Up until now software products have been dominated by elephantine applications like Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Photoshop. Software companies have made them huge, full of functions and features one individual may never need or want; but to get the essential core you need you have to buy an expensive package. I need some of both of these huge applications but never use more than a fraction of what they contain, and of course have to buy the whole to get just the part I need. This is an advantage to the companies that own these monopolies, but not to the individual users.
At the most recent public Apple event Steve Jobs spoke of the next major Apple Operating System “Lion” upgrade and that it will integrate some of their computer OS 10.X and iPhone/iPad iOS 4.2 functions. That makes obvious practical sense, but what he added to it that the Apple App Store would become open to developers to offer applications for the OS 10.6 computer operating system within the next 90 days is a revolutionary change of the business model for software. Reactions to this news were both welcoming and fearful – what will this new sales structure bring to the future? One place where you can shop for all independent software applications? The iPhone and its competitors as well as the iPad have attracted a huge variety of small modular Apps and has surely been a significant business success for users, developers and Apple of course.
Just recently Apparent Software (http://www.apparentsoft.com/) partnered with other small developers and has offered a bundle of graphics applications, the MacGraPhoto 2 bundle (http://www.macgraphoto.com/) for a fraction of the total cost of all nine applications. Of course my curiosity got the best of me, so I purchased the bundle at $40. It includes:
• Sandvox by Karelia Software - Apple Design Award Winner Website building application
• AtomicView by AntZero - Digital content management
• Posterino 2 - a new release by Zykloid Software - Compose posters from multiple photos
• Sketch - A new vector drawing application by Apple Design Award winner Bohemian Coding
• Swift Publisher by BeLight Software - Page layout application for designing fliers, newsletters, brochures etc.
• Layers by Wuonm - Capture screen as a PSD Layered Image
• Snapshot by LateNiteSoft - Photo-lab on a Mac: Image editing and printing
• ImageFramer 3 by Apparent Software - A brand new re-design of a popular image and photo framing application
• Hydra by Creaceed - Easily create HDR images
• DVD-Library by iSkysoft: Bonus application for building a photographic DVD Library
I immediately downloaded all of the applications, licensed and registered them, but that was just the other day so of course I have not used them all enough to get more than an idea of what I purchased. But already some of these applications have been helpful, and I am sure most will be over time. So I am glad I took advantage of this bundle offer that only lasts until the end of November. But more important, whether intended or not, maybe it is a look into a better future for computer users tomorrow if what Steve Jobs description of what is coming is the reality in the immediate future. Will the new expanded App Store be just for Apple users or will it include applications for all platforms? We will just have to wait and see, but if this is a breakthrough in the establishment model of the past and it becomes popular, anything is possible.
As a precedent for a possible future there is presently a lack of a module application that could be used as the home of different application pieces, plug-ins. There is a standard for plug-ins already and there is little reason many of the small, specialized applications could not be programmed to be plug-ins, So where is the module to plug them into, it sure isn’t the too big, too expensive Photoshop CS5. I have an idea the modular software may be coming, but this not anything I really know, so you’ll have to wait along with me to see if it develops and becomes real. In the meantime you might be amused by the Macalope: