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You can now buy an app once and use it on all of your Apple devices

macOS Mojave
macOS Mojave (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has launched Universal Purchase for Mac apps.
  • Developers can now have users pay for their app once and enjoy it on all devices.
  • It is now available to set up for any developer who chooses to enable it.

If you've ever been frustrated when you would buy an app on your iPhone and then realize you have to purchase it again on your Mac, you're not alone. Thankfully, that issue is coming to an end starting today.

Apple has just announced Universal Purchase for Mac Apps on its Developer website (opens in new tab) today. This means that, if an app developer chooses, they can offer their customers to buy their app just once and use it across all of the devices they've made it available for. For users, this means you can now buy an app once and use it on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac.

"The macOS version of your app can now be included in a universal purchase, allowing customers to enjoy your app and in‑app purchases across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS by purchasing only once. Get started by using a single bundle ID for your apps in Xcode and setting up your app record for universal purchase in App Store Connect."

Developers will need to do some work to get this up and running, but once it is done customers will be able to start enjoying the fact that, for the apps that offer it, they'll only have to buy it one time for use everywhere.

This has been a frustrating aspect of the Mac App Store, and the fact that Mac apps can now be included may breathe some new life into the store. We might find ourselves installing a lot more Mac apps than we thought now.

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.