Setapp's alternative iOS App Store is now available to download, offering a range of apps under one subscription

Setapp icon on an iPhone
(Image credit: Setapp)

One of the first alternative app stores for iOS is now live in beta. It's MacPaw's Setapp – which offers a range of different apps under one monthly subscription. The store has been available on the best Macs for years, and it looks very familiar on iOS.

In case you missed it, iPhone users in the EU can now download alternative app stores to use instead of Apple's App Store. This comes after the landmark DMA ruling in the EU, which forces Apple to allow third-party app stores in the EU from iOS 17.4 onwards.

For those unfamiliar with Setapp, it gives subscribers access to hundreds of paid applications, all for a small monthly fee. Now, users can get the same service on their iPhone thanks to a beta version that's open to invited users.

What do you get with Setapp on iOS?

Currently, the beta offers 13 apps for now. It's a curated mix that’s heavy on quality but light on quantity. While most of these apps are familiar faces from the standard App Store, Downie stands out as the rebellious outsider. It offers services Apple typically shuns, such as downloading videos from popular sites.

This selective approach underscores MacPaw’s strategy: to be a beacon for productivity and work tools rather than a haven for every type of app under the sun. The company clearly aims to cultivate a marketplace that prioritizes quality and utility over sheer variety, steering clear of the more controversial app categories.

But be warned! Getting started with Setapp on your iPhone is not for the faint-hearted. Setting up the app feels akin to embarking on an epic quest through myriad screens and pop-up warnings that seem designed to test your resolve. Though that's down to Apple, not MacPaw.

The exact pricing for Setapp Mobile remains under wraps, as the beta is currently free. But, Setapp currently offers three pricing models: a Mac only option for $9.99/month, a Mac and iOS for $12.49/month, and a Power User for $14.99/month which allows you to use the applications on up to 4 Macs. Setapp subscribers with the Mac and iOS or the Power User tiers will get access to the iOS platform for free, with updates remaining free throughout your subscription.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.