Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Sketch Returns to the Mac App Store

Sindre Sorhus (Hacker News):

Seems like Sketch is back on the App Store, after leaving it in 2015.

They seem be using the original SKU, because the Mac App Store shows it as 4+ years old, but it currently has only 7 ratings with an average of 3 stars. Reviews complain that even though the Mac App Store page lists In-App Purchases for monthly and yearly subscriptions, these are not actually available in the app. You have to subscribe from the Web site. I guess external purchases are allowed because of guideline 3.1.3(b) about multi-platform services, but that says “provided those items are also available as in-app purchases within the app.” The Omni Group supports external purchases, too, but Omni does support IAP.

Nima Sakhtemani

Buyers Beware! There’s no In-App Purchase

It’s sad to see Sketch using dark patterns forcing users into buying the monthly subscription by only using their website.


In-App Purchase not available

App Store product page suggests In-App purchase is supported, however it does not seem possible within the App itself. A trial is offered after account creation. However after it expires the App just shows an error that you don’t have access. No subscription prompt is given. Only leading to the website that offers it’s own subscription page. There really isn’t any other screen besides the login prompt which requires an existing subscription.


In order to offer Sketch on the Mac App Store, we need to follow Apple’s App Store Guidelines. This means the Mac App Store version of Sketch has some limitations, such as:

  1. Plugins and Assistants. You won’t be able to extend Sketch’s functionality through third-party plugins or tools to help streamline design workflows.
  2. Importing .fig files. The Mac App Store version of Sketch can’t open .fig files, so you won’t be able to directly import Figma files into Sketch.
  3. sketchtool. Because there are restrictions in place that prevent adding extra binaries to apps on the Mac App Store, we can’t provide sketchtool in the Mac App Store version. This is the tool we use from the command line to automate different tasks. Tools like Zeplin or Abstract need this tool to check Sketch documents and make previews.

You can still download it directly, and the Mac-only version is still available for a fixed price (now $120) including 1 year of updates.


Update (2024-01-03): Co-founder Pieter Omvlee tells me that they “are in fact accepting IAP subscriptions, but there does seem to be some kind of issue for some users, which we’re investigating.” As of today, the IAPs are working, but there may have been an App Store glitch back in November. Unfortunately, as a result of the new SKU, the two reviews mentioning the glitch are the only reviews in the App Store. I don’t think the reviews or ratings accurately represent that this is a longstanding quality app.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Re: “They seem be using the original SKU, because the Mac App Store shows it as 4+ years old,” “4+ years old” is the app store age rating, not the age of the app.

@Daniel Ah, you’re right of course. This SKU starts at version 98.3 in October of 2023.

I’d be curious to know whether Sketch going MAS was worth the effort in the long run. Sketch is a solid tool, much nicer to use than figma , so I hope it works out for them

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