updated 09:05 am EDT, Thu July 10, 2008
App Store, MobileMe live
In tandem with the release of iTunes 7.7, Apple has formally launched both its MobileMe online service and the iTunes App Store. The former is a dramatic revision of .Mac, emphasizing content sync between computers, handhelds and the web; push e-mail is also integrated. Existing .Mac subscribers can sign in at me.com with their old usernames and passwords, but some are reporting slow access, likely due to a large influx of visitors. Others are reporting prompts from Apple to install the "OS X Update for MobileMe," though this has not yet appeared via Software Update.
The App Store is not currently highlighted on the iTunes US storefront, but can be accessed by enabling "Applications" in the General tab under Preferences, and then clicking "Get More Applications" when the appropriate Library view is selected. Available software covers a variety of categories, from social networking apps such as AIM and Twitterific through programs for finance, navigation, news and gaming. Many titles are free, but a number cost anywhere between 99 cents and $20.