle for Education, which launched in the United States last week, is now available for purchase in several other countries, including but not limited to Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, UAE, and the United Kingdom. Other countries where the bundle is now available include Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey. If we spot any others, we'll add them to this list. The education bundle, available to qualifying students and faculty, includes permanent copies of Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4, and MainStage 3 for a significant discount. In the United States, for example, the five apps usually cost $629.95, while the bundle is $199.99—a savings of over $425. Elsewhere, pricing is set at £199.99 in the United Kingdom, $299.99 in Australia, $259.99 in Canada, and €229.99 in several European countries, such as Belgium, France, Germany, and Ireland. Prices in other countries vary. Final Cut Pro X is Apple's professional video editing software, while Logic Pro X is its professional audio workstation for advanced music production. Motion 5, Compressor 4, and MainStage 3 are companion tools for creating 3D animations and effects, customizing output settings, building set lists, and more. After purchasing the bundle, education customers will receive an email with codes to redeem
Apple Starts Approving First Touch Bar App Updates on Mac App Store
Apple over the past two days has started approving Mac App Store apps that have been updated with Touch Bar support on the new MacBook Pro. One of the first Touch Bar apps is OmniGraffle 7, a popular vector drawing tool for designing graphics and diagrams. After updating to version 7.2, users will have access to text controls when editing labels, for example, or manipulation controls when working with shapes. Without anything selected on the canvas on the main screen, the Touch Bar can be used to add shape, a stencil, or an image. OmniGraffle 7.2 for Mac's new Touch Bar controls Speed-Up, a utility for speeding up or slowing down audio playback directly in iTunes, also saw its Touch Bar update approved earlier today. Other apps that now support the Touch Bar include Gestimer, Opus One, Disk Aid, and Memory Clean 2, and several more popular apps will be updated over the coming days and weeks. Those interested can track Mac app updates on our sister site AppShopper. The Touch Bar is a narrow strip of glass above the keyboard that provides both system and app-specific controls based on what you are doing. The touchscreen sits in place of the standard row of function keys on the new MacBook Pro and includes Touch ID for faster logins and Apple Pay. Learn more by reading our Touch Bar hands-on roundup and Apple executive Craig Federighi's interview about the Touch Bar.
New Survey Highlights Substantial Developer Dissatisfaction With Mac App Store
A new DevMate survey recently polled around 700 Mac developers to get responses on how they feel working on OS X, and the lack of app visibility on Apple's Mac App Store. As The Next Web reports, the developers' responses highlight a stark difference in the iOS and OS X platforms, with a majority of DevMate's surveyed developers dissatisfied with Apple's 30/70 revenue split and poor distribution policies. When asked, "How do you distribute your Mac applications?" nearly 35 percent of the quizzed developers preferred to specifically share and market their apps outside of the Mac App Store, on their own third-party websites. About 23 percent stick solely to Apple's Mac App Store for distribution, while 42 percent are straddling the line and working with both. Sources of revenue for the developers in the dual-distribution approach are said to be "split almost evenly." All the same, those in the weeds of the Mac App Store say they would advise another developer against selling their app within Apple's OS X storefront. Of those 35 percent of developers living exclusively outside the Mac App Store, "a whopping 97 percent say they’d try to talk someone out of using Apple’s official App Store." Another section of the survey asked if developers believed Apple's 30 percent revenue cut was worth all of the features gained from using the Mac App Store, with 62 percent responding with "no." Problems arise from the developers' inability to address and communicate with reviewers directly, or offer trial periods for apps. Apple's OS X App Store has been a pale
Popular Design App 'Sketch' Leaves Mac App Store Due to Poor Customer Experience
Bohemian Coding has announced that its popular design app Sketch is no longer available in the Mac App Store because, after a lengthy decision making process, the developers felt that directly licensing the software outside of Apple's storefront will provide customers with a better experience. In a blog post on its website, the Sketch team highlighted some of the Mac App Store's limitations, including a lengthy app review process, sandboxing and no upgrade pricing. Sketch stresses this was not a knee-jerk reaction to the Mac App Store's recent expired certificate problem, but that issue did compound the situation. Sketch said the Mac App Store's customer experience has not progressed like its iOS counterpart:We’ve been considering our options for some time. Over the last year, as we’ve made great progress with Sketch, the customer experience on the Mac App Store hasn’t evolved like its iOS counterpart. We want to continue to be a responsive, approachable, and easily-reached company, and selling Sketch directly allows us to give you a better experience. There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.Sketch is among a growing number of apps that are no longer sold in
