Setapp by MacPaw Among First Companies to Embrace Apple’s Controversial DMA Policies

The move is notable given the pushback Apple has received on its compliance with the new EU regulation so far. Though others have fought against Apple’s DMA rules, MacPaw has chosen to opt in — a one-way conversion that offers no ability, at present, to return to Apple’s existing rules. The current version of Setapp offers dozens of apps for $9.99 per month and up, depending on the platform and number of devices. While the service is being likened to an alternative app store, to be clear, it will involve a subscription for all-you-can access to its apps, which is not Apple’s App Store model. As for developers looking for additional distribution, however, another channel for reaching iOS users could be beneficial if MacPaw’s terms are agreeable.

MacPaw, a leading software development company for Mac and iOS, has made a bold move by publicly embracing Apple’s new DMA (Digital Markets Act) rules in the EU. They are among the first to adopt the regulations and offer their subscription-based platform, Setapp, to Apple customers on both iOS and Mac in the region. This decision is particularly noteworthy, considering the criticism Apple has faced from other companies for its compliance with the new EU rule.

“Extortion,” “malicious compliance,” and “bad faith” are just some of the terms that have been used by companies such as Spotify, Epic Games (makers of Fortnite), Microsoft, Mozilla, Proton, and others to describe Apple’s new system. The issue at hand is Apple’s Core Technology Fee, which will allow the company to continue profiting from apps that are distributed outside of its App Store. These apps will be charged €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a threshold of 1 million, making it an expensive move for larger app or game developers with millions of users or players. Apple argues that this fee is justified as it not only covers the App Store and payment processing, but also the entire iOS platform and the tools required to build and share apps.

While many have fought against Apple’s DMA rules, MacPaw has chosen to opt in by making a one-way conversion that does not offer the option to return to the previous rules. As a result, MacPaw plans to launch a beta version of Setapp’s subscription service in the EU this April, after the DMA regulation goes into effect.

Setapp’s subscription service will offer premium, ad-free apps from over 20 developers, including SnapMotion, PhotosRevive, Rocket Typist, Dropshare, Expenses, Elk, BusyCal, Letterly, Studies, Focused Work, Be Focused, Cloud Outliner, SideNotes, Awesome Habits, Elephas, GetSound, PDF Search, SQLPro Studio, Taskheat, and ClearVPN. The selection covers a diverse range of categories, including productivity and business tools, creative and design software, lifestyle apps, utility tools, and more. The current version of Setapp offers dozens of apps for $9.99 per month or more, depending on the platform and number of devices. The pricing for the EU version has not been announced yet.

MacPaw assures that participating developers are not restricted from marketing their apps separately on the App Store with a different bundle ID. However, it will be up to the EU consumer to choose where they want to purchase the app. It’s important to note that Setapp’s service is not an alternative app store, as it offers a subscription for all-you-can-access to its apps, unlike Apple’s App Store model.

It’s uncertain if this will be a profitable move for MacPaw, given the concerns about the additional fees associated with the new rules. However, for developers seeking additional distribution avenues, this could be a beneficial opportunity, depending on MacPaw’s terms.

According to a statement from CEO Oleksandr Kosovan, MacPaw is committed to investing in this opportunity and striving to improve the customer experience and provide greater value to the developers who align with their model. The company has already accepted Apple’s new terms and is now inviting customers and developers to join the waitlist for the beta, which is expected to grow over time.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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