Every now and then I check in to the Mac App Store to see what’s new, what’s updated, and what’s changed. My hope is that Apple has big plans to improve the search filters on the Mac App Store, but as of today there’s not much that’s changed. It’s still difficult to wade through apps to find the best of a particular category or key word search.
As an example, here are the top five free Mac photo apps (as of today) based upon some criteria which Apple doesn’t disclose.
iPhoto: It’s not difficult to see why this is at the top of the list, but it can’t be based upon the ratings. iPhoto is good and there are not many competitors that do as much and that might be the problem. There’s little competition for a free app that is heavy on basic features but hasn’t changed much in years.
Fotor: Why this is free is beyond my ability to understand obscure business plans. Fotor picks up where iPhoto leaves off with more editing tools, filters, and effects that make it an absolute bargain for wannabe photographers on a budget.
Photo Collage: Also free, Photo Collage does what you expect– easy photo collages in free style, grid, or classic, with frames and text. A Pro version adds more collage styles, over 50 collage templates, and over 100 unique greeting card templates.
Duplicate Cleaner: The age of digital photography means each photo is inexpensive to the point of free, which means we have more photos than ever, including plenty of duplicates. Duplicate Cleaner does what it says on the tin. Finds and deletes duplicate photos.
Composure: A relative newcomer to the Mac App Store, the free Composure combines a few photo tricks not found in many other Mac photo apps, including collage, stickers, borders, and backgrounds. It’s different, for sure, and you can’t beat the price tag.
The Mac App Store has many other worthy free photo enhancement and photo management apps, many one-trick pony utilities which do just one or two functions not easily done in more expensive apps.
What’s disappointing is the search capability of the Mac App Store itself. Categories still do not let you search for apps based upon ratings or number of downloads, a key shortcoming. Many apps which appear to have no ratings when listed as part of a search, actually may not have a rating for the most recent version, but plenty of ratings for previous versions. Apple doesn’t make it easy for Mac App Store customers to find the best apps, and maybe that’s the point. To Apple it may be that it’s best to have many apps in the Store, rather than fewer apps that are better quality.