Apple Adds Universal Purchases for iOS, tvOS and macOS Apps in Xcode 11.4

The new Xcode 11.4 beta update, released today alongside the iOS 13.4, tvOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4 betas, includes support for universal purchases, allowing developers to bundle iOS apps, tvOS apps, and Mac apps together for one purchase price.

This will allow developers who make a Mac app and an iOS app to sell them in a single bundle, something that has not previously been possible.

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.

The change will be convenient for both developers and customers, as iOS and macOS users will be able to make one purchase for a cross-platform app. Developers will also be able to create discounted Mac and iOS bundles for the first time.

According to Apple, universal purchase is enabled by default for Mac Catalyst apps that are created using the Xcode 11.4 software. New Mac Catalyst apps will use the same bundle identifier as an iOS app.

Apple says that ‌App Store‌ categories will also be unified across the ‌App Store‌ and Mac App Store to align with the new changes and to make apps more discoverable.

- You'll be able to select the following categories for iOS apps: "Developer Tools" and "Graphics & Design".
- You'll be able to select the following categories for macOS apps: "Books", "Food & Drink", "Magazines & Newspapers", "Navigation", and "Shopping".
- The "Photography" and "Video" categories on the ‌Mac App Store‌ will be combined into "Photo & Video". Mac apps and pending updates with the - "Photography" or "Video" category selected in ‌App Store‌ Connect will be moved automatically to the combined category.
- "Kids" will no longer be a subcategory within "Games" on the ‌Mac App Store‌.

Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV users will have access to the universal app bundle options when the new updates become public.

Top Rated Comments

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8 weeks ago
I wonder how many developers will actually partake in this. For example, RadarScope is a lot more expensive on MacOS than iOS, and surely there are heavy users of the app that have the premium subscription on both platforms. They'd be leaving money on the table if they were to do this.

I'm all for this, of course, but don't expect a rush of developers pushing the button.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 weeks ago
Great idea. It will make it easier to make the initial purchase and to understand the combined cost of the various app components (eg. Things3)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 weeks ago
Good idea, but I hope they will keep the possibility to buy separately : sometime I need just the app for the iOS or mac, price wise too
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 weeks ago
Oh OmniGroup will have a field day with this.

All they have to do is add the separate prices together for one nice little package. So about £300 then.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 weeks ago
Makes sense but, considering how little any developers seem to care about Marzipan apps, this isn't the big news it should be.

Turns out you can't just use a Touch app on a KBM interface. Or vice versa. Who knew? Oh wait...Apple knew. Before they were overrun by whatever toxic culture is in charge now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
Ok, this is great.

Next up upgrades, I hope.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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