The long-awaited Mac App Store went live this morning, and we’re very pleased to announce that we have three incredible apps available at launch.
The Mac experience differs in at least two major ways from iOS (beyond the obvious UI divergence): first, it allows for true multitasking, meaning that the context in which any app operates is significantly more nuanced with the implications of other apps’ presences. Second, the platform (and user expectations) have a significant history of co-evolving towards full-featured apps, rather than simple, single-function utilities.
This is not to say that there is no opposite force towards simplicity. These competing needs – the need to be easy to use, and the need to be use-worthy – drive innovative tools on any platform. The best apps therefore represent a promise, a promise to form a well-struck balance between purity of purpose and thorough fulfillment of that purpose. Apps like “Mail” limit their scope, but do everything the average user could want within that scope.
All of Apple’s apps are crafted in this way, such that their names are simple, obvious descriptors of those promises: iMovie, iPhoto, Pages, Numbers… etc. We took this lesson to heart for all of our Mac Apps (and more as yet to be released).
Our first Mac app, Screenshots, not only turns Grab’s arcane cmd-shift-alt-3 key-combos-to-take-screenshots method into simple point-and-click buttons, it also piles on lots of useful sharing options. Capture windows, the whole screen, or just a pinpoint portion of the screen with our innovative frame, and then copy, save, print, email, upload to the cloud, and more. Everything ends up in your screenshot history where you can use an image you took before, again. Screenshots is a great way to capture great images from your Mac.
Then there is Attachments (beginning to notice a trend in the names?). We all receive files in email, and everyone knows the agonizing experience of trying to find “that one file” someone emailed you with no luck. Attachments makes this easy, by keeping tabs on the arcane folder where Apple Mail keeps files and providing a very intuitive, iPhoto-like thumbnail view of these attachments. Get a Quicklook, re-email, make a zip archive, show the original email, open the file to view or edit, and much more. Not only does Attachments make all your email files present and searchable, it also puts most actions you would want at your fingertips.
Our final launch-day contribution is Downloads. Like Attachments, Downloads keeps tabs of all the files in your downloads folder, with live updating, search, and a host of sharing and file-management actions just a click away. It’s especially perfect for webmail users, who in addition to regular downloads also end up downloading their email attachments to this folder. For these users, Downloads is basically a complete file system.
These apps represent a promise between us and our customers. Take care of one problem, and do it well. Need to get a screenshot? We’ve got a simple, complete tool to do just that. Use Apple Mail? We’ve got the perfect companion, which helps complete the file-management side of email. Download files? We’ve got you covered, with an app that makes finding and using downloaded files a snap. When you don’t need all the extra power of the Finder, these apps will let you do more in less time. And they’re fun, to boot. Thanks and enjoy!