Earlier today, Apple seeded the latest betas of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to developers. And while it’s a minor update in the grand scheme of things, it does add one important element.
As first noted by 9to5Mac, Apple’s latest betas bring with it the ability for developers to sell iOS, iPadOS, and Mac apps as a single purchase. This makes it possible for unified purchases across iOS and macOS. For developers, they will be able to list their iPad app in the iOS App Store and the Mac version in the Mac App Store.
The ability to bundle iOS and macOS apps into a single purchase is made possible with the release of Xcode 11.4 beta update, which was also seeded today.
It goes beyond just iOS and macOS:
Starting in March 2020, you’ll be able to distribute iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS versions of your app as a universal purchase, allowing customers to enjoy your app and in‑app purchases across platforms by purchasing only once. You can choose to create a new app for these platforms using a single app record in App Store Connect or add platforms to your existing app record. Get started by building and testing your apps using a single bundle ID with Xcode 11.4 beta.
With this rolled out to the masses, it means that customers who purchase the iOS version or the macOS version, they’ll have the other option made available automatically as well. This will make it so customers don’t have to buy the same app for the different platforms separately.
The fact that customers had to buy the same app twice was a growing point of contention for some developers, as we reported last year. But Apple has always been moving in this direction, especially with Project Catalyst, where customers can buy an iPad app and get the Mac version of the app at no additional cost.
With the upcoming arrival of iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4, and macOS Catalina 10.15.4, it looks like Apple will finally reach that goal.