Overt is an open app store. With Overt, you can:
- explore a vast catalog of apps, both free and paid
- install apps fast, with one or two clicks
- remove apps even faster, to free up precious storage space
- easily update apps that don’t self-update
Benefits to developers include:
- no feature restrictions
- no revenue cuts
- no arbitrary denials or removals
- simplified installation for Overt users
- option to self-host catalog sources for better control
Software listings are provided by their developers and/or the community, in various catalog sources.
In the default catalog sources, app downloads always come from the developers’ official servers.
What is it, really?
Apps on Overt are provided by package managers, which are command-line tools that install and manage software “packages”.
Many package managers excel at what they do. But due to their command line UI, package managers are often only used by developers and highly experienced users. Overt’s primary goal is to make them usable to everyone.
So, Overt is really a package manager GUI client.
Many package managers find packages from various repositories (i.e., catalog sources), which are essentially websites that list software packages.
For example, a repository called “Browsers” at
https://example.com/Browsers could provide packages for Chrome, Firefox, and so on.
Overt talks with package managers to:
- List packages to add to Overt’s searchable catalog
- Install, update, and uninstall packages
- Add and remove source repositories
Overt is currently available for macOS, with Homebrew as the package manager.
Overt for Windows is planned, with Winget and Scoop both on the table for support.
Other package managers (e.g., on Linux) are also possibilities for the long term.
Apple has come under fire lately for locking down the software users can run on their devices, and imposing stringent and increasingly aggressive rules on what third-party developers are allowed to say and do.
Overt (or “OpenStore,” the original name) is thus an answer to Apple’s App Store.
Like the App Store, Overt helps you install and manage your favourite apps, and discover new ones to try.
Unlike the App Store, as proudly proclaimed on this site’s homepage:
- Overt does not restrict app features.
- If a web browser is a reskin of Safari, that’s by choice.
- If something could never work in the macOS sandbox, that’s OK.
- No arbitrarily delistings; anyone can create a catalog source.
- Overt does not process payments.
- Legit payment processor? It’s fair game.
- No commission for being listed on the store.
- Users can be instructed to sign up out-of-app.
(oh the horror)
How is it different from Cakebrew?
- Supports casks — much wider variety of software, more of which is relevant to non-developer audiences
- …and multiple package managers — a Windows version that supports Scoop is close to beta release
- …and is actively maintained — unfortunately, Cakebrew has not seen an update since March of 2021
- …but exposes fewer technical details — Cakebrew’s UI is specialized for Homebrew formulae, so it exposes more useful details for developers than Overt does
- …and is less mature — Cakebrew has received much more work and testing than Overt’s formulae support, so it likely has fewer bugs and less confusing edge-case behaviour.
- Overt is not affiliated with or endorsed by the package managers it builds on.
- Overt is not affiliated with or endorsed by the developers of software listed in catalog sources.
- Overt is not responsible for the contents of catalog sources, as they can be self-hosted like a website.
Only add sources you trust.