The whole point of owning a computer, of course, is to run programs—or, as Apple likes to call them, apps. And in macOS these days, Apple wants programs to look and work like they do on the iPad: simply. As full-screen, autosaving worlds. You’re supposed to open them from a simple Home screen arrayed with app icons, and you’re supposed to switch among them by swiping with your fingers on a trackpad or mouse.
This radical new vision of running programs is actually possible—sort of. The hitch is that a lot of the iPaddy features, including Full Screen mode and auto-saving, don’t work in pre-2011 programs. Software companies have to update their apps to add these features.
Most will do that, but in the meantime some programs can do those tricks and others can’t.
In any case, this chapter covers Apple’s Way of Running Programs, and all its Capitalized Elements: the Mac App Store, Launchpad, Mission Control, Full Screen, Auto Save, Versions, and more.
For years, people installed software onto their computers by buying disks: floppies, CDs, and, later, DVDs.
But starting with the iPhone, people installed software onto their phones by downloading it directly from the Internet. Once everybody saw how convenient (and profitable) that system was, it didn’t take Apple long to realize it could bring the same convenience to the Mac.
So now there’s the Mac App Store—or, as the program is called in your Applications folder, just App Store ...