In a news update posted to its Developer website, Apple announced it will soon enable ‘universal purchase’ on the App Store, letting users purchase an app once across all of the company’s platforms.
This means that if you buy an app on iOS, you can access it on iPadOS, macOS and tvOS, where applicable. The change will come into effect starting March 2020.
However, app developers will have to designate apps as universal purchase first. Apple says developers can do this in one of two ways. The first would be to create a new app with a ‘single app record’ in App Store Connect. Alternatively, developers can add platforms to their existing app record, effectively making them universal purchase.
Universal purchase applies to in-app purchases as well, meaning that whether you buy an app or you buy something within an app, you’ll be able to enjoy it across Apple’s platforms.
Further, to make apps easier to discover, Apple plans to unify app categories across the App Store and Mac App Store. The Cupertino, California-based company plans the following changes:
- Developers will be able to select ‘Developer Tools’ and ‘Graphics & Design’ categories for iOS apps.
- macOS app can now be added to the following categories: ‘Books’, ‘Food & Drink,’ ‘Magazines & Newspapers,’ ‘Navigation’ and ‘Shopping.’
- Mac App Store’s ‘Photography’ and ‘Video’ categories will be combined into ‘Photo & Video.’ Apps with those categories selected will automatically move to the new combined category.
- The ‘Kids’ category will no longer be a subset of the ‘Games’ category on the Mac App Store.
Finally, Apple says that developers can change their app’s categories at any time with an app update.