MacPaw recently launched a subscription service for popular Mac indie apps, called Setapp. Describes as an “unstore” alternative to Mac App Store, Setapp is more like Netflix for software where you pay a flat monthly fee of $9.99 for full access to a growing list of 60+ Mac apps like RapidWeaver, Marked 2, Ulysses, iMazing, iStat Menus, Toast Titanium, CodeRunner, Blogo, Pagico and more.
Every app offered through Setapp is free of advertising and In-App Purchases and you get instant unlimited access to their latest versions and any updates. Even if you loathe subscriptions, Setapp’s free trial lets you try each and every app offered in the set for an entire month, without any restrictions and completely free of charge.
Setapp’s helper app (requires macOS 10.10 or higher) nests a dedicated folder inside the Applications folder.
Inside, you’ll find a library of mini-installers that only take up a total of about 150 megabytes of disk space. When you’re ready to use an app from the set, launch it like you would any other app. You’ll see a Mac App Store-like preview with screenshots, the description of what the app does and other useful information. You can also preview the app by launching it from the Dock or Spotlight or by selecting its installer in the Finder and pressing the Space bar key to see a Quick Look preview.
Clicking Open downloads and installs the latest version of the app on your Mac. Once an app is installed on your Mac, it will stay there until you cancel your subscription or uninstall it manually by dragging its icon to the Trash. Note that certain apps may require running uninstallers that came with them.
Not interested? Just close the window.
Any apps you install through Setapp work normally as if they were downloaded from Mac App Store or purchased directly from their developers. Even if you only sign up for a free Setapp beta, you’ll be able to test out apps you may have long been interested in without worrying about spending money on an app your might not end up using.
Already own an app?
No problem—you can still download it through Setapp, in which case you’ll end up with two copies of an app on your Mac without any conflicts. Deleting an installed app does not remove its installer from Setapp. This is by design, to let users easily install any deleted apps in case they change their mind in the future.
Here’s the full lineup of all-you-can-use downloads included in a Setapp subscription:
- Aeon Timeline
- App for WhatsApp
- Be Focused
- ChronoSync Express
- Cloud Outliner
- Disk Drill
- Elmedia Player
- Forecast Bar
- Get Backup Pro
- Home Inventory
- iStat Menus
- Jump Desktop
- My Wonderful Days
- PDF Squeezer
- Remote Mouse
- SQLPro Studio
- WiFi Explorer
- Yummy FTP Pro
All apps included in the set are curated by Setapp.
When a new app is added to Setapp, you receive a push notification. MacPaw says it could offer up to 300 apps to Setapp subscribers in the future. Be sure to check out Setapp’s continually updated list of apps for latest arrivals.
Purchased individually from Mac App Store or directly from their developers, these apps would set you back approximately $2,000. The database app SQLPro Studio, for instance, retails for more than $100. Or take as an example the popular website builder tool RapidWeaver, normally priced at $99.99.
Setapp also includes apps which are offered as freemium downloads with In-App Purchases on Mac App Store. A good example is an app called Remote Mouse, which lets you use iPhone as a trackpad for your Mac. Another example: the free-to-download blogging tool Blogo. Even though they’re freemium downloads, these apps are being provided to Setapp subscribers without restrictions, meaning you won’t have to buy In-App Purchases to unlock full functionality.
For developers, Setapp brings a steady revenue stream.
In trying to change how we get software, Setapp’s “software as a service” business model passes 70 percent of the total proceeds during a billing cycle to the participating developers. Additionally, developers earn two-thirds of the remaining 30 percent as part of a partner fee.
All apps included in Setapp can be used without an Internet connection, are digitally signed, have anti-piracy protections built-in and are free of Apple’s sandboxing restrictions. For the time being, games are not included in Setapp.
As part of your Setapp subscription, you can download and install apps to two Macs.
As long as you keep paying, you get unlimited access to all of the apps included in the set. Stop paying and you will no longer be able to use any of the apps. There are no hidden fees and you can cancel your subscription at any time.
Go ahead and sign up today, then download the desktop client on your Mac to start using more than 60 apps included in Setapp at no charge whatsoever during your first 30 days of service.
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