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#24615 - 12/30/12 08:16 PM Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design?
dkmarsh Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Having upgraded my system a couple weeks ago, I'm now running OS X 10.8.2, and, for the most part, finding that after the usual tweaking and reinstating of "classic" behaviors, things in Mountain Lion aren't so very much different than they were in Leopard.

There are some glaring exceptions, however, and one of them is the Mac App Store. Unlike some, I really don't object to the concept; it's the execution that baffles me. Why in this age of multi-tabbed windows does Apple find it necessary to limit one's explorations to a single app at a time, which necessitates a Sisyphean succession of single steps, forward and back, in order to browse a group of similar apps for comparison?

This carryover from the iTunes Store would simply be annoying, but I'm completely perplexed by a deeper layer of dysfunctionality: when I click the Categories button at the top of the window, then choose a specific category—say, Graphics & Design—I am presented with a 3 x 16 grid of apps, prefixed with the heading All Graphics & Design Apps, with a clickable See All next to it. Upon clicking that See All, I get a 4 x 45 grid of apps headed with All Graphics & Design Apps 1-180 of 1117. At the bottom of this grid are clickable buttons 1 through 7, bracketed by <Back and Next>. (The math works out: 6 pages @ 180 apps per page equals 1080 apps, with 37 more on the 7th page.) So far, so good, notwithstanding the objection stated in the second paragraph, above.

Okay, so, having surveyed the first page off possibilities, I move on to page 2. I decide to check out, say, Tiny Painter, so I click on its icon. As expected, the grid—now with the heading All Graphics & Design Apps 181-360 of 1117—is replaced with the Tiny Painter page. Following a brief perusal of Tiny Painter, I attempt to return to the page I was just on. It doesn't matter whether I click the Back button at the top of the window or do a two fingered swipe on the trackpad—the page I am returned to is page 1 (1-180), not page 2 (181-360)!

This means that for each app I want to check out on page 2 or beyond, I must 1) go back from the previous app; 2) scroll to the bottom of the page if it's not already within view; 3) click on the next page number, or on Next>; 4) scroll back to where I was on that page before I inspected the previous app; 5) click on the next app I decide to inspect.

The same baffling behavior occurs if I change the Sort By pop-up menu selection from Release Date to Name: the page alphabetizes itself nicely, but after I view a single app, when I go back the page disarranges itself back to release date order.

Can it really be Apple's intention to bury the "long tail" of the Mac developer community's output so deeply? Or am I missing some glaringly obvious browsing technique that the rest of the Lion+ world picks up automatically? Google is enigmatic on this subject, to say the least.
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dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

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#24617 - 12/31/12 07:53 AM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: dkmarsh]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
You are not missing "some glaringly obvious browsing technique that the rest of the Lion+ world picks up automatically", except perhaps short attention span!

I see it as an Internet state of mind where one might move from link to link to link and never care to return to the original source. Of course the ultimate manifestation of this syndrome is the lack of historical perspective and recollection, which leads to many exciting phenomena, most currently the "fiscal cliff".

Just my two cents, still at a lower tax rate for another day.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#24640 - 01/01/13 09:34 AM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: dkmarsh]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
I agree completely. The App Store is one of the worst programs Apple has ever used.
_________________________
MacBook 2.4 Ghz · 4 Gb ram · 10.7.5
stuff I'm interested in
iPhone 4s 7.0.2

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#24652 - 01/02/13 03:18 PM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: dkmarsh]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Well, we are clearly in a minority. Apple's App Store just won an award for implementation and design!

See the story at Macworld .
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#24653 - 01/02/13 04:37 PM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'm confused by the term "App Store."

dk is clearly talking about the Mac App Store, whereas your linked article sounds like it's talking about the iApp Store, or are they the same thing as respects the article, or two different things with the same implementation and, therefore, comparable, or...?

Thanks.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#24661 - 01/03/13 07:00 AM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
are they the same thing as respects the article, or two different things with the same implementation and, therefore, comparable, or...?

The App Store and iApp Store are, for all intents and purposes the same thing, but with different target platforms and in the case of the iApp Store multiple instantiations. The App Store for OS X is accessed through the App Store application in OS X 10.7 and 10.8. The App Store for iDevices is accessed either through iTunes on a Mac or PC or the App Store app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Functionally they work the same way and do the same thing. In fact I suspect they share a lot of common code both on each of the client apps as well as Apple's servers.

