Setapp, a Mac app subscription service, launches

Macpaw’s app subscription service, Setapp, has launched, offering a collection of Mac apps available to users for a $9.99 monthly fee. It’s an “unstore” alternative to Apple’s Mac App Store. 

Setup is a less risky and more flexible way to buy, sell and use Mac software, providing a better experience for both users and developers, according to Oleksandr Kosovan, founder and CEO of MacPaw and its Setapp division. Users pay US$9.99 per month and get unlimited access to a handpicked collection of apps. 

Already, a wide range of Mac software applications are available including Ulysses, CodeRunner, Blogo, Marked 2, RapidWeaver 7, Eltima Player and Base. Under development for more than a year, Setapp is expected to include up to 300 apps as the service gains momentum, says Kosovan.

To get started with Setapp, users download a small app that creates a folder in the Finder on their Mac. Inside the folder there is a library of applications that users can click on to install and use as long as their subscription is active. While a connection to the Internet is needed to download and update the software in Setapp, once installed the apps will continue to work offline as normal.

Unlike the Mac App Store, Setapp makes it possible to offer any type of Mac software. For example, categories of apps, including developer tools and pro apps, cannot be distributed in the Mac App Store because they can’t be sandboxed without crippling their feature set, says Kosovan says.