Apple to enable Universal, one-time purchase apps across Mac, mobile and TV

Apple GarageBand
(Image credit: Apple GarageBand)

We’re seeing more and more convergence between Apple’s desktop, mobile and TV operating systems, and the company is taking another step down the road towards unification with the announcement that, as of March 2020, developers will be able to offer universal purchases of apps that run on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS.

What this means is that developers will have the option of letting customers make a one-time purchase for which they’ll get all of these different versions for a single payment (you can already buy Universal apps for iPad and iPhone). In-app purchases can be ‘universal’, too.

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While this sounds like good news, it’s debatable how much of an effect it will have in the world of music production software. As things stand, where there are cross-platform editions of a product - a DAW, effect or instrument, for example - the mobile versions are sold through Apple’s App Store, while the desktop ones usually have to be purchased direct from the developer or another specialist music software website.

What’s more, the pricing model for iOS and macOS music software is generally very different. Mobile versions tend to be much cheaper than their desktop counterparts, so it’s debatable whether developers will want to take advantage of the Universal sales option.

We shall see, though: you can find out more on the Apple Developer website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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