ExactScan on MacSource: ExactCode

What you need to know

  • ExactScan is no longer in the Mac App Store.
  • Developer ExactCode says the store isn't good for developers or users.
  • The "Catalina disaster" is also cited as a reason for the app's removal.

Apple's Mac App Store has had its fair share of problems and detractors in recent years, with many high profile apps simply unavailable. That's started to improve since the Mac App Store's redesign as part of the macOS Mojave update in 2018 and some apps returned. But now one has left, too.

ExactScan is a Mac app that's built to make it easier for people and businesses to go paperless by scanning all of their documents. And itw as previously available in the Mac App Store. And now it isn't.

ExactCode, developer of ExactScan, has confirmed that it has removed the app from the Mac App Store. It's also published a page explaining the reasoning with the lack of paid upgrades, Apple's 30% cut, and its app review process included.

  • each manual update review by Apple causes delay and drama
  • AppStore does not support paid upgrades, only new App, in-App purchase or subscriptions
  • Apple takes 30% and that is not sustainable to run a company and pay salleries
  • it is not provide to provide free updates forever
  • if you purchased our application this year we provide a direct license, if you had it significantly
  • longer, we think a paid upgrade is fair for continuously developing, improvements, and support

That's the short version. But while most of that has been hashed out time and time again by almost all developers who work with any of Apple's stores, Catalina appears to have been the straw that broke this metaphorical camel's back. Particularly, the seemingly rushed release with little time to allow developers to react.

With macOS 10.15 "Catalina" Apple introduced many incompatibilities and we where actually left with the impression that Apple will address some of them as well as some more bugs before releasing Catalina to the public.

After releasing the Catalina Golden Master build to developers on October the 3rd, we immediately finished fixing any new crash and issue we could find over the weekend. In our opinion, leaving developer just four (4!) days over a weekend with a public release on October the 7th is not very professional. While we still updated our applications in time, Apple did not review them for the AppStore, and instead rejected them first for a crash (sigh!), and later for requiring UI changes, including showing a Save As panel for each generated file. Now this may not sound like much, this is a serious issue for a document scan application which easily generates hundreds of files in an hour, and thousands of files a day, with file names automatically generated, either thru counters, or advanced auto-id features, such as barcodes.

You can read the full fallout from ExactCode, but the story is one we've heard time and time again. It's unlikely most of this is going to change any time soon, but I do wonder if this will be the start of a new Mac App Store exodus with developers taking their apps and selling them solely through their own webstores.

I'm most curious about the only part of this that's new, though. If you're a developer who fell foul of Apple's macOS Catalina launch schedule and have a story to tell, hit us up!