Leo's Fortune Now Available on Mac App Store for $6.99
Leo's Fortune, an Apple Design Award Winner at WWDC 2014, is now available on the Mac App Store for $6.99. Leo's Fortune HD, also available on Steam, delivers the same popular iPhone and iPad platform adventure gameplay on Mac. Leo’s Fortune is a platform adventure game where you hunt down the cunning and mysterious thief that stole your gold. Beautifully hand-crafted levels bring the story of Leo to life in this epic adventure. “I just returned home to find all my gold has been stolen! For some devious purpose, the thief has dropped pieces of my gold like breadcrumbs through the woods. Despite this pickle of a trap, I am left with no choice but to follow the trail. Whatever lies ahead, I must recover my fortune.” -LeopoldLeo's Fortune HD was developed by Swedish indie studio 1337 & Senri in partnership with Tilting Point. The game is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PlayStation 4, Windows, OS X and Xbox
Apple Responds to Developers Regarding Expired Mac App Store Security Certificates
Last week some users and developers experienced an issue that displayed a "damaged" error when attempting to open select apps from the Mac App Store, including popular apps like 1Password, Tweetbot and Byword. Today, Apple has sent an email to developers explaining what happened and how to fix their apps. In the email, which developer Donald Southard Jr. shared on Twitter, Apple explains that the company issued a new security certificate for the Mac App Store in September in anticipation of the expiration of the old certificate. The new certificate used a stronger SHA-2 hashing algorithm instead of the old SHA-1 algorithm. Hashing algorithms are used by certificate authorities to sign security certificates. However, two issues caused users to experience errors when starting up apps. The first issue, according to Apple, is that there was a caching issue with the Mac App Store that required users to restart their computers and re-authenticate with the Mac App Store to clear out the old cache. Apple says it's working on a fix for this in an upcoming OS X update. The other issue is that some apps were running an older version of OpenSSL that didn't support SHA-2. Apple says it replaced the SHA-2 certificate with a new SHA-1 certificate last Thursday night. Finally, Apple says that "most of the issues are now resolved", but that some apps might still experience problems if the apps make "incorrect assumptions" about the Mac App Store's security certificates. Apple asks developers to make sure their code adheres to the Receipt Validation Programming Guide and to
Some Mac App Store Apps 'Damaged' Due to Expired Security Certificate
A growing number of MacRumors readers and Twitter users have been experiencing an issue with some Mac App Store apps displaying a "damaged" error when opened since late Wednesday. The issue has affected popular apps such as 1Password, Acorn, Byword, DaisyDisk and Tweetbot. Mac App Store apps with a "damaged" error (Image: Graham/Twitter) Mac users are prompted with this error message when opening Mac App Store apps:“App Name” is damaged and can’t be opened. Delete “App Name” and download it again from the App Store.Tweetbot developer Paul Haddad tweeted that the issue appears to be related to security certificates that expired on November 11, 2015, and he further speculated that the receipts now using SHA256 encryption may be causing problems with older OS X versions. Wonder if the receipt now being SHA256 is causing problems with old OS versions? pic.twitter.com/ozOssXWlBR— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) November 12, 2015 The issue, however, also appears to affect some users running OS X El Capitan, leading Haddad to believe that Mac App Store apps contacting Apple's servers simultaneously may be causing a "self inflicted DDOS on Apple’s receipt generation service." Haddad says that rebooting your Mac on OS X 10.10 or later may resolve the issue, while some users have been forced to reinstall apps from the Mac App Store, disconnect from and reopen the Mac App Store or simply reenter their Apple ID password. It appears that Apple has since set a new 2035 expiration date for the security certificates, per The Guardian, at least some for apps, but the issues are
Discontinued Apple Software Returns to 'Purchased' Tab in Mac App Store
Earlier today, we noted Apple had recently removed older versions of OS X and other discontinued software from the Purchased tab of the Mac App Store for users who had previously purchased or downloaded them. The apps, which included Aperture, iPhoto, OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Mavericks, have now returned to the Purchased tab. The disappearance of the ability to re-download older software irked users, with some calling the action "user hostile." It's unclear if Apple pulled the software intentionally or whether the Mac App Store experienced a temporary bug in advance of the availability of OS X El Capitan. However, the software was unavailable for several days before returning tonight. Only one of the apps, Aperture, will continue to be compatible with OS X El Capitan. Update: As noted by several readers, some discontinued software including Logic Pro 9 and older versions of OS X Server remain unavailable for re-download from the Purchased tab. Thanks, Matthew!
