The Mac can install apps from the internet and Apple‘s App Store. This might not be surprising for computer users since this is common on Windows and Linux. However, for users who expect every Mac app installation experience to be the same as that of an iPhone or iPad, this could be very interesting news, opening up new resources.

There is a vast world of apps that work wonderfully on a Mac that aren’t available from the App Store. In some cases, the developer simply didn’t want to make the somewhat significant effort to submit their app to Apple, and for others, the app might have been rejected. Apple has pretty restrictive rules that exclude apps for reasons that seem questionable. One of the advantages of a Mac over an equally powerful iPad Pro is that these niche apps can be developed without passing through the App Store.

Related: Mac Slowing Down? How To Find Which Apps Are Using The Most Memory

The installation method from the internet at large is a bit different from the one-touch method of App Store orders. The first hurdle is finding an app, something that online reviews and app catalogs can assist with. Developers usually have a website of their own, and a thorough internet search for a particular app might find the perfect solution. When downloading and purchasing an app or subscription from the internet, Apple‘s quality assurance and malware detection are not available, making it the user’s burden to decide if the source can be trusted. By and large, developers want customers to return and offer good service, but some caution is warranted. Once an app from a trusted website is found, the user must download a file. Often this is an installer, and double-clicking will start the process, and the user will be prompted for any needed information, such as where to install the app and whether some components can be skipped to save storage space.

Other Mac Apps & The App Store

Mac App Store

Some downloads skip the installer and simply provide a compressed version of the app itself. In this case, the double-click will decompress the app. A pictorial guide usually appears within the Finder window with an arrow suggesting that the app be dragged to the Applications folder. This method is often used for utilities, which are less complex than many apps. If a warning appears when trying to open a downloaded app, Apple doesn’t recognize the developer. However, it might still be okay, and at the user’s discretion, it can still be opened by finding the app in the Applications folder, right-clicking and selecting open.

Apple’s App Store dramatically simplifies the process with the trade-off of missing out on some exciting and niche apps. The App Store offers a wide selection of apps in an easy-to-browse marketplace with one-touch installation for speed and safety. For Apple Silicon Mac computers, the App Store contains not only Mac apps but also a large number of iPad and iPhone apps that are compatible.