by Cesare Rocchi

Upgrades in the Mac App Store

by Cesare Rocchi

Tags: apple mas

Last week I joined the MAS crusade. Over the weekend I have tried to imagine what such a redesign would entail.

Let’s suppose somebody tasks you with implementing payed upgrades in the Mac App Store. What would you do?

So far I have come up with the following list of edge cases:

  • Customer bought version 1.1 back in the day. Newest version is 1.7. Can the customer upgrade? If no, who picks the exact words to tell him/her? Apple? Or the dev? If yes, can this be done directly or should the customer buy some intermediate version first? (Try to imagine how these issues would complicate the current UI).
  • When a customer upgrades a completely new binary is downloaded? Or just “patches” to the current one are downloaded? (Does this overlap with App Thinning?)
  • A customer bought an upgrade but it doesn’t work on his/her machine? Is a roll back possible? (Think of the complications if the answer to the previous question is “patches”)
  • As a developer can I put on sale just the last version of my app? Or can I keep many? How many?
  • As a developer I wanna say that upgrading from version 1.1 of my app costs X and upgrading from 1.2 costs Y. Would that be possible?
  • On an old machine I have version 1.1 of an app. On another machine I buy version 1.2. Will the new purchase automatically upgrade the old version also on the old machine? If yes, is there a way to prevent it?

Some of theses issues have been already solved by developers selling apps outside of the MAS. The issue for Apple is coming up with a process as flawless as possible, making everybody happy. It’s not trivial at all, there are lots of complexities.

Does this mean should we should stop asking? Noooo! Make some noise!