You’ve probably heard of VersionTracker or MacUpdate. Those are the two main websites to visit if you’re in the market for a new Mac app for a certain purpose. Perhaps you don’t really know what’s good, or maybe you’re just not sure of what app in particular to get. These are basically the only instances to visit websites stated above, especially so if it’s a commercial app. Other times, when an app is free, there is barely any hesitation whatsoever — except, you’d need to know what to download.
Confused yet? Fret not, things are about to get much simpler.
I stumbled onto Bodega a couple of days ago and it got me wondering what the heck it was. Something like AppFresh, perhaps? But the description said, “Your neighborhood store.” What on earth could that mean? It wasn’t until after I downloaded it, only did I realize that it was an App Store for Mac. Something like that anyways.
Bodega takes the iTunes’ App Store and translates that idea for Mac applications. In other words, it’s a centralized Mac application store – a place to be exposed to new and interesting Mac apps.
I can’t help but be impressed by the design of Bodega. It even looks like a store. Hold and move the app around your screen and the signboards swing about! Alright, let’s take a short tour and I’ll show you how to use it.
As soon as Bodega launched, you’ll be presented with its Featured apps of the day as seen in the screenshot above. There will also be sections dedicated to showcasing New Releases, Shopkeeper’s Picks, Top Free/Paid Downloads. The Featured page is a fantastic way to be exposed to and try out new apps.
Click on a category from the list on the left and you’ll be presented with apps, laid out on shelves. Very shop-like. Click on an app and it will be lit by a spotlight.
To find out more about the app, either click on its label to switch between the name, price and rating. Or you could double-click on the app to be brought to its dedicated page where you can read more about it and view some screenshots.
If you see an app you like and if it’s free, click on the Download button and Bodega will retrieve it for you. No additional browser windows need to be opened. You can view the download process in the Applications page. Downloads are automatically saved in your Downloads folder, naturally.
If you happen to like a commercial app and decide to buy it, everything can be done within the app itself. In this example, I chose HoudahSpot and clicked on the Buy Now button. Bodega opened up the Houdah Software Store page and allowed me to complete the transaction without leaving the application.
Besides being an App Store, Bodega also keeps track of the apps you always have on your Mac. It will detect installed applications and then check to see if they’re up to date.
All in all, I consider Bodega to be a work in progress. It doesn’t feature enough apps to challenge the big boys like MacUpdate. It is a fantastic idea and I’d love to see it boom. If you’re a developer, submit your app to be featured in Bodega.
(By) Jackson Chung is MakeUseOf’s Mac Correspondent and Assistant Editor.