MacPaw is offering Mac users an alternative to the Mac App Store to acquire new software, with the launch of the subscription-based Setapp providing access to a collection of more than 60 downloadable apps, for $9.99 per month.
As part of the subscription, users can download and install apps to a maximum of two Mac systems. The apps supplied by Setapp are full versions, instead of ad-supported or "lite" releases, which can be used while the subscription is active, deactivating once the subscription expires.
The client app creates a folder on the Mac that offers a library of apps that are available to use, complete with thumbnails and descriptions of what each app does, with apps downloaded upon request and kept up to date by the client software. After downloading and installation, the apps can be used in an offline mode, allowing MacBook users to work without requiring an Internet connection.
At launch, the service offers a curated list of 61 apps, up from the 48 offered during its beta in December, though MacPaw expects Setapp could offer up to 300 apps to its subscribers in the future. The initial selection primarily consists of productivity and creative apps, including RapidWeaver, CodeRunner, CleanMyMac, iMazing, MoneyWiz, and XMind.
App developers will receive 70 percent of the monthly subscription fee, divided based on customer use, with two thirds of the remaining 30 percent offered as a "partner fee" based on the value of each subscriber the developer brings to the service. Aside from the recurring income, MacPaw claims developers will also benefit from built-in anti-piracy measures, with Setapp also accepting apps that are unavailable in the Mac App Store due to sandboxing restrictions imposed by Apple.
Setapp requires OS X 10.10 or higher and around 110MB of free space, though this does not include the estimated 300MB required per downloaded app. A one-month trial of the service is also available.