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Sparrow co-founder tells why the Mac App Store is crucial to his success


Sparrow co-founder Dominique Leca gave an interesting interview to Business Insider (BI) in which he reveals his thoughts about the Mac App Store from a developer's perspective. We've covered Sparrow, the popular third-party OS X email client, many times before. It launched on the Mac App Store at the beginning of the year and since then has become a hit, not only for its design, but for its tight integration with Gmail. The US$9.99 price for a full-featured app doesn't hurt either.

But how does Leca feel about Apple taking almost a third of each sale? He's got no problem with it whatsoever. "We think the Mac App Store gives us a fair deal," Leca told BI. "It is required to get noticed, especially for an app like Sparrow. People don't wake up in the morning thinking they want to change their mail client. So more than any developer, we need to be there." He notes that after Sparrow debuted on the Mac App Store, the company started selling a licensed version on its website. After six months, only 2% of Sparrow sales come from their website, and 98% come from the Mac App Store.

In six months of sales from the Mac App Store, Sparrow has made more than half a million dollars. That's more than enough to make Leca a fan of Apple's store. However, he does have some suggestions as to how Apple could improve the Mac App Store. He points out that users seem to be confused between the App Store for iOS devices and the Mac App Store. Many don't understand why they have to go to two different places to buy apps. He hopes that Apple will begin advertising the Mac App Store so users understand it better.

He also notes that handling app updates is a bit of a pain in the Mac App Store. If there's a bug in an app, it could take as many as three to four days to get the fixed app into the store. "But on the bright side, developers have to ship something almost perfect. Without this, the Mac App Store would be crowded with junk apps."

Finally Leca says that he wishes Apple would segregate their apps into a specific section of the Mac App Store -- one that is outside of the top charts -- so third-party apps could get more exposure. Many of Apple's products like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, FaceTime, iPhoto, and OS X Lion consistently hold top-12 spots in the top charts, which means some good Mac apps stay hidden behind the tiny "Show All" button.

Leca has some other interesting thoughts about Apple and the Mac App Store so be sure to check out the original interview over on BI.

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