Lamenting SetApp

I really like the idea of SetApp, but I just feel like it came around too late. I am sure that there are gems in there that I don’t know about, but I really wish it was around before I bought Ulysses, CleanMyMac, ForkLift, etc on their own.

I really want to subscribe, but feel like it is a waste due to all the apps I already own.

Anyone else?

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Me too, and now I’m probably on a cycle of upgrading individual apps when they update as all my other apps are fine still.

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Exactly. Once I take out the many apps I already own, the rest is unenticing…

Probably needs saying, there are a few star apps in there, and a lot of dross padding it out.

I’m holding off for now, I’ll wait to see how much the next round of upgrades cost (Cleanmymac is at V2.99 or something)

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I managed to pick up a few useful new apps on SetApp. The value came when I cancelled my App Store Ulysses subscription and replaced it with the SetApp install of Ulysses. Ulysses on iOS recognized (automagically) that I now had a SetApp license and kept on clicking. As more apps go subscription with their upgrades, the SetApp model will work for me.

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I did what quorm did - got Setapp for an app or two, and now as upgrades to some of my apps come, like Forklift, it is making financial sense.

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I’m finding the exposure to new apps (new to me, that is) almost worth the money in itself…


I’m in the same boat. I already own paid upfront copies of so many of the apps on their list that subscribing just doesn’t make sense (even if I dropped my Ulysses subscription).

I kind of feel the same way when I tried it when it first came out. There were a couple of apps that I kind of wanted to try but I couldn’t justify the cost. At the time, I already owned most of the key software that they had because of different bundles and needs that had come before that.

But then the sale came and I was able to jump on for about $70. I figured this would give me a chance to try out Ulysses and others. The funny thing is that my wife was using our mac to scan something and the software was spitting out a huge pdf. Preview has an option to make a pdf smaller but the quality is unusable. I right clicked to open it up in pdfpen, when I saw that PDF Squeezer was there.

A couple clicks and boom, I was a hero.

One of the few times she’s complemented me on spending money on software.


Ok, another story of how setapp has really saved my bacon and I’ve only had it for about a month.

I’ve given my wife the bad advice of just pulling her thumb drive out of the computer. Well, it just happens that this time it actually became corrupted.

She was furious.

She said -to paraphrase- “only this stuff happens on the mac!”

I know… some of you are thinking that’s grounds for a divorce.

I started to panic, I started questioning all my life choices.

I did a search using Bing! and found some links on how to fix a corrupted USB drive and most of them were to re-format. I didn’t want to take the chance that I’d lose her data, so I did a search for “drive” in the setapp library and saw “Disk Drill”.

It was able to find the files on the usb drive and I restored it to the desktop for my wife to look over.

Marriage saved once again.


You and I didn’t ‘buy’ Ulysses. :wink:

But yes, I’m in the same boat as you, having already purchased most of the apps in the bundle I’d want to use regularly - CleanMyMac, iStat, Bartender BetterZip, Gemini, iMazing, WiFiExplorer, Elmedia, Boom3D, Forecast Bar, Boxy (didn’t upgrade, though), BetterTouchTool, TaskPaper, 2Do, Cloud Outliner, Marked, iThoughts. (And some of those I bought I don’t use regularly.)

Still, it might be worth it for me to eventually subscribe: I’m still paying $30/yr for Ulysses, which would make it more affordable to get everything else (and not pay eventually for upgrades). And I’d like to play with Pagico and GoodTask on the Mac, as well as NotePlan.

And if Journey is as good as I’ve heard, it could save me an extra $25/year I’m paying for my Day One subscription.

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I just accidentally formatted the wrong SD card in my camera, and realized just as I hit the button that I hadn’t pulled everything off the card yet!

Thank goodness you posted this - I wouldn’t have thought to check Setapp. But Disk Drill saved the day! It recovered the photos even after the format. It’s amazing!

I find it curious that no one dislikes Setapp on the whole idea of the model. It actively undermines the Mac AppStore. I would prefer a world where all Mac Apps were on the Mac AppStore, since it makes managing of apps and subscriptions much easier.

I wonder if I am the only one wishing this since I never read this opinion anywhere. I find buying apps on the Mac a bad customer experience, where key apps are sold on the web, in the wild so to speak. I find the user experience of buying apps on iPadOS and iOS much better.

And yes I know, I could go iPad only if that was so important to me but I love using my Mac so much I just wished I was more of a walled garden.

Preferring a $2 trillion behemoth over competition?

The Mac App Store has been around for a long time, and until recently was pretty awful. Companies avoid it for many reasons.
If Setapp disappeared, we still wouldn’t see all apps on the App Store anyway, so I don’t see it doing any harm.

Which would undercut the usefulness of the Mac, as Apple’s sandboxing and rules preclude allowing many apps, especially utility apps. The world you wish for is one in which Apple does things differently.

For example, apps interacting with the Finder via AppleScript must have a temporary security entitlement in sandboxed apps but you can’t have that in an App Store app; if you try your app will be rejected:

And that’s not to mention that many classes of apps are not permitted in the App Store either, ranging from fart apps torrenting apps to cryptocurrency miners to apps that generate excessive heat or put a strain on device resources(!) - the reason they didn’t accept Calendar 2 as originally submitted.

I have the uncomfortable feeling that you may get your wish soon…

That unfounded fear was nipped in the bud by Apple at WWDC this year, and Craig Federeghi’s interview response to John Gruber addresses this question specifically:

At WWDC Apple demo’ed Adobe CC apps unavailable in the App Store. Not only that but many Mac apps are fundamentally incompatible with the App Store for several reasons (need to install kernel drivers, etc.) so I couldn’t possibly see this happening even before Apple’s clear signaling. As opposed to iOS, there will always be a need to install macOS apps outside of the App Store. Or even OSes - Apple has long been perfectly happy selling laptops to people who want to erase macOS and install Linux or Windows. I find it unlikely they will eliminate the possibility… especially when they addressed the subject and said, ‘Nope.’

The word paradise means walled garden, haha.
Them snakes though, creeping over the wall. Ssssss-etApp.


If anything recent times has shown the downside of subscriptions for me, I’ve been furloughed of late which has dented the amount of disposable for subscriptions.
Having paid for the likes of Forklift and others in setapp I can carry on using them without the need for a monthly expense and worrying about having to pay for it.

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