JetLinked: Installing applications on the Mac still broken

Posted on Jul 25, 2009 in JetLinks, Mac, Opinions

Lukas Mathis has posted some thoughts on the issues Mac newcomers have with .dmg files. I also talked about this issue a while back in a post on the most common issues switchers have, but it’s worth noting it again. I agree with his followup post that adding another file format isn’t really the way to go either –   DMG files are a great feature to have – once you’ve understood them. But from a usability and customer support perspective, a simple zip file seems to be the better choice.

I’d still be interested to see what kinds of customer support issues you run into with zip files though:

  • Do people using alternative browsers, that don’t automatically open “safe” files like Safari does, struggle with them?
  • Do users who prefer to manually download updates have several versions of the same app sitting in their Downloads folder?
  • Are there any issues if users have a 3rd party archive tool installed (I’m looking at you StuffIt)?

But despite those questions, I think there is a valid reason to reconsider whether .dmg files should still be considered “best practise” for app distribution.


  1. I’m glad you posted this, becasue for a while I had a bad taste in my mouth from Apple (no pun intended). My ipod broke after only 1.5 years and I paid over $200 for it.

  2. Just as iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users have been doing for months, the new Mac App Store will provide productivity applications, gaming apps, music, video and a huge assortment of powerful programs and apps that can be installed on your computer just like the regular App Store has worked for Apple’s other devices.

    best mac app store apps – News and reviews about the best Mac App Store apps