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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

BBEdit is back in the Mac App Store

Note: This story has not been updated since 2021.

Back in 2014, Bare Bones Software’s Rich Siegel announced he was pulling his app, BBEdit, out of the Mac App Store. It was a bad sign for the viability of the store, and Bare Bones wasn’t the only major Mac developer to realize it didn’t make sense to sell their software in Apple’s store.

Last June, Apple made a big deal about forthcoming changes to the Mac App Store that would lead to Bare Bones, Panic, and other developers to make their return to the store. And today, Bare Bones announced that the app has returned after a five-year absence. (There’s even a feature story on the Mac App Store about it.)

The Mac App Store version of BBEdit differs in that it’s a subscription model: users pay $40/year or $4/month for access to all of BBEdit’s features. Bare Bones will still sell software that uses the traditional “perpetual license” model directly from its website. (The app has a 30-day trial period, and many of BBEdit’s great features work even if you never pay for it.)

In macOS Mojave Apple has modified some of the rules for Mac App Store apps and allowed apps a little more access to system functionality. As Siegel put it in his company’s press release today, “It is very important to us to provide the exact same user experience and feature set for all of our customers… Being able to provide this was a deciding factor as we considered returning BBEdit to the Mac App Store.”

Panic Software returned to the Mac App Store last November with Transmit, its FTP client. Like Bare Bones, Panic chose to built the Mac App Store offering around a subscription ($25/year) while also selling the app as a standalone $45 download directly.

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