Popular Design App ‘Sketch’ Leaves Mac App Store Due to Poor Customer Experience

Bohemian Coding has announced that its popular design app Sketch is no longer available in the Mac App Store because, after a lengthy decision making process, the developers felt that directly licensing the software outside of Apple’s storefront will provide customers with a better experience.

In a blog post on its website, the Sketch team highlighted some of the Mac App Store’s limitations, including a lengthy app review process, sandboxing and no upgrade pricing. Sketch stresses this was not a knee-jerk reaction to the Mac App Store’s recent expired certificate problem, but that issue did compound the situation.

Sketch said the Mac App Store’s customer experience has not progressed like its iOS counterpart:

We’ve been considering our options for some time. Over the last year, as we’ve made great progress with Sketch, the customer experience on the Mac App Store hasn’t evolved like its iOS counterpart. We want to continue to be a responsive, approachable, and easily-reached company, and selling Sketch directly allows us to give you a better experience.

There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.

Sketch is among a growing number of apps that are no longer sold in the Mac App Store, including professional HTML and text editor BBEdit and web development tool Coda. By selling their apps directly, developers not only get around the Mac App Store’s technical limitations, but also do not have to split 30% of sales revenue with Apple.

Bohemian Coding has provided instructions for Mac App Store users to migrate to the directly licensed version of the app in a FAQ on its website, which is required for future software updates. The development team does not rule out a possible return to the Mac App Store „in the longer term“ if the necessary changes have been made.

Moving to a direct version of Sketch does not require a re-purchase. Simply download the latest copy of Sketch here, replace the old version in your Applications folder, and we will issue you a license for Sketch absolutely free of charge. Just follow the steps in-app to complete the transfer. We will also migrate your presets and templates across, so you won’t lose any data in the process. We’ve made it as simple and painless as we possibly can.

Sketch is a professional design app for Mac for creating user interfaces, websites, icons and more. The software received an Apple Design Award in 2012 and was consistently a top ranked app on the Mac App Store. Sketch continues to sell for its regular price of $99 with a free trial available.

Tags: Mac App Store, Sketch
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