Just wanted to add additional notes (I tried to edit my above message but the site said down for maintenance and now it won't let me edit my message at all...):
1. The MBA being completely new, we have not moved the Applications to anywhere but their natively installed folder. Some people have said that the software updates do not work if the app is run outside of the Applications folder, but we have not touched anything. We attempted these updates when the MBA was about 5 minutes old...
2. IMPORTANT: We tried to download and install the update from Apple Support for GarageBand. When we extracted the .pkg file from the .dmg and ran it, it said, "This update cannot be applied to this version of GarageBand. Please update this application from the App Store."
Yet, when we go into the App Store it says that we don't own the app and must purchase it before we can update it!
This is a ludicrous little problem. Did Apple perhaps change their "free" installation of iLife to make it separate from the Suite and from the separate App Store downloads and, instead, make a non-upgradeable version? (since the App Store says I do not own the software, and the Suite updater says the software must be upgraded through the App Store...)
The mystery deepens.
What version of Mac OS X came pre-installed on your sister's MBA? 10.6.6? Update her MBA to 10.6.8.
The MAS in 10.6.6 was the first version and it had a bug regarding installed apps. The bug was fixed in the version of the MAS installed with 10.6.7 and later.
When buying a new Mac, the first priority would be to update Mac OS X to the newest version.
I have the same problem - picked up my new mac mini yesterday at the Apple Store and it had 3 App Store updates. Called the Applecare number today and they said that those updates should not show in the App Store but in the regular updates. Since the regular software update didn't work I should do them manually.
Update - Didn't work. Got message that the versions of iLife need to be updated through App Store. I will be calling them back....
Looks like the issue is that the apps aren't registered in the App Store. They started looking and said that my new-out-of-the-box mini was registered to someone else. They supposedly corrected that but still no iLife updates.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718 - It says "you should see your iLife applications appear in the Accept portion of the screen. Click Accept."
My Mac is definitely registered to my Apple ID and is associated with the correct name and everything. I really don't want to reformat this computer just to get some iLife updates in...
I contacted AppleCare and those I dealt with were very helpful, but I ultimately did not receive a direct answer. What I was informed was supposed to happen is that a "Redeem" button is supposed to appear in the App Store. I should click that and then it would link the software to the appropriate Apple ID.
This button never appeared.
An interesting factoid I forgot to post about:
The AppleCare technician took me through trying to update on my personal Apple ID as opposed to my sister's. When I did so, it specifically said, "To download this update, please log into <my sister's apple ID> which is the associated account with this product," or something along those lines.
This means that the iLife applications ARE connected with that account, but for some reason have not registered as being "purchased". It's very strange.
Long story short, the technician will keep investigating the issue and will let me know if he discovers a solution. For now he recommended that I check the App Store frequently to see of the Redeem button appears. Since the MBA and the Mac Mini are so new, it is perhaps a kink in the App Store's system rather than something on our end.
So it is a registration issue with Apple's servers. Somehow our computers are not flagged as having iLife.
There is a bigger problem down the road:
I was playing around and tried doing a Lion recovery installation - it told me that my computer wasn't registered so wouldn't run.
Interesting. All of this is due to Apple's not providing media with new computers any more. We are the guinea pigs for this new software model.
This is a terrifying prospect. I would contact Apple immediately.
I went into the Apple Store hoping that maybe one of their Geniuses would be nice enough just to maybe give us App Store credit to "purchase" the apps so we'd be able to get updates, but the first thing I was told was, "We Geniuses only handle hardware problems, and if you've contacted AppleCare already then there's not much we can do." I was a little put-off by that. The Genius said it's most likely an issue on Apple's end and to wait for 10.7.1 or something along those lines.
I said that if I perhaps reformatted and reinstalled Lion it might fix the issue, and he said most likely, but he felt it wasn't worth it to go through the hassle.
I feel like it's worth it! These updates allow iLife to take advantage of the features of Lion, such as Fullscreen capabilities!
What, in my opinion, is REALLY getting in the way of technicians here is the fact that the new MBA with digital distribution came out at the same time as Lion. Both the AppleCare and Genius technicians said it most likely has to do with Lion because it is new and is having problems.
I really do not think this is the case. I think, as you said, Saul, that this is a problem with how our computers are being registered on the Mac App Store. I feel as if this entire line of computers is probably not going to be registered or anything of the sort.
But what I don't understand is that there are hundreds of people buying these new computers, and in this topic we only have four or five people with the issue. Does this mean that only some people are having the issue? Why some people and not all people? What have we done differently?
It is really perplexing, and I hope that Apple comes up with a solution as soon as possible... especially if we cannot recover Lion to our machines.
I have the same issue so it's good (but bad) to hear I'm not the only one.
Again, it is registered to my Apple ID, I used this during the setup process and checked on Apple's support site under my profile and it is listed.
As others have said I've gone through all the steps, it's not showing updates in Software Update, the separately downloaded updates won't install, and the App Store doesn't offer any sort of "Accept" option.
It's not a show stopper assuming Apple are aware of it and will sort it out, I'll probably give it a day or two rather than call support, but I'll subscribe to this thread in the hopes that an answer comes along.