Yesterday Apple announced the App Store for the Mac OS X Lion operating system, which will be released mid-2011. You probably know the App Store from the iPhone, iPod or the iPad. It’s a really cool way to install Apps. From a developer point of view it’s also interesting because a huge amount of the marketing for an App is done by the App Store for you.
For me as an Eclipse developer the first thing that came to my mind while watching yesterday’s Apple keynote was, “It would be so cool if I could install Eclipse or RCP-based Apps directly on my Mac with the App Store.” We know that in the past Apple hasn’t been very open to Java-based applications. But, since then, they have given up their strange licensing policy and allow Apps to be written in other technologies.
As a result of this, it should be possible to ship Java-based applications with the App Store. Of course, this is just my opinion and we have to make sure that Apple will allow it. But, if it’s allowed, this should be the last big hurdle before we can investigate the App Store for Eclipse and RCP-based Apps. Imagine: installing, auto updating, user reviews, marketing and ratings all under one hood. If we do this right, it could create a synergistic relationship between the App Store and the Eclipse Marketplace. For example, promote once and your application could show up on the Marketplace and the App Store.
So, it can’t be too early to start looking at the possibilities. I opened an Eclipse Bug to support the Mac App Store. Maybe you’re interested in this topic and want to help make it real. The bug id is 328317.