Apple has recently launched the Mac App Store, which is basically the desktop version of the iOS app store. This move is aimed at getting more third-party software into the mix, but with the usual quality control imposed by Apple. Developers aren’t allowed to post trial versions and must submit each app for approval. But overall, the Apple Mac App Store is expected to be a huge shot in the arm for Apple software developers, who can now use the platform to reach more audiences and generate revenue.
Benefits of Developing for the Mac App Store
Beyond the obvious benefits of including your Mac OS software in a huge catalog/software discovery tool maintained by Apple, there are real money-making opportunities for Mac App Store developers. For one, all developers get to keep 70% of all the money generated from sales and downloads of their apps. Apple doesn’t charge any additional fees other than the $99 annual subscription. You don’t have to pay software marketing fees, application hosting fees or credit card fees—which is really saying something, given how much it would cost you to host the apps yourself.
While Apple does have some tight restrictions on software that’s included in the Mac App Store, things like pricing are left completely up to you. You get paid monthly.
How to Get Started
Other than a Mac running the latest version of OS X, you’ll also need to be a registered Apple Developer. You can get an account for free at http://developer.apple.com/programs/register/
You’ll also need the Xcode developer kit, which you can download from Apple at: http://developer.apple.com/devcenter/mac/index.action
From there, you should get coding. If you’re new to Apple software development, you should check out the Mac OS X Reference library which will help you get started: http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/navigation/#section=Resource%20Types&topic=Getting%20Started
Lastly, once you’ve got your app all written and ready to submit, check out the App Store tips and guidelines to ensure that your program, application or game doesn’t get rejected:
Submitting Your Store to the Mac App Store
The key to success in the App Store is to create a reliable app and have great presence in the Mac App Store. Take time to write up your Application Description with a focus on what makes your app unique in terms of design or functionality. It’s also important to incorporate useful keywords into your app’s description—but avoid going overboard, otherwise you’ll risk having your app rejected. Use descriptive keywords, but avoid using trademarks, company or product names (i.e. of your competitors), unauthorized use of celebrity names, irrelevant keywords and, of course, offensive or objectionable keywords. You might want to consider hiring a professional to write your app description. You should also take time to prepare representative screenshots that demonstrate what your app does. You’ll also need to design an icon for your app—you may want to optimize or alter your existing icon for the Mac App Store.
Once you get rolling with apps on the Apple Mac App Store, you can begin reaching wider audiences and earning more money for your hard work. Be sure to brush up on Apple’s latest guidelines to remain in good standing as an Apple Developer.