It’s official: Mac App Store to open January 6th, 2011
Posted by at 3:44 pm, December 26th 2010.

Apple officially announced this morning that the Mac App Store will open for business on Thursday, January 6. With it, Apple hopes to make discovering, installing and updating Macintosh programs as easy as with apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
. The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries at launch, and will feature paid and free apps in categories such as education, games, graphics and design, lifestyle, productivity and utilities.

The timing seems odd to me, coming so closely on the heels of the lucrative holiday season. This leads me to believe that, as we covered earlier this month, Apple intended for the Mac App Store to be up and running in early december, but ran into some problems that pushed it back. It also makes their lack of interest in Macworld Expo even more unfortunate, as this is exactly the sort of thing that would’ve been great to announce during a Steve Jobs keynote presentation, instead of via press release.

Speaking of that, here’s some verbiage:

The Mac App Store lets you browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, view staff favorites, search categories and read customer ratings and reviews. Like on iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad™, you can purchase, download and install apps in just one click and start using them immediately. Purchased apps can run on all of your personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store so it’s easy to keep all of your apps up to date. The Mac App Store is available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard® users as a free download through Software Update.

Mac developers set the price for their apps, keep 70 percent of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and do not have to pay hosting, marketing or credit card fees.

For more information on the Mac App Store, visit Apple.com.


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iPad tops Mossberg's list of best reviewed products of 2010
Posted by at 3:43 pm, December 26th 2010.

Technology journalist Walt Mossberg listed the iPad as his best reviewed product of the year, while he called out the Dell Streak and Google TV as the worst products of 2010.

Calling Apple's successful tablet device "amazing," Mossberg wrote that the iOS 4.2 update and huge selection of apps help the iPad "to stay ahead of the competition."

As promised, Apple released the iOS 4.2 update for the iPad in November, adding multitasking, Game Center, AirPlay and a number of other features to the device. "iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said of the update.

Mossberg gave the No. 2 slot on the list to 4G networks, noting that today's 3G networks are "bursting at the seams." 4G networks, which are still being expanded, are "something to watch closely in 2011," he said.

Highlighting the growing rivalry between Google Android and Apple's iPhone, Mossberg called third place a tie between the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone 4. For Mossberg, the Galaxy S "is representative of the powerful force that Android has become within the smartphone marketplace." On the other hand, the iPhone 4, even with all the new competition and the antenna controversy, is "still the best overall smartphone," said Mossberg.

6 weeks after his initial positive review of the iPhone 4, Mossberg published a follow-up, standing by his initial review. Though he took issue with the iPhone 4's reception on the AT&T network, he continued to praise the smartphone as "the best device in its class."

On Time magazine's top 10 gadgets of 2010 list, the Samsung Galaxy S took second, behind the iPad. The iPhone 4 came in sixth place on Time's list.

Mossberg named the Android-based Dell Streak his worst reviewed product of 2010, calling it a "tweener." The tablet, which was meant to take on the iPad, received a "thumbs-down" from the journalist for being too big for a phone and too small for a tablet.

The second worst reviewed product of 2010, according to Mossberg, was Google TV. Reviewers, including Mossberg, found Google's entry into the living room "chaotic" and "complicated."

Google TV has seen several setbacks in recent weeks. According to The New York Times, Google has asked TV makers to hold off on introducing new Google TV products, catching some manufacturers off guard. A new report from a component supplier claims that Logitech has halted shipments of its Revue Google TV box while it waits for an update, which is expected in late February or March "at the earliest."

In a June interview with Mossberg, Jobs predicted Google TV's current struggles, noting that the current situation with cable operators "pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation because nobody's willing to buy a set top box."

"Ask Tivo, ask Replay TV, ask Roku, ask Vudu, ask us… ask Google in a few months," he said.

"The only way that's ever going to change," Jobs said, "is if you can really go back to square one, tear up the set top box, redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions, and get it to consumers in a way that they're willing to pay for it. And right now there's no way to do that."


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