App Store issues have devs growling about OS X Lion preview

With the release of the first developer preview of Mac OS X Lion, Apple broke from tradition by offering the preview exclusively through the Mac App Store.

While a novel concept, distribution via the App Store has been anything but smooth, according to TechCrunch. The problem, it seems, stems from a desire on Apple's part to limit the number of people using Lion only to those who should have access.

Rather than posting the Lion preview to the Apple Developer Center - as is the case for pre-release iOS and Snow Leopard builds - developers are required to log in to the App Store and redeem a special code. Unfortunately, Apple appeared to have underestimated the popularity the developer preview would enjoy, with the App Store reportedly slowing to a crawl - or failing completely - in the hours after the preview was announced.

It was at that point that many developers discovered their redemption code was a one-time-only affair; if their download failed (and many reportedly did), they were unable to begin the Lion preview download anew.

Apple also appears to have broken from the usual practice of being able to re-download App Store applications, with the Lion preview only able to be downloaded to one machine, though some have reported success with manually copying the install files to another machine.

Ironically, Apple's strict distribution methods for the OS X Lion preview, purportedly aimed at stopping piracy, appear to have made little difference - working versions of the preview hit major torrent sites within hours of its release.

As TechCrunch points out, snags in the distribution of the Lion developer preview have some questioning whether the Mac App Store is suited to the task of serving up large files such as operating system releases and updates. With Apple's continuing investment in cloud infrastructure - such as their North Carolina data centre - it's reasonable to think that at some point Apple could look to move update and OS distribution to an App Store model.

Mac OS X Lion is slated for release in Summer 2011 and will bring a range of new features, including a desktop user experience closer to that found on iOS devices.

Image Credit: Apple

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29 Comments

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I downloaded it last night and had no problems, it was a bit slow but only took like 10-15 mins to download

>While a novel concept
How come application store is a novel concept? What about Impulse, Steam, numerous other application stores and Linux repositories?

RealFduch said,
>While a novel concept
How come application store is a novel concept? What about Impulse, Steam, numerous other application stores and Linux repositories?

The idea of distributing a whole OS via an App Store, not the store itself.

Ironically, Apple's strict distribution methods for the OS X Lion preview, purportedly aimed at stopping piracy, appear to have made little difference - working versions of the preview hit major torrent sites within hours of its release.

???

I thought the primary purpose was convenience and ease of finding software. Software developers were fully able to use license keys before uploading their apps to the Mac App Store.

Northgrove said,

I thought the primary purpose was convenience and ease of finding software. Software developers were fully able to use license keys before uploading their apps to the Mac App Store.

The article (and that paragraph especially) is referring specifically to the use of the app store for distributing OSX Lion images, not software in general.

I download Lion last night using the Mac App Store, burnt the .dmg file to USB and did a fresh install. Didn't ask for any keys / activation codes after or during installation.

Just asked for the redeem code before the Mac App Store download.

hutchinson_1989 said,
I download Lion last night using the Mac App Store, burnt the .dmg file to USB and did a fresh install. Didn't ask for any keys / activation codes after or during installation.

Just asked for the redeem code before the Mac App Store download.

I have a feeling you didn't get your copy from the AppStore The AppStore version wasn't in the form of a dmg Sounds like you just got it from a torrent

Rudy said,
I have a feeling you didn't get your copy from the AppStore The AppStore version wasn't in the form of a dmg Sounds like you just got it from a torrent
.

There is a DMG inside the app.

Too bad my core duo iMac can't install this .


Time to upgrade.

Binary said,
.
There is a DMG inside the app.
I guess I'll take my comment back

I was too excited to install it so I didn't bother poking around the container

hutchinson_1989 said,
I download Lion last night using the Mac App Store, burnt the .dmg file to USB and did a fresh install. Didn't ask for any keys / activation codes after or during installation.

Just asked for the redeem code before the Mac App Store download.

you must be too excited until bozo for few second..you don't really need to burn in order to install.lOL

heinz70 said,
What? I thought Apple doesn't make any mistakes? lolz

Rooooaaaarrrr :-)))

Are you being sarcastic? Every company make mistakes but success comes from failures and we all have to learn from that.

App store for mac need to be a lot more different than iOS..because it's not compelling enough as much as iPhone App Store..so must be something missing which not quite sure yet,or maybe simply need to revise again..

