With the recent launch of the Mac App Store, discovering, buying, downloading and managing apps for Mac OS X has become simpler than it ever was.
Even though the Mac App Store has opened up doors for bigger opportunities for developers, the restrictive guidelines imposed by Apple and terms of usage and policies have been a source of great criticism.
Bodega is an alternative app store exclusively for Mac OS X apps, which helps you find new apps, and keep your current ones up-to-date, from the ease of a native, desktop Mac OS X application, without requiring you to search for apps manually in a browser.
Bodega itself is an app for Mac OS X, and acts as a front-end for their web-based app store. When you first launch Bodega, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, because Bodega is a well designed and beautiful app, and it seems almost like something that Apple would make. In my opinion, Bodega looks better than how the Mac App Store looks currently, primarily because Bodega follows the HIG set by Apple themselves (while the Mac App Store does not).
The featured apps in the form of hanging banner boards also swing around when you drag and move the application window. Stuff like this adds a realistic touch to the app, and makes it seem more polished.
To discover apps, you may simply type out an app name or keywords you want to search for in the search box on the bottom right. Your search results are displayed in a beautiful book-shelf like interface.
Alternatively, you can just browse through apps from the ‘Featured’ section, or any of the app categories listed in the left sidebar. Bodega has a huge directory of apps in every category imaginable.
This was something that came as a surprise to me. Even though you are purchasing apps via Bodega, you are redirected to the payment page of the respective app, rather than a common interface provided by Bodega. This is good news for developers too, as Bodega only takes a 7% cut from each purchase (compared to the 30% that Apple takes on every purchase from the Mac App Store).
From every aspect, Bodega manages to impress you. With a huge directory of free and paid apps, and a beautiful, simple to use interface, and a developer-friendly structure, Bodega is the place to be, both for Mac OS X users and developers.