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The may sport a familiar, iTunes-like face. But there’s still plenty to discover with Apple’s new source for buying Mac software. We and came up with a list of our own. Then, we spent Thursday to get some answers to those questions.

Here’s what we’ve been able to find out so far. The basics How do I access the Mac App Store? After you update, the App Store app will be in your Dock, next to the Finder. It’s as simple as upgrading to, an update to Snow Leopard that Apple released Thursday.

Once you’ve installed the 10.6.6 update, you’ll find an App Store icon in your Dock, right next to the Finder. (You can also access the store from the Apple menu.) That’s a different approach than what Apple used with its iOS App Store, which you access through iTunes. But the layout of the Mac App Store is similar to what you’ve become accustomed to with Apple’s retail outlet for mobile apps.

I have a Mac that’s not running Snow Leopard. Can I use the Mac App Store? The Mac App Store only works on Snow Leopard. Apps you download might work if you moved them to a Mac not running Snow Leopard, though. However, if you have an older PowerPC-based Mac, the apps won’t work—App Store apps are all Intel-only.

Do I have to update to OS X 10.6.6 to use the Mac App Store? As noted above, Mac OS X 10.6.6 actually enables the Mac App Store and installs the new App Store app. What’s the average cost of apps found at the Mac App Store?

There’s a lot of variability. There are free apps, of course.


But then, Apple’s Aperture is $80, Things and Acorn cost $50, Delicious Library sells for $40, OmniGraffle Pro will run you $200, and Distribute is listed at $700. Apple has priced its iWork apps at $20 each (twice the cost of the iPad versions), and its iLife apps at $15. Some developers have cut their prices, while others have kept them the same. It will take a while for people to figure out what the right prices for Mac Apps are in the Mac App Store. Can I buy apps from the Mac App Store just like I buy iOS apps?

On your iOS device, you’d use the App Store app, and so it is on the Mac. When you want to buy something, you enter in your iTunes ID and password and, boom—it’s purchased. The app downloads automatically, too, and what you bought is automatically placed in the Dock. (You can move it out later, if you want.) If I live outside the U.S., can I buy apps from the U.S. Mac App Store? The Mac App Store is open to pretty much every country that lets you buy stuff from Apple—90 in all. It seems like most of the international exclusion issues involving iTunes media do not exist on the Mac App Store, so you should be able to buy in your own country and get the same stuff you’d get in the U.S.

Do apps download directly to my Mac’s Downloads folder or will they be added to iTunes like iOS apps? Apps download right in your Dock and then remain there once they're installed. When you buy a Mac App Store app, it’s installed directly in your Applications folder and added to your Dock. Does that mean that Mac App Store purchases have to remain in my Dock permanently? No, once they’re in your Dock they behave like any other app. You can drag them out (or control-click and deselect Options -> Keep in Dock) to banish them.