Apple is the master at market disruption. The Mac disrupted the fledgling PC market back in the day. The iPod and iTunes Music Store disrupted the media player and music industries.
The iPhone disrupted the supposedly mature smart phone industry. And, not lastly or leastly, the iPad is having a disruptive influence on the notebook and netbook segments of the PC industry.
What’s next? It’s already happened. The iPhone App Store, and little brother, the Mac App Store have disrupted the entire world of apps; prices, distribution, and more.
It used to be that we could download an app and try it out without buying it first. That was the day of shareware. Today, we have the Mac App Store. Free apps abound. But there’s no try-before-you-buy.
99-cents is the new trial software.
My case in point is Pic-a-POD. It’s one of those aforementioned 99-cent Mac apps. It downloads a photo every day from a number of photo-centric web sites and attaches it to your Mac as the Desktop picture.
The selection is substantial, and the pedigree of the sites is worthy.
The photos come from Flickr, National Geographic, Wikipedia, Earth Observatory, and Astronomy magazine, among others.
Every day, a new photo arrives. Pic-a-POD lets you select a random photo from online, or something from your iPhoto library.
There’s not much to it. Photos you’d have to look for are automatically downloaded and used as Desktop pictures. You can choose which photo to use.
That’s it. Back in the day, such an app was a labor of love, total shareware or donation ware, but today it’s 99-cents on the Mac App Store. Inflation is such that 99-cents is the new way to try out a Mac app.