November 20, 2012, 3:43 PM — The Mac App Store is great for the majority of simple applications you might want to purchase. But there are plenty of other appsones from registered Apple developers but not in the Storefor you to explore and try. Here are some of the ways to find such apps, get them onto your computer, and keep them up-to-date.
Find new software
Apple personally vets each and every application in the Mac App Store, which helps give those apps extra prominence and safety. Unfortunately, Mac App Store apps are tightly restricted as to what they can and cant do on your system. As such, if you need an app that does more than Apple allowsone that cleans up your file system, say, or that records your Macs audioyoull need to venture beyond the store.
Types of software Unlike the Mac App Store, which only provides you with options to download free and paid apps, companies outside the store may offer other options, including trials, shareware, and donation-requested software.
Trial versions of programs are usually time-limited (and occasionally feature-limited). Theyre almost always free to download; once the trial period runs out, youll be locked out of the app and asked to pay for a full license. Shareware is similar to a trial version, but it may not lock you out after your time is up. Instead, it may present nagging dialog boxes reminding you to buy the app, or it may limit some features until you purchase it. In the case of a requested donation, the app is usually free, but the developer asks that you donate a certain amount if you like using it.
How to find software: Many, many applications are available for the Mac outside the Mac App Store. Some of these may come from Apples registered developer list, meaning Apple signs but doesnt review the developers apps, and can revoke an apps license if it starts behaving maliciously. But many others exist without any Apple oversight at all.
Even so, there are plenty of ways to find reputable Mac apps. The easiest is to check Mac-focused technology sites for reviews, suggestions, and hidden gems. There are also sites that highlight and bundle software (like Humble Bundle), and online webstores (such as Apples own and Amazons Mac Software Store).