Why is there great Mac only software?

OK, I know there’s plenty of software that is PC only, but why are there a lot of great programs that are Mac only? PC only programs make sense- Windows based PC’s make up, what? At least 85% of the market, right? But if you make a program forMac only, it’s gonna be a limited audience. Still, there’s all these great programs for Mac:

OK, I know there are more, but that is a start. So my question is: Why? Is it easier to program for a Mac? how come? Is it because it’s a Unix based system?

If any programmer types would like to enlighten me, I’d be grateful.

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2 Responses to Why is there great Mac only software?

  1. Kiel Oleson says:

    I don’t know that it’s *easier* to program for a Mac, but it’s certainly a lot more relaxing. The API (Cocoa) and de facto language (Objective-C) work well together and Objective-C lends itself to code simplicity. And that avoids gigantic tangles of code that make debugging painful.

  2. Papa-Raboon says:

    One possibility is that as the Mac developer community are an enlightened bunch who can see that a userbase of around 87 million Macs with little restriction on installing new software, a (usually) bigger software budget per machine, fewer competitors and less piracy in general makes OS X a very attractive platform to code for.

    Let me elaborate…

    Mac users tend to have chosen the Mac because of the combination of the high quality of hardware and OS X so they will not usually suffer poorly designed software. Therefore Mac only software is usually very high quality on the whole. If you make Mac only software and make sure it’s of good quality with a great interface and keep it simple to use then it will sell very well indeed.

    Because of this I personally believe that there is more profit in the Mac only market than the larger Windows PC market.

    Those who make cross platform applications tend to not take advantage of the great libraries under the hood. Even Photoshop that originated on the Mac and didn’t come to Windows until version 3 is now looking dated on the Mac compared to leaner cocoa apps that are Mac only.

    It’s the same with Internet explorer. How many web devs don’t use emerging web standards because the prolific use of IE which doesn’t support those standards.

    Developing for OS X you get less competition as there are only a few people developing a particular type of software in each case. Because of this the Mac community is sliced up into thicker chunks. You get more customers for your software so in turn you can put more into R & D on your products to improve them.

    It is well documented that on average a Mac user will buy twice as much software than the average Windows user and pirate a lot less (just look at how many movies on P2P networks are AVI encoded – a MS technology – and how many are H264 MP4 encoded!).

    Far less tech support is required for OS X software because of the non-existence of OS X malware. So anti-virus conflicts with your software requiring a call to tech support just doesn’t happen. Whereas on Windows this seriously happens believe me, I give tech support to PC users every day. A good example is that AV and firewalls can cause MS Outlook to not be able to send emails. Turn off the firewall or AV and you can send again.

    There is a higher percentage of individual users who are actually allowed to add software to their Macs than the average Windows using cubicle jockey. Possibly 70% of PCs are tied down by IT departments with draconian attitudes to not installing new software or upgrades to existing installations to minimise on troubleshooting. You may as well write off 70% of the Windows userbase as potential customers if you are developing Windows software due to all of the above.

    In a nutshell, OS X is a robust OS that handles multitasking extremely well. There are a number of core technologies that you can take advantage of like core image, core animation, core audio and a ton of open source technologies perfectly integrated into the frameworks that benefit from the open source devs hard work.

    Basically the so called huge userbase for Windows is not as lucrative as it looks is it? :-)

    Here’s an interesting article if you want to read more reasons why OS X is so lucrative.

    http://onlyjames.com/2008/07/why-software-developers-are-migrating-to-apple/