Thursday, March 14, 2013

Re-Downloading Mac App Store Apps

Peter Maurer and Jason Sims report that it is no longer possible to redownload one’s purchases if an app has been removed from sale. As Maurer says:

Looks like Apple fixed a bug that was actually a feature.

Mark Munz wonders what this means for upgrades, e.g. to iLife/iWork. If the new version is a free update, which the Mac App Store sees as the same product, people with older OS versions will not be able to download the old version. But, with this change, the old version will become inaccessible even if the new version is a new product.

Because the Mac App Store doesn’t let you go back to a previous version, even if the new version has a bug, I’ve been saving each app update that I download. I have a DropDMG configuration called “Mac App Store” that compresses the app, puts its version number in the filename, and saves it in my archives folder.

4 Comments

Wow. That's a bit scary; most of the apps I've bought aren't downloaded on any computer I own, since I only tend to install apps once I need them. What's more, one of my Macs has an 128GB SSD, so I sometimes delete apps again after installing and using them. If Apple removed apps from my download list, they'd effectively steal these apps from me.

Daniel Jalkut reminds that if you get a new Mac the receipts in the archived apps will be invalid. This is true, but I’m looking at this more as a short-term solution to get up and running again, hoping that my current Mac is still working. Long-term, if an app is removed from sale I would need to find a replacement, anyway.

If you really want to ensure the ability to keep running an app, maybe it would work to download it from the Mac App Store inside of VMware.

Of course, where possible, I buy directly from the developer.

Yeah, I'm slowly migrating back to directly bought apps, too.

[...] Re-Downloading Mac App Store Apps → 4 seconds ago I have a DropDMG configuration called “Mac App Store” that compresses the app, puts its version number in the filename, and saves it in my archives folder. [...]

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