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Setapp Mac App Subscription Service Expands to iOS

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Apr 12, 2001
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Back in January 2017, independent subscription app service Setapp launched as an alternative to the Mac App Store, and now offers unlimited access to over 190 Mac apps across a wide range of categories for a flat $9.99 monthly fee.

Today, Setapp announced that users can now also unlock and use premium iOS versions of apps that are currently hosted through the service.


In order to use iOS apps, Setapp subscribers register their iPhones and iPads as additional devices on their plans (per device price has been reduced from $4.99 to $2.49). Once they've done that, they can check out the iOS versions of Mac apps that appear in the "Available on iOS" category section of the Setapp UI.

Each app in the section has two scannable QR codes associated with it: One that installs the app on the user's iOS device through the App Store, and one that unlocks the full version of the app via Setapp activation.

As of writing, seven iOS apps are available through Setapp, including Ulysses, Paste, Gemini Photos, Taskheat, SQLPro Studio, Mind Node, and PDF Search.

"The addition of iOS apps to Setapp has been one of the most popular requests since we launched Setapp more than three years ago," said Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO and founder of Setapp. "Today we're excited to provide the option for people to use their favorite apps, wherever they go on their mobile devices. We look forward to the new opportunities this provides for enhancing productivity and getting work done."
In order to get into Setapp, Mac apps must pass a review process conducted by Setapp that examines items such as user experience, security overall functionality, respect for user data and privacy, appropriate use of notifications and reputation. iOS apps accessed through Setapp are reviewed by Apple before becoming available in the App Store.


Setapp distributes customer revenue back to developers based on app usage within the service. New apps for macOS and iOS will be regularly added to Setapp, updates are free and all the apps are full-featured pro versions.

Setapp's catalog includes many popular apps in categories including productivity, design, writing, social media, and maintenance tools, all from approved vendors, and all apps on Setapp are available without ads or in-app purchases.

Article Link: Setapp Mac App Subscription Service Expands to iOS
 
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Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
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Clever. And since they are native iOS apps, Apple can't do anything to block or ban said service (I think?).
 
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Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
13,517
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Singapore
Apple is getting their cut of the $9.99 subscription, I doubt Apple is losing anything here.
My understanding is that setapp is a third party Mac app, so Apple doesn't get a cent of the subscription revenue. Pay via the Mac, unlock functionality in what would otherwise be a paid iOS app for free, not seeing how Apple would lay claim to any of that subscription money.

The poster above me did mention that unlocking app functionality this way was against app policy though, which admittedly is new to me, so if anyone can shed light on this...
 
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idmean

macrumors member
Feb 27, 2015
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My understanding is that setapp is a third party Mac app, so Apple doesn't get a cent of the subscription revenue. Pay via the Mac, unlock functionality in what would otherwise be a paid iOS app for free, not seeing how Apple would lay claim to any of that subscription money.

The poster above me did mention that unlocking app functionality this way was against app policy though, which admittedly is new to me, so if anyone can shed light on this...

Come on, this has been mentioned so many times the last few weeks with all these investigations going on.

This would be the relevant section of the guidelines:

3.1.1 In-App Purchase:
  • If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app, (by way of example: subscriptions, in-game currencies, game levels, access to premium content, or unlocking a full version), you must use in-app purchase. Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, etc. Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.
 
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Appleman3546

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2019
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464
Interesting, I wonder how long before Apple pulls each of those apps from the app store for violating their arbitrary App Store rules. I like that people are really getting creative to find ways around like Setapp or Altstore.io
 
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itsmeaustend

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2016
102
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Interesting, I wonder how long before Apple pulls each of those apps from the app store for violating their arbitrary App Store rules. I like that people are really getting creative to find ways around like Setapp or Altstore.io

yeah, I can’t wait till all these arbitrary BS rules come crashing down. No QR code unlocks? Come on Apple... There’s no logical reason behind this other than trying to protect their precious 30% cut....
 
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Donnacha

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2006
228
41
Paid articles are one thing, but it is deeply dishonest of MacRumors to describe this as Setapp "expanding" to iOS. Setapp users already had, as part of their existing subscription, access to iOS apps such as Ulysses, Paste, and Mindnode. You could also use multiple iOS devices, handy for those of us with both an iPhone and an iPad.

With the same excited marketing spin we witnessed when Setapp REDUCED the number of included Macs from two to one, now they are pretending that having to pay an additional $5 per month PER DEVICE to add an iOS to your subscription is a good thing.

Just to be clear, the "big news" here is that, yet again, Setapp is reducing the value it offers. They are REMOVING access that their users already had. They are demanding an additional $60 or, if you have two iOS devices, an additional $120 per year.

As Setapp increases its stranglehold on developers, it is worth asking: what sort of people are we dealing with here? Is this predatory behavior normal in Ukraine? What can users expect next?
 
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Cyprusian

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2018
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This is not for me. I don't download apps frequently and certainly nowhere enough to justify a monthly fee of $9.99!
 
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Dimwhit

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2007
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Anyone use Setapp? I don't really care about the iOS apps, but I'm scrolling through the list of apps and there are 5-10 I might actually use. Maybe. Just wondering if people who have tried it think it's a good value.
 
