Mac App Store, first take

[Update: wow, what a scam! $59.99 for a front-end to Google’s free translate service. Way to curate those apps, Apple!]

[Update: steaming pile of app.]

Lots of shallow, borderline-functional apps, many with undeclared dependencies. For instance, take Translate, which claims to offer translation between 55 different languages for $2.99. The only requirement listed is Mac OS X 10.6.6, and the app size is 1.2 MB.

Translation: it’s a front-end to Google’s free online translation service, useless to anyone who’s offline, and pointless for anyone who knows how to operate a web browser. Instant five-star review, of course.

The UI for the store is taken from the iPhone app store, so it suffers from the same lack of searchability and scalability. Very, very limited information on each app, which is significant because they’re not running in a safe little sandbox like an iPhone; this stuff has full access to your hard drive and home network, opening up all sorts of unhappy possibilities.

Pricing is all over the map as well, like iKana, an obvious port of an iPhone app with limited functionality, for the low, low price of $14.99. And, once again, Apple demonstrates their cluelessness by prominently featuring a list of the top-grossing apps, something that has no value to app buyers.

Expect to see a lot more lazy iPhone ports with ambitious pricing, undeclared dependencies, and random keywords to game the clumsy search system. And maybe a few decent applications that you will find out about elsewhere, and would have bought directly from them before today…

[Update: what inept clod wrote this application? Select a large category, like “Utilities”. Click “See all”. Set sort-by to “Name”. Scroll halfway down the page. Click on an app. Click on the back button. You are now halfway down a page that is sorted by release date. Congratulations on not even getting basic navigation right, Apple.]