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Learn your way around the Mac App Store

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Learn your way around the Mac App Store

At one time, the way to get software for your Mac was to trot down to your local software emporium and purchase a box that contained the software you needed on some kind of disc. Today, we rarely get software on discs. Instead, we download it. While many of us still down software from various websites, Apple wouldn't mind terribly if you used its Mac App Store, which makes it very easy to obtain, update, and reinstall your software. Let's take a tour of the store. To do that, you go to the Apple menu and choose App Store.

Learn your way around the Mac App Store

At one time, the way to get software for your Mac was to trot down to your local software emporium and purchase a box that contained the software you needed on some kind of disc. Today, we rarely get software on discs. Instead, we download it. While many of us still down software from various websites, Apple wouldn't mind terribly if you used its Mac App Store, which makes it very easy to obtain, update, and reinstall your software. Let's take a tour of the store. To do that, you go to the Apple menu and choose App Store.

When you do that, the first thing you see is the Featured tab. This includes a few applications at the top that Apple thinks are worthy of your attention. Below, you'll see a New and Noteworthy area, some highlighted categories of applications, What's Hot, and these are applications that seem to be getting a lot of attention from people, another set of collections, and then kind of a special area. In this case, this is enhanced for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, so the graphics on these applications have been tweaked to work with Apple's Retina Display MacBooks. Don't forget to take a look along the right side as well.

First, you're going to find some quick links to things, and then you're going to look at your All Categories. You can browse applications by category. So for example, I want to look just at Apple's apps, I click on that and you see the applications that are made by Apple. To go back a page, we just click on the left arrow, and now we're back on the Featured screen. Another important area is the Top Paid area. This tells you exactly what's popular at the App Store. In this case, Mountain Lion is still a big seller, as are lots of other Apple applications. Then there's the Top Free area.

These are also popular applications that you don't have to pay for. They're all free. Now, if you want to see all applications of a particular kind, say Free, we can click on See All and then we see a long list of these applications. Now, let's take a look at those Top Charts. So if you don't want to use the sidebar, instead, you can go to this page and look at what's Top Paid and again, click on See All and you see lots and lots of popular applications. Top Grossing is important as well. These are the applications that are making the most money for those people who've manufactured them and look at this.

Apple seems to be doing extremely well as it seems to have the top eight applications. Then Categories is where you can choose the category of software you want to look for. So if you need something in the Business category, simply click on its category and you'll see popular apps at the top and then the applications listed below. Then there's Purchases. We took a brief look at that in another movie but this is very helpful. Once upon a time, if you purchased something from Apple, you'd have to download it to your computer, in most cases this was iTunes content like music and movies and that kind of thing.

And when you did, you had to keep a backup of it. If you lost it, if your computer crashed, for example, and it was completely gone, you would actually have to write to Apple and say, "Please, I lost all my stuff. Any way you could give it back to me?" And they'd be very nice and they'd say yes, you can download it again just one time. Well, that's all over now. There's a new program called iTunes in the Cloud, and it's a broad policy that allows you to re-download anything that you've purchased from Apple. Actually, this can free things that you've gotten from the Mac Apple Store, as well as from the iTunes store.

So while you're on the Mac App Store, you'll find all your purchases, and if you don't happen to have them on this particular computer, all you have to do is click on Install and they will be installed on your computer. I showed you elsewhere the Updates area, and this is where you get the software updates for any Apple applications that were installed when you first got your Mac, as well as applications that you've purchased. Now let's look at actually obtaining an application. Let's go back to Featured and let's go to Top Free. Let's look at Window Tidy and we'll click on that. Now we're actually on that app's page.

You can see a description at the top. They provide some screen shots so you can see what you're getting into, and below are customer ratings. These can be very helpful because it shows you what real customers think of the application. Now what I find most useful is in Sort By to choose Most Recent. Do this and you can see the most recent comments. This is helpful because it's possible that when an application originally shipped, maybe there were some bugs with it, it wasn't quite finished, and it got a lot of poor ratings.

However, the developer then updated the application and it got better over time and that should be reflected in the rating. Note too, there are occasions when you want to take some of these comments with a grain of salt, particularly for free applications. People have paid nothing for something. They may not be happy with it because they thought it should do this even though it was never intended to, and so they'll issue negative comments. So it's a good idea to run through the comments and try to figure out if that person is just a crank or if there really seems to be trend and there is something wrong with the application.

So we'll go back to the top and if we want to get this application, all we have to do is click on the Price, in this case it's free, and then click on Install App. When we do that, we'd be prompted for our Apple ID and our password. I don't actually need this application right now so I'll click on Cancel, but if you were to enter your password, you'd be signed in and then the application would download automatically and be placed in your Applications folder. Those are the basics of the Mac App Store. It's a convenient way to purchase software but not the only way. Now some applications are barred from the Mac App Store because they perform the kind of under-the-hood chores that Apple would prefer that users not do.

If you don't find the tools you're looking for on the Mac App Store, hunt around on the internet. Developers of these tools may be selling them from their own website.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 21130 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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