The toxic hellstew outside the App Store

Every once and a while, I guess to remind us of the virtue of the App Store, someone goes and installs the top 10 Windows apps from a popular download site and then sits back and watches their machine explode. That's just what How To Geek did, and just what happened:

Search Protect and YAC and Spigot continued to fight it out for a while at this point… literally every few seconds one or the other would change the home page and then YAC would try to set it back. It's like battle of the malware up in here. Taking all bets!

At this point we had so many open windows on our desktop, it was time to reboot. That fixes everything.

After rebooting, Avast blocked Conduit as a threat. That's pretty awesome, but we're wondering why this didn't happen before it actually got installed onto the computer, or at least during. Or you know, before we rebooted.

Takeaway the first: There are some great Mac developers who sell their software online, including Bjango, Panic, Bare Bones, Rogue Amoeba, and more. They offer premium products and stake their reputations on them, and they don't make them available from the kinds of download sites that foist crapware on unsuspecting people. So, if you're going to download software from the web, always go the source — the website of the company that makes it.

Takeaway the second: The App Store inarguably has its annoyances. 7 years later and there's still no sloppy search, upgrades, demos, consistent review policy, and the list goes on and on. Yet for all of that, the App Store and Mac App Store remain a miracle of modern, mainstream computing. They provide a trustworthy place for hundreds of millions of people to safely, securely download and install apps onto our devices. And for many of us, free apps or paid, that's invaluable.