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Apple stops Omni Group from offering upgrade pricing for Mac App Store apps

Last week we told you how The Omni Group released OmniKeyMaster, an app that works by searching your Mac for Omni apps from the Mac App Store and then lets you purchase the newest version from the web at upgrade pricing. At the time, I said ​OmniKeyMaster was a "clever way to get around the fact that the Mac App Store doesn't offer upgrade pricing -- something Apple will hopefully change in the future."

As of today, OmniKeyMaster is no more. The company announced that OmniKeyMaster violates Apple's Mac App Store policies. Writing in a blog post, the company said:

My apologies: I'm afraid we will not be able to offer upgrade pricing to our Mac App Store customers after all. So long as we continue to sell our apps through the Mac App Store, we are not allowed to distribute updates through other channels to apps which were purchased from the App Store.

We still feel upgrade pricing is important for customers purchasing serious productivity software, since the initial value received from purchasing an app like OmniGraffle or OmniPlan is much different from the incremental value of upgrading that app from version 5.0 to version 6.0. We will continue to ask Apple to support upgrade pricing in the App Store, and I would encourage others to do the same, but until that happens, upgrade pricing will only be available to customers who buy our apps direct from our online store.


This move will be sure to generate a lot of outrage -- particularly since Apple was no doubt behind the cessation of OmniKeyMaster. Hopefully the Cupertino company will one day allow app upgrade pricing in the Mac App Store -- something both users and developers want.

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