Should you buy Mac App Store versions?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MWhiskerton, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. MWhiskerton macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2011
    As a general rule, should you buy apps from the Mac App Store or directly from the publisher/developer? Are there any advantages to buying applications from the App Store? I noticed that some developers list the differences between the two versions, but sometimes it's hard to find that information.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Sometimes the App Store version is different, but many times it's the same. Developers normally disclose if there's differences between different versions. It generally doesn't matter where you get apps, as long as it's from a reputable source.
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I like buying from the App Store because they are essentially "family plans". We have 4 people in my family and we have 6 Macs. By the summer, we will be up to 8, with each of us having an iMac and an MBA. I really wish more good apps were available in the App store.

  4. MWhiskerton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2011
    Does that mean that you can install and use any Mac App Store program on any of your Macs? Because that is awesome.
  5. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    All Macs under your control is one requirement ... And you need to connect with one Apple ID to install the apps. Like in my family that's the case. Its nicer and easier to buy via AppStore. For the lazy people like me.
    I think it also a bit safer as I don't need to spread my credit card info around.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Technically speaking, if you buy from the app store, the developer gets less $$ as apple gets a slice of the action. If you buy directly from the developer all the $$ goes to him.

    I buy from the MAS when an app is available only on the MAS, otherwise I opt for the direct sales not just because it helps the developer but also because I have the installer that I back up.
  7. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What happens if the app is pulled from MAS? That occurs from time to time on iOS app store. I'd rather put my trust in an external entity for backing up my purchases or data
  9. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    i am merely guessing but in case the developer has the app on their own website and you can proof that you paid for the app through the mas before it got pulled e.g. screenshot,email about app purchase send by apple. you might get the developer to give you a serial to the non-mas app.
  10. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I absolutely detest the Mac app store and will not buy from it at all.

    It represents all that I abhor about the dumbing down of Apple in the iOS Era.

    The list of others reasons is long, with the primary complaint being Apple taking a good chunk of money away from the developers.
  11. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I prefer the app store for the ease of getting app updates all in one place. The down side is if a developer pushes out a buggy version in the app store, it takes a few days for Apple to approve a new update to fix the flawed app. Where if the dev. is updating directly an update can be published immediately.

    I have had this happen a couple times where an app is just broken for a few days while you wait for the app. store to update. Or you can retstore an old version from backup.
  12. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Rarely true, unless the developer has free payment processing and hosting. They may get more of the money, but in many cases, it's likely that they earn more from a Mac App Store sale, or at least come very close.

    I see. You abhor simplicity? Interesting...

  13. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    For those of us who are interested in getting from point A to point B in the the most direct and easiest way possible, and do not enjoy the process of getting from point A to point B - then dumb down all you want.

    If you enjoy the process; i.e. a lot of intermediary steps - the don't use Apple Os's. Some people enjoy the process, some people just want stuff to work - and don't care about the process.

    If that's "dumbing down", then so be it. As mentioned above - another way to describe it is simplicity.:)
  14. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    I have yet to figure out the thought process of people who think making something easy is dumbing it down. Hard isn't required for something to be good or worthwhile – and the more people who can find and purchase good programs for OS X, the more that should be made and of better quality, right?

    While I've used MacUpdate and various other places on- and offline to find software, having the Mac App Store available is convenient and through it I've found a number of applications that I didn't know existed prior to their release in the MAS.

    You should share some of them with us. I'll note that Apple taking a good chunk of money away from devs isn't 100 percent true. It isn't as though they don't have to pay for processing payments and for hosting of their products. That, and it's possible to reach a very large audience with the MAS, as all Macs will have it going forward, whereas people may or may not find a dev's website.
  15. MWhiskerton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2011
    Thank you for the information! I appreciate all of the replies. It would be interesting to know what kind of percentage the Mac App Store takes from the developers.
  16. GGJstudios, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    30%. Mac Developer Program
    Pixelmator Co-Founder: Mac App Store's 30 Percent Cut "Definitely Worth It"
  17. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    Yup, 30% as a matter of fact. As a result of that I try to buy from the developer and bypass the app store if I can.

    What GGJ's post doesn't say is the other restrictions they put on devs that sell there. Can be slow time to market, they can pull the app on a whim, there's no arbitrated resolution process to issues. What Apple says goes.
  18. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Is your glass always half empty?
  19. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    Speaking as UK user it's often cheaper for the end user to buy via the app store rather than direct especially if the payment processor slaps 20% VAT on top after the dollar conversion.

    I buy iTunes gift cards to fund any purchases - usually when they're on offer e.g. Clinton Cards have a 20% discount offer on at the moment so you can get a £50 card for £40 - so you can look at that as a £10 discount on £50 app spend.

    I also use a cash back site ( and they usually pay 3 to 4%, although the current promo rate is 10%

    All this adds up to a useful net saving!
  20. Maverick513 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2011
    Mac App Store has very strict policy and does not allow any applications in his store can access the administrator privilege. So some software has the special and less powerful version on App Store. If you want full functions, go to the official website.
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That is absolutely false.
  22. pjo macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2006
    is the Mac App Store "regional"? I currently maintain a US and UK iTunes account because some IOS apps I use are only in one of them not the other. (And not in my country's store for sure). Same thing happens for books.

    It's probably an option the developer/author hasn't clicked but where possible I avoid Apple's distribution for that reason. i.e each region/country seems to have a different set of titles.

    That aside, it is the easiest way to just get your apps and "forget" about them (updates etc) as opposed to the multitude of update daemons different companies are playing with (Adobe and Google for example).
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Technically though, the app developer has the cost of maintaining their web site and delivering the software, the cost of processing credit and debit cards, the huge cost of chargebacks and cost through fraud, they lose out on people using gift cards to buy, and so on.
  24. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Because I am lazy, I tend to check the MAS before anything else.
  25. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    The App Store definitely. I'd take a guess and say some applications sold outside it would have been rejected by Apple. For example, there is no way the freeware book app, calibre, (and seemingly the only option) would have been approved.

    I am increasingly suspicious of software developers not getting the Mac ethos and insisting you concentrate on the trees like they are, instead of the forest.

    That said, I am getting suspicious of Apple with my experiences of Lion and its Finder.

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