After it’s announcement back in early October, the Mac App store has finally launched today. Many wondered if it would change the face of how we downloaded Apps to our Mac computers or if developers would even flock to the new marketplace like its iPhone and iPad counter-part. In a simple one word answer, YES. The launch of the Mac App Store includes over 1,000 apps ranging from games, utilities, productivity apps and many more.

The store is organized just how you’d imagine it coming from the creators of its iPhone or iPad counter-parts. However, it’s been given a larger screen, computer-based treatment allowing for easy mouse navigation and searching. In order to get access to the Mac App Store, one must simply upgrade to the newly released update of Mac OS 10.6.6. Upon upgrading and rebooting, you’ll notice a shiny new App icon in your dock. When you launch it you’ll see all the iPhone and iPad users will see all the familiar sections including New and Noteworthy, What’s Hot, Top Paid, Top Free and the ability the navigate categories, top charts and previous purchases. The “Purchases” menu option, being really the only new feature to those already accustomed to the App Store experience. This feature simply gives you quick access for re-downloading and showing you existing installed apps, pretty handy I might say.

Apps that you may have had previously installed before the Mac App Store update will automatically show as “Installed” if the app is currently listed in the App store. For example, the iLife and iWork suite for me are already marked as installed. However, for new users you’re also now able to purchase the iWork or iLife items separately for a cheaper price instead of having to purchase and install the entire suite. For many, this will be a huge hard drive and cost saver (ie: Most don’t use GarageBand, thus…don’t buy it!).

With the release of the Mac App Store comes a boat load of new apps and games. Developers are easily able to submit their apps to Apple, just like they did with their iPhone/iPad counter-parts. That being said, development of Mac versions of existing iPhone and iPad apps is sure to increase simply to due to the ease of the App Store’s availability. Big name games coming from the iPhone have already made there way to the Mac store on day one, including: Angry Birds, Flight Control, Chopper 2, Engima, Zenbound 2 and many more. While before, without the notion of the Mac App Store, none of these titles were considered for the Mac treatment. It just goes to show how much influence the “App Store” has on the Apple brand.

Pricing has been surprisingly awesome! Angry Birds is running for $4.99, Flight Control for $4.99, Pages for $19.99. Mac App Store game seem to be running parallel to their iPad counter-parts in terms of pricing. Standard applications vary depending on the App, running anywhere from $19.99, to the standard in-store price of Aperture for $79.99. All in all, normal Mac software simply added to the Mac App store is running at its normal price, where as newly created software and former iPhone/iPad titles are running for quite a bit cheaper, which to be honest, is as expected. Having the ability to purchase Apple’s Pages app for $19.99 instead of the entire iWork suite is a fantastic way to cut costs. It’ll be interesting to watch and see if there are shifts in the the Mac App Store pricing model, however I don’t really expect to see it change drastically and suspect it will continue to run in line with the iPad store, aside of course from the standard issue, full version original Mac software such as Omnifocus, Aperture, iWork, iLife and so on.

For those of you wondering how your some of your favorite apps play/perform on the Mac, here are a few quick summaries of the launch day apps/games I’ve taken for a spin:

Angry Birds

I’m a HUGE fan of this series. I own all the titles for iPhone AND iPad and play them all regularly. Currently Angry Birds is sitting at the #1 Paid App spot on every market, and that includes the newly released Mac App Store. How does it play? Like a dream with the mouse/keyboard combo! Simply using your mouse to pull the sling shot, like one would imagine, works absolutely perfect. It also runs at my screen’s native resolution of 1920×1080, stunning!! It’s absolutely fantastic to enjoy this game on my 25 inch 1080p computer LCD screen. I’m playing it AGAIN, all over from scratch and am enjoying it just the same. A must buy, simple as that!

Flight Control

I do find myself enjoying this genre of game while killing time in 5-10 min spells. While I mostly enjoy playing the line drawing genre with a touch screen, this also works quite well using the mouse. It’s not as fun as using a touch screen, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the game, not one bit. A very enjoyable title and certainly deserves a home on your Mac.

Chopper 2

This is gonna be a fun one! Chopper 2, a side scrolling helicopter game, allows you to play the game on your Mac, and control the chopper via your iPhone wirelessly, as if it’s a game-controller. Prior to the Mac App Store release, you were able to control the iPad version of the game with an iPhone. This offered a really cool way to interact, and now furthering this unique iput method with the Mac/iPhone combo just makes it that much neater. The game runs for just 99 cents, so with or without an iPhone you cant go wrong. Chopper 2 offers quite a challenge and is simplistically pretty to look at.

Twitter for Mac

Finally! Tweetie 2, er…. I mean Twitter for Mac has finally landed and boy is it sexy! It seems like many months ago I was going goo-goo over the idea of the Tweetie 2 beta, then…poof, the idea was gone and Tweetie 2 for Mac went away as Atebits was purchased by Twitter. Today we find out why, as Tweetie 2 was re-designed as Twitter for Mac and released as a launch title for the Mac App Store. It’s slick, its compact, it offers ALL functionality (that I’ve seen so far..) and is extremely enjoyable to use. Best of all, like all of the other official Twitter clients, it’s completely free and currently #1 in the free charts. Cheers to Atebits/Twitter on this awesome Twitter client, it was well worth the wait.

Enjoy the Mac App Store…I expect it to grow and bring MANY more amazing Apps and Games as developers take a stand and watch approach to current sales trends. I’m highly impressed with it and now am wondering how I functioned without it prior to its release. Well done Apple.