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Apple’s Mac App Store Policy for Apple Apps Infuriates and Frustrates



I bought the Apple iWork suite when I got my first Mac back in November 2010, before the Mac App Store even launched. I’m glad I did, but I hate that now I can’t automatically download the apps from the Mac App Store without buying them again, costing an extra $20/app.

The ability to download the apps from the Mac App store and integrated updates isn’t enough of a convenience to justify the $60 cost.

Apple could fix this with the flip of a switch. They just won’t.

Apple loves me. I own three Macs, three iPads and I’ve purchased 5 iPhones and half a dozen iPods over the years. I also own a lot of their software including Aperture and iWork among others. I hoped that, since I’m a loyal customer, they might give me a free code to download the Mac App Store versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote as there is no way for me to download the installer.


I called customers support and talked to a friendly guy named Patrick who tried to fix this for me. Unfortunately, Apple’s only solution means sending me a DVD.


When I bought iWork, I didn’t buy a boxed version. I downloaded the trial version from Apple and then purchased a license from them directly.

Apple no longer lets user download the trial version. If a user needs to reinstall iWork, they will need to use a backed up copy of the trial install file or they must own the disc.

Luckily I have the file backed up, but users who don’t will need to call Apple to beg for a code and likely settle for a DVD.

I understand that Apple doesn’t have to mail me a disc. Apple could argue they offered a gracious solution. It’s not the worst outcome of my call, but it’s not the best either. It’s not the best for me or for Apple.

redeem code entry form in mac app store

Apple would save themselves some money and time by giving me a code to download the app from the App Store. They built the feature into the App store. Instead they must pay for a disc, shipping and the cost of paying some employee to box it up and send it out.

Even if it only costs a few dollars, its more than it would if the guy I talked to flipped a switch on a computer and emailed a download code to me.

Giving me a code not only saves Apple money, but it benefits me as well. I could quickly install the apps on my three Macs. If I need to reinstall them after a hard drive failure or replacement, I can. Also, I don’t need to find an external DVD drive to connect to my MacBook Air or Mini.

Apple innovates in many ways, but this felt very much like a 1990s solution. Apple, hook up one of those amazing Retina Display MacBook Pros to your network and update your customer support solution along with it!



  1. Guest

    06/13/2012 at 2:04 pm

    “Apple loves me. I own three Macs, three iPads and I’ve purchased 5 iPhones and half a dozen iPods over the years.”

    Lol. I think you’ve got it backwards. Doesn’t this undying devotion to Apple products demonstrate YOUR love of Apple? In fact, doesn’t this whole article essentially bemoan your spurned love?

    I love Apple’s product design. I’d love to love Apple. But because of the way it paternalistically ignores users’ requests — this being a valid example — I don’t.

    Viva [insert something other than Apple here].

    • Kevin Purcell

      06/13/2012 at 3:09 pm

      I guess you missed my Why I Bought a Samsung Galaxy Note post.

      • test123

        06/29/2012 at 8:42 am

        Clicked your name trying to find said article. Had literally no idea that you were in that cult.. Baptists, isn’t it called? Weird, dude. Weird.

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