I downloaded Sparrow the other day, a new Mac mail client. I originally dismissed it as too simplistic, but thought I’d give it another try.
Upon launching Sparrow I was told my version had expired and that I must install a new version. At first glance I thought it simply needed updating. No problem, I say. Clicking the ‘OK’ button took me to their website where I could find no evidence of a Download or Purchase button/link. There was however a 'View in Apple Store’ link. OK. Fine. Not the hugest fan of app stores for my desktop/laptop software, but let’s do this. Clicking the link does indeed launch the Apple Store application on my Macbook Pro…but I would have expected that clicking 'View in Apple Store’ would have linked directly to Sparrow in the store. This was not the case. So I manually searched for 'Sparrow’, located the application and voila!
Well, sort of. “Where do I download? It says it’s installed. Ugh”. I deduced at this point that they wanted me to manually remove my expired version of Sparrow, only to reinstall it seconds later. OK OK OK. Fine. Finder. Drag Sparrow to Trash. Done. Refresh app store page. “Buy $9.99”. Now we’re making some god damn progress.
Not sure how normal folk would have managed thus far. My guess is 'Not Well’.
Clicking the link prompts me to authenticate with my AppleID. Fuck. I have no idea what that was. I take a guess. Nope. Is it my email? Username? Finally hit on the right one (it’s email). Great. I’m told I’ve never set up this account. Sigh. Enter some credit card information…wait. What is this? A EULA?! Jesus Christ. Why are we still including these again?
So after 15 minutes I’m finally able to buy the software I wanted.
What would have been wrong with a simple 'Download’ link on the Sparrow website? I know! Let’s route everyone through a proprietary software marketplace!
To be fair. After setup, clicking the 'Buy’ link prompts me with a confirmation and that’s it. But holy hell, what a process.