Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,095
13,714



Bohemian Coding has announced that its popular design app Sketch is no longer available in the Mac App Store because, after a lengthy decision making process, the developers felt that directly licensing the software outside of Apple's storefront will provide customers with a better experience.

Sketch-App-800x272.jpg

In a blog post on its website, the Sketch team highlighted some of the Mac App Store's limitations, including a lengthy app review process, sandboxing and no upgrade pricing. Sketch stresses this was not a knee-jerk reaction to the Mac App Store's recent expired certificate problem, but that issue did compound the situation.

Sketch said the Mac App Store's customer experience has not progressed like its iOS counterpart:
We've been considering our options for some time. Over the last year, as we've made great progress with Sketch, the customer experience on the Mac App Store hasn't evolved like its iOS counterpart. We want to continue to be a responsive, approachable, and easily-reached company, and selling Sketch directly allows us to give you a better experience.

There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store--many of which in isolation wouldn't cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.
Sketch is among a growing number of apps that are no longer sold in the Mac App Store, including professional HTML and text editor BBEdit and web development tool Coda. By selling their apps directly, developers not only get around the Mac App Store's technical limitations, but also do not have to split 30% of sales revenue with Apple.

Bohemian Coding has provided instructions for Mac App Store users to migrate to the directly licensed version of the app in a FAQ on its website, which is required for future software updates. The development team does not rule out a possible return to the Mac App Store "in the longer term" if the necessary changes have been made.
Moving to a direct version of Sketch does not require a re-purchase. Simply download the latest copy of Sketch here, replace the old version in your Applications folder, and we will issue you a license for Sketch absolutely free of charge. Just follow the steps in-app to complete the transfer. We will also migrate your presets and templates across, so you won't lose any data in the process. We've made it as simple and painless as we possibly can.
Sketch is a professional design app for Mac for creating user interfaces, websites, icons and more. The software received an Apple Design Award in 2012 and was consistently a top ranked app on the Mac App Store. Sketch continues to sell for its regular price of $99 with a free trial available.

Article Link: Popular Design App 'Sketch' Leaves Mac App Store Due to Poor Customer Experience
 
  • Like
Reactions: acegreen

Fuchal

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2003
2,501
770
I'm not sure how much longer the MAS can remain a sustainable entity for either Apple or developers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandstorm
Comment

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,781
1,264
I don't buy anything from these guys anymore since they bamboozled me with their last two font apps.
 
Comment

lmjabreu

macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2015
14
31
They cite:
1. Review times of one week or above;
2. Sandboxing limiting possibilities;
3. No upgrade pricing.

My opinion:
1. Don't see this being a problem if more attention was given to testing and software quality which is a well-known problem with Sketch. Facebook and many others are able to deliver features and bug fixes with a 2-week review cycle;

2. Would be nice to understand what possibilities they're referring to, but my opinion is: fix your bugs first, improve the current workflow next, focus on adding features when Sketch matures;

3. Heard this complain multiple times, never seen an opinion on alternative revenue models such as the one Adobe employs (subscription).
 
Comment

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Fair enough! I like the App Store for many kinds of things, Steam for others, and I buy directly for still others.

People were worried that the App Store would become the ONLY option on Mac. Well, fear not. It's great to have, especially for people who aren't technical, and I hope it improves and gets some long-awaited Apple love. But I'm glad non App Store software sales remain a thing.

(No opinion on this particular app's value.)

First of many, IMO.

Not the first. Devs often come and go, as with any store.

I'm not sure how much longer the MAS can remain a sustainable entity for either Apple or developers.

Sustainable for Apple forever. Doesn't have to be profitable on its own (which I imagine it is anyway), it just has to provide non-technical users with the same simple, trusted, secure software source they are used to from iOS. Instead of asking them to accurately judge the security of every random direct download on the Internet.

Sustainable for developers? There isn't one answer. For some yes, for some no. And Apple COULD make changes to improve things. (But many of the changes SOME developers ask for amount to "loosen the security," and that ain't happening. As it shouldn't.)
 
Comment

0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,766
934
here and there but not over there
Still don't get what the bad experience is .... I have nothing but good experience through the appStore. I don't end up on any unwanted mailing lists just because I bought something and I don't have to save any licensing files that I need to find when I want to install the app on my other macs (or have to buy again because those licenses are limited to the mac where they were bought for).

MAS is awesome for me. There are many great companies that sell outside of the MAS that also provide good experience, but many are not. MAS is just easy to use and convenient for me (and I know that the company does not get my email or other info that the might use to spam me).

The only problem for companies is that there is no upgrade pricing ... that is the one thing Apple needs to add to the MAS.
 
Last edited:
Comment

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
I try to buy through the App store, because that gives me some level of comfort in terms of security and consistency. But there are a few apps that I cannot get. The question is if Apple will do as in iOS and eventually make it almost impossible to get software any other way other than the app store. If Apple moves in this direction (which is certainly a possibility even if unlikely right now), these app developers could find it a bit chilly out there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arthography
Comment

Revearti

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2011
71
66
The Mac App Store was brilliant when first introduced to consolidate the apps you wanted and trusted in one location, but Apple has done nothing with it since it was introduced.

I would love to see:

(1) Upgrade pricing

(2) Review threads. There are a lot of impatient and bad-tempered reviews posted that I would love to argue against to help defend developers that make really good apps
 
Comment

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,179
3,227
It's such a missed opportunity for Apple. Developers who had an established presence before the App Store even existed and who painfully made the switch to the App Store, and who are now leaving it behind again, will probably never return to the App Store. These developers must be really annoyed with it, otherwise they wouldn't do this. With rising adware distribution, it is unacceptable that Apple turns good developers away and forces customers to look elsewhere where the same security practices are not upheld.
 
Comment

axcess99

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2005
69
61
Still don't get what the bad experience is .... I have nothing but good experience through the appStore. I don't end up on any unwanted mailing lists just because I bought something and I don't have to save any licensing files that I need to find when I want to install the app on my other macs (or have to buy again because those licenses are limited to the mac where they were bought for).

MAS is awesome for me. There are many great companies that sell outside of the MAS that also provide good experience, but many are not. MAS is just upset easy for me (and I know that the company does not get my email or other info that the might use to spam me)

Right there with you. The things they cite are tangential to the customer experience. The MAS experience is mostly things like how hard is it to find/purchase/install/authorize the app. Those go very well in my experience.
Their complaints are more about some friction for their development cycle (not unimportant, but not a customer experience).

I do agree that the MAS needs to work more on expanding the sandboxing and arguably upgrade pricing for sustainability (but again that is not a customer "feature" as much as a business model choice).
I am always curious on what sandboxing limitations developers are hitting that they want to bypass. Would be better if they actually said what cool new features they are going to bring in the future that they can not via MAS rather than unspecified awesomeness for our imaginations.
 
Comment

mazz0

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2011
2,450
2,018
Leeds, UK
Why would sandboxing be a problem for them? I wonder what they were trying to do.

I certainly agree that Apple's restrictions on pricing structures are irritating. As a consumer it's the lack of a trial period that I find most annoying - how can they think the proliferation of "Lite" versions of apps, a clear surrogate for a trial period, is better than allowing the trial periods?! It just make the app store look scruffy.
 
Comment

philosopherdog

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2008
609
394
And the insane price for the app couldn't be the problem? Sketch does not do enough to be entitles of 99$...
Here come the cheap skates. My advice is to get a better paying job. This is a professional app and the price is totally reasonable. Don't buy it if it's too expensive. But please stop trying to suggest that $99 is a lot of money for a professional app. That's just bull.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.