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Apple Prevents Omni Group From Offering Discounted Mac App Store Upgrades

NewImageLast week, The Omni Group released a program called OmniKeyMaster that would allow users who purchased older Mac App Store versions of the company's software to purchase discounted upgrades in the future, directly from the company.

Today, the company said it would be unable to offer upgrades to Mac App Store customers because of Apple's App Store policies.
My apologies: I’m afraid we will not be able to offer upgrade pricing to our Mac App Store customers after all. So long as we continue to sell our apps through the Mac App Store, we are not allowed to distribute updates through other channels to apps which were purchased from the App Store.

We still feel upgrade pricing is important for customers purchasing serious productivity software, since the initial value received from purchasing an app like OmniGraffle or OmniPlan is much different from the incremental value of upgrading that app from version 5.0 to version 6.0. We will continue to ask Apple to support upgrade pricing in the App Store, and I would encourage others to do the same—but until that happens, upgrade pricing will only be available to customers who buy our apps direct from our online store.
A number of developers have asked Apple for the ability to offer upgrade pricing to purchasers -- a very common software pricing strategy -- but the App Store requires that upgrades either be offered for free to existing owners, or sold as a completely separate offering on the App Store, at the same price for all customers, new and old.

Red Sweater Software's Daniel Jalkut called the move a "chilling message from Apple" and filed a bug report with Apple requesting upgrade pricing support for the App Store:
The impact of Apple's continued lack of support for upgrade pricing has been increased by an apparent effort on Apple's part to enforce 3rd party developers trying to accommodate upgrade pricing through their own means:

http://www.omnigroup.com/blog/entry/update-no-upgrade-pricing-for-mac-app-store-purchases

Most of us Mac developers are loyal Apple fans who would like to support the Mac App Store and keep our customers who purchased on the Mac App Store within that system. By not supporting an upgrade mechanism for these customers Apple leaves us in a position where we're forced to either treat Mac App Store customers as 2nd class customers or to forego across the board the expected compensation for major upgrades to our applications.
Apple has moved away from upgrade pricing in recent years, choosing instead to slash the prices of its major software titles instead of offering discounts for current owners. Final Cut Pro X, for example, costs $299 while its prior version was $999.

Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago

I mean, this makes total sense, sorry to say. You can't have users buying Apps through the App Store, then updating that App elsewhere. It removes the customer benefits of security, ease of updates, and security. Oh, and security.

That's the user's choice, not everyone needs to be babied. All this says to me is apple is becoming a control freak and is only going to make their platforms more and more closed.
Rating: 51 Votes
14 months ago
Buy straight from the developer. No need to deal with the Mac App Store if you can get a discounted version elsewhere. There are certain developers that offer their software on the MAS, but I still go to their website because of discounts, access to betas, etc.
Rating: 23 Votes
14 months ago
Personally, I'm sick of these 'upgrades' when most of the time it's just bug fixes and compatibility support. Might as well sell your software as a subscription.
Rating: 20 Votes
14 months ago

The idea with the App Store is that when you buy a piece of software, future updates are included in it and there is no confusability with different versions of the same software.


Cool, so as I bought Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store, Mavericks will be free for me?
Rating: 19 Votes
14 months ago
I mean, this makes total sense, sorry to say. You can't have users buying Apps through the App Store, then updating that App elsewhere. It removes the customer benefits of security, ease of updates, and security. Oh, and security.
Rating: 18 Votes
14 months ago

I mean, this makes total sense, sorry to say. You can't have users buying Apps through the App Store, then updating that App elsewhere. It removes the customer benefits of security, ease of updates, and security. Oh, and security.


They (the developers) don't mind selling upgrades via App Store. The problem is that Apple does not support the notion of paid upgrades.
Rating: 18 Votes
14 months ago
Slightly off-topic, but:

So funny to see all of the telegraphing on Apple's OSX strategy that is going seemingly unnoticed.

Five years ago, the thought that PC operating systems would ever be locked to the point that you could not run "unsigned" code was laughable. With iOS, the need for heightened security was more understandable. If a virus was capable of being introduced into carrier networks and taking down half the cellular service in a country, that was a scary idea back in 2007. Forward-thinking people could see where Apple would be heading in the future, after the iOS App Store started raking in the bucks.

Not to worry, the diehard Apple defenders told us, Apple would NEVER make OSX a walled garden. Apple was supposedly well aware that users wanted to be able to install the apps of their choice and tweak their systems.

Fast forward six years, and Apple locking down OSX the way they have iOS and making the Mac App Store the ONLY place to obtain software for the Mac looks more like an inevitability than a fevered delusion of Apple detractors.
Rating: 15 Votes
14 months ago
I like buying from the App Store because I like the idea that all my apps and updates come from a single source; however, there are two major issues:

1. Update pricing.

I want developers to stay in business and feed their families.

2. Time-limited demos.

I cannot justify spending money on more expensive software if I'm not able to try a demo first. This isn't as much of an issue with the Mac App Store since demos are often available from the developer's web site; however, it is an issue for iOS devices.
Rating: 13 Votes
14 months ago

Personally, I'm sick of these 'upgrades' when most of the time it's just bug fixes and compatibility support. Might as well sell your software as a subscription.


Well, in the case of the OmniGroup, the upcoming OmniFocus 2 has been completely redesigned and is essentially a new application.
Rating: 10 Votes
14 months ago
Can they not offer an in-app purchase as an upgrade and then a standalone app for new buyers?

I am not a developer so I don't know if this is possible or extremely inconvenient but it's just a thought.
Rating: 10 Votes

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