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Apple’s Mac App Store Goes Live

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Apple’s Mac App Store Goes Live

Apple’s Mac App Store is now live and bursting with over 1000 apps, closing the iOS App Store’s predictable evolutionary loop. Available today to Snow Leopard users via the Mac OS X v10.6.6 software update, Macintosh desktop and laptop users can tap it to enjoy quicker, better organized program browsing, purchasing and downloads.

A range of featured apps, buyable via iTunes account, includes entertainment staples like iMovie, iPhoto and Garage Band for $14.99 each, plus productivity solutions such as Pages, Keynote and Numbers for $19.99 apiece. Free and paid options alike also encompass offerings from third-party software makers, such as image editing suite Pixelmator ($29.99), casual time waster Bejeweled 3 ($19.99) and painting tool SketchBook Pro ($29.99). Prices for specific utilities, educational software and music creation suites are more on-par with those found for traditional PCs though, with Apple’s own photo editing and organization package Aperture topping out at $79.99.

A self-contained software ecosystem, the Mac App Store functions as its own standalone application with virtual aisles featuring software descriptions, screenshots and ratings, similar to versions found on the iPad and iPhone. Keeping tabs on software updates as they’re issued, the service also provides streamlined notification and downloading of new patches and upgrades without having to load additional websites or programs. Once purchased, software appears right on your dock.

For those looking to get their feet wet, Twitter and SoundCloud’s free apps make a solid starting point, with Angry Birds (priced at $4.99 for a limited time) a logical next stop.

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