Apple today released Mac OS X 10.6.6, notable for including the Mac App Store. I think the App Store is a great thing for most Mac users, providing a clean, understandable way to buy and install applications. (I can't tell you the number of times I've helped someone with a Mac who has been confused about where a downloaded installer is, how to open it, how to run an installer, and then what to do with the disk image that gets created.)
With the Mac App Store, you buy an application, it's downloaded to your Applications folder, and placed in the Dock. It will also provide app updates, just as the iOS App Store does.
The iLife ’11 suite is also available, with a couple of interesting twists:
- You can buy the latest iPhoto, iMovie, or GarageBand applications separately for $14.99 each. If you don't care about GarageBand, for example, you don't need to pay for it by buying the entire suite as a retail box.
- However, those are the only iLife ’11 apps available from the Mac App Store. iDVD and iWeb (neither of which were updated for iLife ’11, but which are included in the boxed set) are not available. So, if you wanted the entire suite, you're better off paying $4.03 more to buy the packaged version with all five apps (or currently $3.27 more from Amazon.com).
If you already own iLife ’11, the apps appear as "Installed" in the App Store. Based on what I'm reading from some Mac developers, only updates for applications purchased from the App Store will be available using the Updates feature; so, you'll still need to run Software Update (from the Apple menu) to get the latest versions.