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This article was published on February 6, 2020

Apple now allows you to make universal purchases for Mac and iOS apps

Apple now allows you to make universal purchases for Mac and iOS apps
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

It’s quite annoying when you have to pay two times to use the same app on Mac and iOS. Thankfully, you won’t have to do that anymore. Apple has added the ability for developers to enable universal purchases with the new XCode 11.4 beta dev tool.

As developer Steve Troughton-Smith pointed out on Twitter, if this option is enabled by the app developer, you can purchase an app on iOS and use it on Mac, and vice versa. He also noted that this feature inclusion was unexpected, and was rumored for a release in a couple of years.

What’s more, in-app purchases are also shared across the platform now. That’s some great unification. As 9to5Mac noted, Apple is also changing categories in both stores to support this new feature and calibrate them over platforms.

[Read: What is a macro lens and could it be the next big thing for phone cameras?]

Currently, if you buy an app from the iOS App Store, you’ll be able to use it on the iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Now, this option will extend to your Mac too, if developers enable it.

Apple’s new feature will lure developers to make more catalyst apps — a project debuted by Apple with macOS Catalina (10.15) to make it easy for developers to port over apps they’ve written for iPhone or iPad to Mac.

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