Priceless90 said,
App store for mac need to be a lot more different than iOS..because it's not compelling enough as much as iPhone App Store..so must be something missing which not quite sure yet,or maybe simply need to revise again..

One model works for them until it gets dull and boring.

Using the app store to deliver OS beta's sounds like EPIC FAIL. Apple won the war in mobile app stores but it seems like the app store model for Mac isn't successful as the iPhone model. Maybe they need to re think the app store for mac's.

They put a lot of money into making a software distribution channel, so please explain to me in an unbiased way what's so wrong about them using that channel to distribute a new piece of software?

I don't think Apple cares that much about their applications being pirated, because most of them have little, if any, anti-piracy protection. Anyone that has ever installed OS X software, pirated or not, knows that.

Griffith.pt said,
They put a lot of money into making a software distribution channel, so please explain to me in an unbiased way what's so wrong about them using that channel to distribute a new piece of software?

The fact that their distribution channel completely and utterly failed?

omnicoder said,

The fact that their distribution channel completely and utterly failed?

Because of underestimating the demand. This is actually good knows showing how many people want Lion. Also Facetime HD app was top of the paid apps when I checked yesterday despite all the moaning on here about them charging 59p. Mac App Store seems to gaining some traction

Griffith.pt said,
They put a lot of money into making a software distribution channel, so please explain to me in an unbiased way what's so wrong about them using that channel to distribute a new piece of software?

because they don't have a content delivery network designed for such large files being downloaded in parallel compared to say akamai and microsofts internal system.

omnicoder said,

The fact that their distribution channel completely and utterly failed?

I'm sure that's *why* they chose to distribute the Developer Preview through the App Store: To see if they could do it.

They're probably planning to offer the final to the general public through the App Store, so putting it through a stress test like this, using developers who know they're getting unfinished software, and therefore are expecting issues, is a good way to find out what works and what doesn't. It's all the non-devs who jumped onboard and bought a $99 dev subscription that they didn't expect.

DomZ said,

Because of underestimating the demand. This is actually good knows showing how many people want Lion. Also Facetime HD app was top of the paid apps when I checked yesterday despite all the moaning on here about them charging 59p. Mac App Store seems to gaining some traction

How do you underestimate the demand when they know how many are signed up for the developer program.

Also not taking into account failed downloads causing the need to try to download again is just outright stupid.

omnicoder said,

The fact that their distribution channel completely and utterly failed?

This article is based on "ifs" and "lies" from another article about "ifs" and "lies". Their best channel to distribute applications is through the App Store. It's normal for Apple to use new product launches to test their distribution channels. The last Apple event was broadcasted live to test their video-streaming farms and see if they could cope with the demand.

The second "if" is that the reason why they chose the App Store as the distribution channel was to prevent piracy. This is a pure and utter lie.

There is nothing more easy to pirate, or redistribute than Mac OS X. You want to install it on another Mac? You grab it and install it. Sure, officially you don't have a license to run the software on that machine, but it works in exactly the same way as it would on the licensed computer.

It isn't the first time I see this type of biased and unverified type of articles about Apple here on Neowin, and frankly I think the only reason why they report Apple news is because of page views. They will often turn a blind eye towards positive Apple articles, but will jump on the first bandwagon that dishes them.

I use both systems, and I appreciate and recognize each one's strength and weaknesses, but for the past months it seems that Neowin only recognizes the later when it comes to Apple. As if on every Windows beta or RC release there weren't distribution problems. As if when a new Ubuntu version comes out there aren't distribution problems. I'm sick of this type of articles.

Neowin's slogan should be changed to "Where unprofessional Apple journalism looks better"

Digitalx said,

because they don't have a content delivery network designed for such large files being downloaded in parallel compared to say akamai and microsofts internal system.

Oh really? You didn't have problems downloading one of Windows 7's Betas, or RCs? Bull. ****.

Griffith.pt said,
They put a lot of money into making a software distribution channel, so please explain to me in an unbiased way what's so wrong about them using that channel to distribute a new piece of software?

Well for a start, the clue is in the name. It's called the App Store, not the App and OS Store. The App store is clearly not currently suited for distributing entire operating systems, even to the limited audience that had access to Lion.

And for the record, I was in the TechBeta program for Windows 7 and I had no problems downloading builds. Sure the day they were released the downloads were slower than normal, but they didn't fail entirely. Or time out because I didn't download them in time. Or cancel entirely because I tried to download it once and failed, preventing me from trying again.