One of the rules application developers must follow in order to get the software in the Mac App Store is the program must be packaged as a single file. From Apple’s Review Guidelines:

2.15 Apps must be self-contained, single application installation bundles, and cannot install code or resources in shared locations
2.16 Apps that download or install additional code or resources to add functionality or change their primary purpose will be rejected
2.17 Apps that download other standalone apps will be rejected
2.18 Apps that install kexts will be rejected

What all this says is your application cannot do anything except put itself in the Applications folder on the user’s Mac. This makes perfect sense to me as a user, I would not want to install an application that dumps files all over my Mac. This makes removing App Store apps very easy for the user as well.

I was rather surprised today though, after installing Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Compressor from the App Store when Software Update opened telling me to install some updates. Here they are:

Apple Cheats

All three updates are specific only to these three apps purchased through the App Store. This is pretty smart of Apple, but it seems kind of like cheating. They won’t let an App Store app install files in shared locations, or download additional resources, but they just throw in some software updates to do that for their own applications. I know of a few applications that have reduced functionality if downloaded via the App Store vs. downloading from the developers’ website, I’m sure those developers would like to be able to use Apple’s trick.