Apple's philosophy toward each appears to be identical with the major exception being the iDevices App Store either from the stand alone app or through iTunes is the ONLY way to install new apps on iDevices. I believe Apple would like that to be true of the OS X App Store as well, but they have found it impractical to implement sole sourcing in OS X because of the historic base of third party apps for OS X that for one reason or another have not yet chosen to distribute through the App Store. I suspect Apple is using a carrot and stick approach to bring the great majority, if not all, of the OS X apps under the App Store umbrella.

As far as the implementation goes, I too wish there were a way of comparing similar apps, but other than that it really works well for me and I now have only a few apps remaining that are not from the App Store. In truth it makes it a lot simpler to manage my apps and keep them up to date.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#24663 - 01/03/13 10:11 AM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: artie505]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Let me add a few things to Joemikeb's comments above. The confusion started when Apple opened the Mac App Store after the success of the variously named iTunes/iPhone/Apple App Store. Adding to the confusion are media that frequently refer to an unspecified Apple App Store, that most people tend to take as the iDevice dept, even when the Mac app store is meant. Ira's link above refers to the 'iDevice' dept, mainly accessed via iTunes, while Dave was talking about the Mac dept. accessed via its own app.

Despite the name similarity, the difference is in platform target (iDevices vs. Macs), number of available apps (700,000+ vs. 10,000+) and exclusivity: iDevice apps are availably via iTunes or direct, while many Mac app store offerings are available elsewhere, and frequently in different versions.

If anything, the article Ira linked to suggests that the problem Dave pointed to may be present in the other platform app stores too, or that the issues with the Apple store may not be as bad as with the others. If this is even close to true, consider me very much unimpressed with the dysfunctional aspects of it all.
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alternaut moderator

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#24673 - 01/03/13 03:47 PM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: alternaut]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: alternaut
The confusion started when Apple opened the Mac App Store after the success of the variously named iTunes/iPhone/Apple App Store.

And Apple has further contributed to the confusion by giving the app on OS X and iOS devices the same name, "App Store". While not as confusing, there is also an iOS app called Apple Store that is a gateway to the online Apple Store to purchase hardware and make appointments at the local brick and mortar Apple Store.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#24675 - 01/03/13 10:23 PM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for the clarification, joemike and alternaut; it's appreciated.

>Apple's philosophy toward each appears to be identical with the major exception being the iDevices App Store either from the stand alone app or through iTunes is the ONLY way to install new apps on iDevices. I believe Apple would like that to be true of the OS X App Store as well, but they have found it impractical to implement sole sourcing in OS X because of the historic base of third party apps for OS X that for one reason or another have not yet chosen to distribute through the App Store. I suspect Apple is using a carrot and stick approach to bring the great majority, if not all, of the OS X apps under the App Store umbrella.

I know I differ radically from you in this regard, but I dread the day the App Store becomes the only source for OS X apps; I'm a fan of the free-market/free-app system.

> In truth it makes it a lot simpler to manage my apps and keep them up to date.

That's a plus for the App Store, but not enough of one to overcome my perception of its minuses.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#24682 - 01/04/13 06:30 AM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I'm not sure we are as diametrically opposed as you suggest but if you are unalterably opposed to sole source installations, I would have suggested you switch to Windows but from what I hear they are moving, or trying to move, in the same direction as OS X. I guess that leaves you with the sole option of some dialect of Unix for your operating system.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#24686 - 01/04/13 02:28 PM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Forever the cockeyed optimist, I'm guessing that Apple will never become a sole-source platform, but Linux has actually crossed my mind recently as a potential alternative, and since my sister is a skilled Linux user I'll have a gateway.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#24690 - 01/05/13 07:32 AM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: artie505]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
and this is looking very sharp: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone
_________________________
MacBook 2.4 Ghz · 4 Gb ram · 10.7.5
stuff I'm interested in
iPhone 4s 7.0.2

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#24692 - 01/05/13 01:31 PM Re: Mac App Store Issue: Bug or Just Poor Design? [Re: roger]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for the link, roger, but I'm delighted to say that I have still not succumbed to the allure of any "i" device. laugh

Happy New Year! smile

Edit: Or, more responsive to your post...haven't got a cell phone...don't need a cell phone...don't even want a cell phone!


Edited by artie505 (01/05/13 03:55 PM)
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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Moderator:  alternaut, dkmarsh, joemikeb