Mac users are well aware of MacUpdate, the definitive resource for discovering new software titles and version updates garnering the attention of more than 3 million people each month. However, there hasn't been much coverage of their latest project, MacUpdate Promo, so I'll be going over it in this paid review. Each weekday on MacUpdate Promo, an application goes up for sale at a highly discounted price for 24 hours. As an example, the software up for sale as of this writing is going for 49 percent off the retail price.
MacUpdate Promo has been running since August 2006, which is several months less than a similar site, MacZOT, has been running. However, MU Promo has its advantages. Backed by the reknown MacUpdate fame, I've noticed that MU Promo has generally been able to fasten a higher caliber of software deals than MacZOT, whose recent deals included two games, an image framer and workout videos for your iPod.
However, more importantly MU Promo benefits from MacUpdate's massive user community. For example, there was a recent promo for an application called Synergy. As you can see on the bottom of the image to the left, there are almost 150 reviews of Synergy available to browse through. The success of the regular MacUpdate inherently provides MU Promo with some utility.
MU Promo lets you see the application's rating from real users, leaving no guesswork when its comes time to make your decision and checkout.
Purely as a comparison, MacZOT has attempted to mimic the user feedback that MU Promo has with its reviews and per-app discussion, with its blog comments. However, if you take a gander here there are many complaints about MacZOT deleting comments that hurt their business; so much for an unbiased resource for potential buyers.
Hmmâ€¦ second time the comments are off. I wonder if Zot has killed our discussions? This would be VERY detrimental to the site and the community. Iâ€™m really tempted to buy Billings todayâ€¦ however, Iâ€™ve also been checking out iBiz and iRatchet. Iâ€™d love to discuss my options with you guys. Now, with MacZot killing democracyâ€¦
I came into this review expecting to have an in-depth look at MacUpdate Promo's features and how it works, but it's really very simple. Users check the site daily to see what app is up for sale, if they see something they've never heard of before they can read the reviews or drop a comment of their own. (One thing I would suggest, however, is adding the RSS feed for MU Promo to the actual site so that browsers can pick it up. I almost assumed there was no feed available until I saw the little RSS icon.) If the user is set on purchasing something, they can checkout, which requires an account, but first timers need not explicitly create one.
The checkout process is the only sub-par thing I've seen from MacUpdate Promo so far. Where's PayPal support? Sometimes if I only kinda want something, the lack of PayPal for payment can be enough to change my mind. Make payment easy so users don't have the time to question their purchase.
Overall, I think the concept of a daily, discounted application is a great way to get small applications many users, and large applications even more users due to the low price. There are several applications I would have never even looked at if I hadn't been able to grab them at a discount. I do think, however, that MU Promo should have special events every month or so to help spread the word. Perhaps something similar to a Woot-off.
Disclosure: I was paid for this review and remember visiting MacUpdate back in the (late) 90's.