IDFusion offers app store for the Mac

With Bodega, it aims to do for the Mac what Apple's App Store did for the iPhone--give users a place to purchase and download applications.

Apple developer IDFusion on Monday is launching Bodega, an application that brings a Mac App Store to users' desktops.

Bodega is intended to do for Mac software applications what Apple's App Store did for the iPhone--give users a place to purchase and download applications. The store kicks off with 150 applications, and IDFusion said it will be quickly adding more apps.

In an interview with CNET, Phil Letourneau, the user interface designer for Bodega, said that IDFusion is trying to learn from the mistakes that Apple made with the iPhone App Store.

For instance, Apple has been heavily criticized by developers and media for its decisions to abruptly reject certain apps from its store. Just last week, Apple's decision to reject Google's Voice app reportedly has prompted an inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission.

Letourneau doesn't see any such conflicts happening with developers interested in entering Bodega.

"We want to get as many apps as we can," said Letourneau. "We're really open to almost anything, aside from things that would endanger the computer."

Letourneau also said that the app approval process has been tested and he expects that submitted apps should be approved and available in the store within a couple of days.

Bodega is free for developers and users, so unlike Apple's App Store, IDFusion will not be taking a cut of the sales. For now, the application is going to be advertising-based, although the company is looking at other ways to generate revenue in the future.

Would Apple attempt to shut down Bodega and launch a Mac App Store itself? Letourneau doesn't think so. In fact, he said, Apple knows about the application because he showed it to the company months ago and has kept Apple updated on its progress.

"If Apple had wanted to do this for the Mac, they would have done it a while ago," said Letourneau.

Apple was not available to comment for this story.

Bodega is offering several features that will allow developers to show off their apps and to help customers find apps. For example, users can browse the top-rated and most-downloaded applications, and developers can link to press reviews from their application page.

Bodega will also check for application updates, meaning customers will be able to download the new version from within the app. License keys and a receipt for a purchased app is also stored in Bodega, making reinstallation or finding records very easy, according to the company.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.


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