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Pat Dryburgh

When the Mac App Store was released, I downloaded one and only one app through it: Twitter for Mac. It was the only way to upgrade from Tweetie, and from all accounts was worth the upgrade.

Since then, I haven’t opened the Mac App Store, mostly so I wouldn’t have to face the temptation on a constant basis. I even removed it from my dock — as they say, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Until I went to download my second Mac App Store app (ironically enough, it was to purchase a license for Twitterrific). As the Mac App Store opened, I noticed an update was available for the one app I had downloaded previously. I clicked to see the details, and was absolutely shocked by what I found:

I had never been made aware that there was an update available for Twitter for Mac (and I usually am pretty good at staying on top of this type of thing). So, for almost two months I’ve been running an outdated version of the software, which could potentially be full of security holes or other issues.

Now, the updates for the app seem to be more related to UI issues, but what if that wasn’t the case? What if one of the problems this update fixed was “stops crazy hackers from scooping up all of your personal data”? I would have left myself open to over two months of possible attack.

I get that up until the Mac App Store was launched, Application downloading and installing could be a little confusing for the average user. But, once the application was installed more often than not the application used some sort of internal updating system to notify you when new versions were available.

This makes me very nervous about using the Mac App Store for purchasing any more software from it. I’ll be buying Twitterrific right from the Icon Factory’s website instead. As for apps which can only be bought from the MAS, I’ll be very hesitant to do so without carefully considering the value and stability of the applications I look to buy.

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