In the first year of the Mac App Store, before sandboxing, I bought as much as I could from it. As a customer, the convenience was so great that I even repurchased a few apps that I already owned just to have the App Store updates and reinstallation convenience. And, most importantly, when an app was available both in and out of the Mac App Store, I always bought the App Store version, even if it was more expensive. But now, I’ve lost all confidence that the apps I buy in the App Store today will still be there next month or next year. The advantages of buying from the App Store are mostly gone now. My confidence in the App Store, as a customer, has evaporated. I agree whole-heartedly with Marco on this. When the Mac App Store first came out, I began buying everything on it, and why not? It was great! I could sit down at any of my 4 Macs and instantly have access (well, with download times maybe not quite instantly - but easily) to all of my OS X software. I began to snug apps who weren't on the Mac App Store unless I absolutely needed them, such as SuperDuper!. And then, Apple had to rain on its own parade with Sandboxing and Entitlements. Now, I've had to purchase newer versions of several apps off of the Mac App Store because they've pulled out due to Apple's onerous restrictions that break core functionality of their apps. Apps that have been hampered by the Mac App Store that I rely on or are very popular: Textexpander, Alfred (which you cannot get from the MAS if you want to add-on their 'Powerpack' functionality due to the inability for in-app purchases), Hazel, SuperDuper!, Reflection, all of Atlassian's apps, Postbox. Myself, Manton Reece, Daniel Jalkut and others have been keeping a running list of articles on Pinboard about apps that have pulled out or have had updates rejected due to Sanboxing shenanigans. Someone at Apple who has the power to step in and reverse this poor direction Apple is currently taking with the Mac App Store had better do so soon, otherwise they are going to either doom the Mac App Store from being a long term success or lose years of progress while they recover from this bad decision years from now.
My good friend Wayne Dixon has posted his combined OS X Lion & Lion Server review. Server contains a few neat features I was not aware of, as I've always just used the retail version. Definitely worth checking out.
This morning, shortly after Lion hit the App Store for the general public, I posted a link to several notable reviews of Lion where you can read all about the nit-picky details that have changed or been added/removed. I won't attempt to write a comprehensive review of my own, simply because people like John Siracusa will do a much better job at it than I will. One notable new feature of the operating system that I would like to point out though, is the new recovery partition that Lion makes when it installs itself. Apple has posted an entire knowledge base article detailing how this process works:
OS X Lion includes a new feature called Lion Recovery that includes all of the tools you need to reinstall Lion, repair your disk, and even restore from a Time Machine backup without the need for optical discs. A lot of people noted that the new Mac Minis released this morning no longer contain optical drives built-in. Jim Dalrymple actually managed a brief interview with Brian Croll, Apple's vice president of OS X product marketing who told Jim: A new Mac mini was also released with faster processors, and surprisingly to some people, no optical drive. Apple said the popularity of the Mac App Store helped with that decision. “We found that the majority of customers don’t use the optical drive on a regular basis,” said Moody. “Things are changing. The primary use for the optical drive was to install software, but the Mac App Store provides a more efficient method for doing that.” Clearly Apple is not afraid to eliminate components that customers don't regularly use in order to take advantage of the extra space to add new hardware on the inside. They first did this with the MacBook Air, and now the Mini. As John Gruber says: Optical drives are the new floppy drives.
Google's former CEO and now board Chairman, Eric Scmidt, was interviewed last night at D9 on stage. He made several interesting revelations. Jason Kincaid, writing for Techcrunch:
Today during a keynote interview at AllThingsD’s D9, Google Executive Chairman (and former longtime CEO) made a key announcement: Google has recently renewed its partnership with Apple over mapping and search. In other words, don’t look for a new version of Maps on iOS at next month’s WWDC. So, why is this important? Apple has long shipped every iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad with a Maps application powered by Google. It’s great (though arguably not as good as its Android counterpart). But Apple and Google are competing fiercely in the mobile market, and every time someone runs a search using Maps from an iOS device, Apple is handing Google a little more data that could be used to further improve their local products. Later on during the interview, Schmidt spoke this gem of a quote: ... Schmidt also puts in a plug for Chrome, saying it is more secure. Walt Mossberg, "What else could you do to promote security?" Eric Schmidt, "You could use a Mac instead of a PC. Viruses are far less likely to affect Mac users."