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Learn Lion Week: Download and Install your first Mac app

Use the Mac App Store to add functionality to your Mac in part 6 of Learn Lion Week

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Main Tutorial ImageThe Mac App Store makes downloading and installing apps a fun and effortless experience partly because the interface is very user-friendly, but also because the process is largely automated. One of the many benefits of an online marketplace such as the Mac App Store is that it drives prices down to a reasonable level. Consequently, the majority of apps offer good value for your hard-earned cash. As a bonus, a large number of free apps are also available and many of these are polished, well-developed and extremely functional.

If you’re new to the Mac App Store read on and we’ll guide you through the process of downloading and installing your very first app. As you would expect from Apple, the store is easy to navigate and finding apps that meet your personal requirements is a breeze. The only niggle is that the store doesn’t always ask for confirmation when you buy an app, so don’t get too click-happy!Tutorial Header

Step 11: Sign in

The first step is to sign in using your Apple ID. Click the Sign In link in the Quick Links tab, enter your Apple ID and password, and hit Sign In.

Step 22: Browse the apps

Browse the Mac App Store until you find an app that takes your fancy. Try the Top Charts section first as this is home to a range of popular apps.

Step 33: Read the description

When you’ve identified an app, click it and read the information provided. Click More for a description and thumbnails to view sample screenshots.

Step 44: Reviews and ratings

Scroll down and view the customer ratings. This app is rated highly at 4.5 stars. Reading the reviews can provide useful information about the app.

Step 55: Make your decision

If you want to download the app, click the link under the icon that states the price. The link will turn green and you’re given an opportunity to purchase.

Step 66: Track download progress

Click Buy App and the link will turn blue and inform you that the app is installing. Track the progress under the Launchpad icon on the Dock.

Step 77: Automated process

The whole process is automated and minimal user input is required. Launch the app when it has finished downloading.

Step 88: Try the app

As you can see, we purchased MemoryFreer because it had a good customer rating. If you’re new to the Mac App Store, try downloading some free apps first.

Step 99: Purchased items

Finally, return to the Mac App Store and click the Purchased button at the top of the window. Your app will now appear in this view.

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This tutorial is the sixth in our Learn Lion Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn Lion Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to OS X Lion. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearnLionWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.