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Release

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2012
129
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Anyone use Setapp? I don't really care about the iOS apps, but I'm scrolling through the list of apps and there are 5-10 I might actually use. Maybe. Just wondering if people who have tried it think it's a good value.
I use it and find it useful and it's worth the cost for what I need. I have 15 installed and use about half of them quite often (Better Touch Tool, Clean My Mac, iStat Menus, Endurance, Screens, and Timing are used daily). The rest I use when I need them and I'll check out the ones that catch my attention to see if it's something I'd use. I like the service. Don't they have a trial? If not, try it for a month and see what you think.
 
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AppleWar

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Aug 5, 2020
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I don’t get the huge difference between this and the games deal that Xbox and others complained about Apple’s App Store policies. I would like to see other competing App Stores. I don’t see Apple winning this in the long run. We own the devices. If we want to install something Apple doesn’t approve of we should be able to as long as we relieve Apple of all liability. I see Apple fighting saying it will degrade the device and etc. But Apple should give on this issue or it may be forced to lose a heck of a lot more.
 
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star-affinity

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2007
1,318
606
I don’t get the huge difference between this and the games deal that Xbox and others complained about Apple’s App Store policies. I would like to see other competing App Stores. I don’t see Apple winning this in the long run. We own the devices. If we want to install something Apple doesn’t approve of we should be able to as long as we relieve Apple of all liability. I see Apple fighting saying it will degrade the device and etc. But Apple should give on this issue or it may be forced to lose a heck of a lot more.
I think I agree.

Let people have the options like on macOS:

Allow apps downloaded from:

  • App Store
  • App Store and identified developers
  • Anywhere
Or at least an option to switch between the first two with clear implications that going outside the App Store ”relieve Apple of all liability”.
 
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now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
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11,931
This is way too confusing and even I'm not sure how it works cuz I didn't have the patience to memorize all the hoops that need to be jumped through
 
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Donnacha

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2006
228
41
$5 + VAT per month PER DEVICE for 8 iOS apps is crazy when you consider that you can purchase 5 of them permanently, for use on ALL your family's iOS devices (through the included Family Sharing) for a total of $69.94

I also honestly question the usefulness of these apps to most people. MySQL Client pumps up the supposed value of the bundle by $60 per year but, seriously, how many people managing databases won't simply do that from their main computer.

PDF Search? Again, a very limited category of people would ever consider paying $20.

And Gemini, who the Hell needs this for an iOS device?!

The vast majority of Setapp users interested in any of these apps will only be interested in one. In my case that would be Ulysses, which was already included under the previous arrangement and, again, a complete Ulysses license via the app store, usable on all my Macs and iOS devices, and all of my family's Macs and iOS devices, costs less than one iOS device from Setapp.
 
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tzm41

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2014
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Paid articles are one thing, but it is deeply dishonest of MacRumors to describe this as Setapp "expanding" to iOS. Setapp users already had, as part of their existing subscription, access to iOS apps such as Ulysses, Paste, and Mindnode. You could also use multiple iOS devices, handy for those of us with both an iPhone and an iPad.

With the same excited marketing spin we witnessed when Setapp REDUCED the number of included Macs from two to one, now they are pretending that having to pay an additional $5 per month PER DEVICE to add an iOS to your subscription is a good thing.

Just to be clear, the "big news" here is that, yet again, Setapp is reducing the value it offers. They are REMOVING access that their users already had. They are demanding an additional $60 or, if you have two iOS devices, an additional $120 per year.

As Setapp increases its stranglehold on developers, it is worth asking: what sort of people are we dealing with here? Is this predatory behavior normal in Ukraine? What can users expect next?

You are right that this is shady tactic. But I don’t think MindNode iOS was included before.
 
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Donnacha

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2006
228
41
You are right that this is shady tactic. But I don’t think MindNode iOS was included before.

I'm sure MindNode was included. I only mentioned 3 apps because I use them myself, but others complaining in the Setapp Facebook group mention others that I'm not so familiar with.

We had access to the iOS versions because the terms for developers specified that the version they distributed via Setapp had to be feature-identical to the version they sold via the App Store. These developers were already including access to the iOS app when you purchased the Mac version.

Although MindNode still separately sells "legacy" versions of their Mac and iOS apps, the new subscription includes both, same as the subscriptions for Ulysses and many other multi-platform apps.

You can see that the current annual subscription for MindNode is $19.99 via the in-app purchases of either version. Buy one and you get the other, as long as you are using the same Apple account on all your Mac and iOS devices.
 
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tzm41

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2014
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I'm pretty sure MindNode was included. I only mentioned those 3 apps because I use them myself, but others complaining in the Setapp Facebook group mention others that I'm not so familiar with.

As I understand it, we had access to the iOS versions because the terms for developers specified that the version they distributed via Setapp had to be feature-identical to the version they sold themselves or via the App Store. These developers were already including access to the iOS app when you purchased the Mac version.
Interesting. I use the app myself. I remember one needs to purchase mindnode Mac and iOS apps separately. And I specifically checked mindnode website when I got the setapp subscription, which says setapp doesn’t unlock the iOS app.
 
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tzm41

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2014
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Boston
I'm pretty sure MindNode was included. I only mentioned those 3 apps because I use them myself, but others complaining in the Setapp Facebook group mention others that I'm not so familiar with.

As I understand it, we had access to the iOS versions because the terms for developers specified that the version they distributed via Setapp had to be feature-identical to the version they sold themselves or via the App Store. These developers were already including access to the iOS app when you purchased the Mac version.
Anyway this is a shame that now users need to pay an extra $10 per month for two iOS devices running these apps. I’ll reconsider when my yearly subscription is due for renewal.
 
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