Official Twitter Application for MacOS X, Thoughts on Apple Mac App Store

I installed the official Twitter application on MacOS X tonight with the Mac App Store. I have stayed away from the Mac App Store for the most part, but I decided to install some free applications tonight: Twitter, MPlayerX, and TextWrangler.

The official Twitter application looks very slick and takes up a minimal amount of screen real estate. You can check it out here if you have a Mac, too.

The Mac App Store is equally slick in the way that you can find applications, buy applications (get free ones too), and install them with a simple click. The application that you select hops up and lands safely in your dock following a downward facing parabolic curve. It is a neat effect. However, Apple’s gatekeeper status underlies the ease-of-use and eye candy of the Mac App Store. Like the App Store for iPhone, iPod, and iPad, Apple passes judgement on what can and cannot go into their app store. The same will be true for the Mac App Store. The slight advantage for the customer by having software vetted in some way by Apple, hopefully for security and protection of users from malware, is overshadowed by Apple enforcing its own brand of morality.

Chris Foresman on Ars Technica opined today that Apple may be using the Apple Design Awards as a way to strengthen their grip over what software gets support on MacOS X. This year, unlike years past, only programs available through the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store will be eligible for Apple Design Awards. Apple hasn’t yet tried to cut out the installation of software ‘blessed’ by the App Store, but this could be something in the cards for the future. I hope that this is not the case, but it does seem like MacOS X 10.7 Lion’s iOS-like features may point toward a more top-down controlled computing platform for Apple. And here I was hoping that Apple may open MacOS for homebuilt hardware . . .

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.