Mac App Store Issues Emerge with CoverSutra Kerfuffle

The launch of the Mac App Store has been met with enthusiasm, though it has also brought some confusion and challenges. Some users are puzzled by the inconsistent display of third-party apps as “installed,” even if they were purchased outside the App Store. This inconsistency has left many scratching their heads. Additionally, developers are grappling with the absence of upgrade pricing, which complicates matters for their existing customer base.

Under the current setup, every customer pays the same price for an app, regardless of whether they are new or returning customers who previously purchased an earlier version.

There’s no provision for transferring licenses from other platforms to the Mac App Store. For instance, I bought Pixelmator v1.6 directly from the website for $60 in September, but now, to get it on the Mac App Store, I would have had to pay again. Fortunately, Pixelmator has temporarily reduced the price to $30 on the Mac App Store and is offering a free upgrade to v2 when it becomes available. While this solution isn’t ideal, it does offer some relief to customers like me who feel they’ve paid double the current price for the same product just a few months ago.

However, not all developers are finding smooth sailing.

CoverSutra, developed by Sophia Teutschler, has transitioned to being a Mac App Store exclusive with its latest v2.5 release, and its price has been reduced from $25 to $5. This seems like a great deal, but it breaks the promise of free upgrades to v3 for previous v2 purchasers, as there’s no mechanism to honor this commitment on the Mac App Store. Teutschler admitted to forgetting about the upgrade promise, which has understandably upset many users.

Teutschler explored maintaining separate builds for the Mac App Store and direct distribution to fulfill her promise to existing customers, but as a solo developer, she found it unfeasible. While the cost difference might seem minor, the principle of the matter has sparked significant backlash, with some users expressing their disappointment in harsh terms.

The core issue seems to be with the Mac App Store’s policies, which could be more accommodating to scenarios like these.


Anthony is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights about Apple products. With a keen eye for detail, Anthony covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates on the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex tech topics accessible to everyone. When he’s not writing, Anthony enjoys exploring new features on his iPad and staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of Apple technology.