Written by Nick Heer.

MacOS Will Soon Support Universal Apps, Enabling a Single Purchase for Mac, iPhone, and iPad Apps

Ryan Christoffel, MacStories:

As first spotted by Steve Troughton-Smith, release notes for the latest beta build of Xcode include a major development: Mac apps can soon be included as universal purchases with their iPhone and iPad companions.


Starting in March 2020, you’ll be able to distribute iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS versions of your app as a universal purchase, allowing customers to enjoy your app and in‑app purchases across platforms by purchasing only once. You can choose to create a new app for these platforms using a single app record in App Store Connect or add platforms to your existing app record. Get started by building and testing your apps using a single bundle ID with Xcode 11.4 beta.

This has the potential to be great news for MacOS developers who want to create iOS apps and don’t want to devalue the products on either platform. I could imagine a situation where a Mac developer sells an app for $50 and wants to create an iOS app, but might struggle to find buyers for it at $10. Instead, they could charge $70 or $80 for the bundle. The Mac apps don’t have to be Catalyst apps, either.

This is interesting, too, in Apple’s notes:

In addition, App Store categories will be unified across the App Store and Mac App Store to align with this change, and to help make your apps more discoverable. The following changes will be made.

  • You’ll be able to select the following categories for iOS apps: “Developer Tools” and “Graphics & Design”.

I’m not sure it means anything beyond unification that the iOS App Store will now have a Developer Tools section, but it’s promising.