TRAVERSE CITY — Joel Mueller can easily click through the process of downloading and installing apps on his Macintosh laptop, but he’s fed up with the long routine that confuses beginners and annoys experts.
“There are no instructions, it’s not intuitive and there are no standards,” he said. “All developers package their apps differently, so there’s no top-down way to do everything.”
Mueller and his team of computer experts at MacUpdate found a way to fix the problem. They created MacUpdate Desktop 6, a Macintosh app that makes downloading and updating other apps on a Macintosh computer as easy as downloading them for an iPhone — two clicks, and you’re done.
Apps, or applications, are programs that run on devices such as computers and smartphones.
MacUpdate.com lists Macintosh apps to help users look for programs they want to download. Mueller started it in 1995 as a 15-year-old Suttons Bay high school student, but first called the site Extreme Mac. The website was an outlet for him to write about sports and Macintosh computers, his two loves.
Mueller wrote an e-book guide for using HTML to design websites, which sold enough copies to occasionally drop $10 checks in the mailbox, while he continued to update Extreme Mac.
High school summers spent in cherry orchards and grocery lines pushed Mueller to focus on Extreme Mac as a business venture. He re-named the site MacUpdate in 1998, started collecting more advertisers and hired developers.
“It’s just the typical story,” Mueller said. “A kid who likes something, keeps doing it, learns in life and turns it into a company.”
MacUpdate now has 13 employees, three based in Traverse City and others scattered through Texas, Florida, Idaho and Rome. They meet virtually to work on projects such as MacUpdate Desktop 6.
MacUpdate Desktop 6 launched June 24, ahead of MacUpdate’s redesigned website that will launch in July.