Apple Pulls Older Software From 'Purchased' Tab in Mac App Store
Apple recently removed older versions of OS X and other discontinued software from the Purchased tab of users who had previously purchased or downloaded them. With the change, it is no longer possible for users to download Aperture, iPhoto, OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store. The decision to disallow users from downloading the older software is not going over well on reddit, where commenters are calling Apple's decision "user-hostile."That's really unfortunate and hostile by Apple. What about people who use older operating systems due to compatibility problems with specific software? I recently had to re-install Mavericks, but didn't keep the "Install OS X Mavericks" app. Now my only chance of getting it again is to download it from another location, and I don't know whether that image has been compromised.It is not clear if Apple's decision to prevent users from downloading older software from the Mac App Store is a temporary bug or a permanent change. The software has, however, been unavailable for several days now. It's possible Apple is aiming to prevent people from downloading software that is outdated and unsupported, but at least one of the now-inaccessible apps, Aperture, continues to work on OS X El
Tweetbot 2 for Mac Launches With OS X Yosemite Redesign and New Features
Following several months of development, Tapbots today released Tweetbot 2 for Mac with a major visual overhaul inspired by the flat design of OS X Yosemite and more consistent with the iPhone version of the Twitter client. Tweetbot 2 for Mac is available as a free update through the Mac App Store for existing Tweetbot users and has been discounted to $12.99 from its regular $19.99 price for the first time ever. Tweetbot 2 for Mac (left) compared to original Tweetbot for Mac (right) The major visual changes in Tweetbot 2 for Mac include flatter tabs and controls, redesigned user profiles with a new "Recent Photos" section, a new iOS-like user interface when clicking on or viewing the details of individual tweets, circular profile photos, profile photos for retweets and iMessage-like chat bubbles for direct messages. Overall, the software has a more simplified and clean appearance. Tweetbot 2 for Mac also features a new timeline search option, verified account badges and improved list organization. There is a new three-pane toggle in the bottom-left corner that makes it much more convenient to open lists in a new window or column, view all of your lists or search Twitter. A list can easily be removed or detached into a separate window by right clicking its title bar at the top. My first impressions of Tweetbot 2 are overwhelmingly positive, as the updated Twitter client has provided a faster and more fluid experience during my testing. The original version of Tweetbot for Mac would occasionally crash on me, and resizing the app would sometimes result in
'Redacted' Hits Number 8 Spot in Mac App Store With Just $302 in First-Day Profit
App developer Sam Soffes today published a blog post detailing the early monetary performance of his new app Redacted [Direct Link], which allows users to easily obscure sensitive information on personal photos. Screenshot of Redacted's image obscuring features After launching the app earlier this week, the $4.99 Redacted app quickly broke into the top paid app lists on the U.S. Mac App Store. Specifically, by the end of its launch day on May 5, Redacted was eighth in overall paid apps and first in top paid graphics apps. After some friends began questioning him about his expected profit, Soffes realized he hadn't really even begun to think about the possible profit the photo-obscuring app would rake in for him. Yesterday, Soffes tweeted out a question, asking his followers to guess how much profit the app received in its first day on the market. While the guesses averaged $12,460.67, Soffes revealed his app had achieved just 87 paid downloads, earning him a mere $302 worldwide for the eighth top paid app in the U.S. Mac App Store. There were 37 guesses. I threw out the lowest and highest guesses which were both hilarious. The average guess was $12,460.67. 7 of those units were promo codes I sent out. Only 59 of those units were in the US. It's pretty nuts that 59 sales is top paid on the Mac App Store in the US. In response to Soffes' blog post, Dan Counsell, a developer of popular organizational app Clear, shared a few numbers on the app's profits over a single day. Counsell tweeted that Clear earned $453 the day before the tweet, noting the list app is third