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Direct vs. Mac App Store: Where to buy Mac apps?

Friday, December 9th, 2016

One of the more-popular questions we receive is “should I buy your app directly from you, or from the Mac App Store?” The factual no-opinion-involved answer to this question is that it’s your money, so you should buy from whichever source you prefer to use. That has been, and will always be, our “corporate” answer to that question.

With that said, if you ask either of us for our opinion on the best place to buy Mac software, here’s our opinionated answer:

We strongly recommend buying direct over using the Mac App Store.

At a personal level, we both always try to buy direct, using the App Store only when there’s no direct alternative.

Why do we think you should buy direct? Because we feel the cons of buying from the Mac App Store greatly outweigh the pros of buying from the Mac App Store.

Here’s a comparison of the two methods of buying, with what we view as some of the pros and cons of each.


Steve Jobs: In memoriam

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

As everyone knows by now, Steve Jobs died earlier today at the way-too-young age of 56. To honor his work, and to do a small bit to help others not suffer a similar fate, for the next seven days Many Tricks will donate 100% of our received revenue to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. It’s a drop in the bucket, of course, but every little bit helps.

Here are some words on what Steve meant to each of us:

Rob Griffiths   The passing of Steve Jobs hit me deeply, even though I never met the man. From the time I first used an Apple ][, I knew I wanted to work for Apple. Being only 14 at the time, the dream had to wait a few years. But eventually, after college and graduate school, it was fulfilled: I found myself working for Apple in 1989. This was post-Steve, of course, and not necessarily the best time to be at Apple. Still, it was an incredible place to work, and I feel amazingly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented group of people at an amazingly innovative company.

Things change, and I eventually found myself leaving California (and Apple) for Oregon in 1993. Still, Apple ran deep in my blood. For instance, I brought my home Mac to my office job, just so I wouldn’t have to use a Windows machine. Over the years, I managed to help “sneak” about a dozen Macs into the company; they were used in one of our most successful divisions.

When Steve came back in 1997, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. But with the release of the first beta of OS X, my life changed, though I didn’t really know it at the time. I launched Mac OS X Hints in March of 2001, as a hobby outside my normal day job. Over the span of a few years, as OS X took off, my hobby quickly progressed into something that was eating 100% of my free time.

Thankfully, Macworld came along, purchased the site, and (most importantly) offered me a job. At that point, my career path made a 180 degree shift, from business guy to writer of all things Apple/Mac. Without Steve’s saving the Mac (and Apple), the site wouldn’t have grown as it did, nor would Macworld have come calling.

Also during this time, I “met” Peter Maurer online, and we struck up a friendship that has lasted through the years. After nearly five years at Macworld, Peter convinced me to take a shot at the software business with him; about 18 months ago, I did so, leaving Macworld for Many Tricks. Again, this never would have happened if Apple hadn’t recovered as it did.

So it’s with great sadness and tears in my eyes that I write this tonight; I still can’t believe such a great man has been taken from us at such a young age. I don’t swear much, but really, fuck cancer.

Steve, your presence cannot be replaced, but I believe your shaping of Apple and the products they create will last a lifetime. For my (personal sanity’s) sake, I hope that’s true, as I can’t imagine using any other platform for my work or my play. RIP, Steve Jobs.

Peter Maurer   There ultimately is no such thing as a self independent from the rest of the universe — this is one of the core beliefs of Steve Jobs’ religion, Buddhism, and what a great example of that doctrine Steve Jobs was.

I try to imagine what his outlook on death might have been and draw optimism from that, but even if you believe that he is merely ascending to another plane of existence right now, there’s no denying that an undoubtedly inconsolable family lost their father. And in a broader sense, so did I.

None of the things I do for a living today would have been possible without Steve Jobs. And since I’ve always believed that we are what we do, I as a person would be very different as well.

Steve Jobs paved the way by being instrumental in the ascension of the personal computer and ushering in the era of mobile devices. But more importantly, the way he tackled problems with an unbridled enthusiasm, optimism, and fervor helped me dare doing the same thing on a smaller scale. I quit an education that was almost finished, and I took the risk of being self-employed, because I knew there were people like him. I knew it was okay to take a risk and do something unexpected if deep down, you knew it was what you were here to do. That’s why I’ve always thought of Steve Jobs as one of the father figures in my life.

So thank you, Steve Jobs, for being one of those who gave me an opening for evolving into who I am today. There ultimately is no such thing as a self independent from the rest of the universe — I guess that’s why I feel like on October 5, 2011, a part of me died.