What if you had access to a personal software store where you were handed only tested and hand-picked apps that suit your needs? That's exactly what MacPaw, the company behind the Mac optimization software CleanMyMac, has done with Setapp, a subscription-based software as a service priced at $9.99 per month launched earlier this year.
How It Works
Designed specifically for Mac users, MacPaw's Setapp service seeks to reinvent the Mac App Store. For that monthly fee you now have access to 77 apps (but that will likely grow in time as more developers join Setapp) organized into categories such as creativity, developer tools, education and research, lifestyle, maintenance, Mac hacks, productivity, personal finance, and task management.
MacPaw isn't aiming to offer a huge quantity of apps but instead filters software based on rules such as eliminating apps that include paid features, ads, incorrect diagnostic or incorrect device data, enable illegal file sharing, send sensitive personal or confidential information using notifications, and more.
To gain access to all the apps you’ll need to sign up for the service, download and install Setapp and then sign in on your Mac. Setapp will appear in the Applications folder and will also create a folder of its own, where the suite of apps can be found. You can search for an app based on the functionality you need and preview it before you install it.
How It Is Different From Getting Standalone Apps
As an example, if you need a to-do list app for your Mac, you won’t need to research the web for one because this service provides at least one app tested and hand-picked for that purpose. Or, perhaps you need to record your screen? There’s an app for that, as well. This is what makes Setapp different from getting standalone software: it saves you time, money and storage, because you don't need to research any forums for feedback on apps with a particular functionality, you won't need to pay for it, and you don't have to download it onto your Mac until you need it.
The number of apps differs based on specific categories, and they come from various developers. Being included in Setapp doesn't prohibit app developers from offering their software as a standalone purchase directly from their website or through the App Store.
The Setapp suite of apps includes MacPaw's own software in the Maintenance section, but CleanMyMac and Gemini are the only ones that are included. They complement other apps such as WiFi Explorer for scanning wireless networks, Disk Drill for recovering Mac data, iStat Menus, Backup Pro and more.
Doing some quick math on the price you'd pay to get all these apps obviously pushes the balance in favor of the Setapp service. If each app cost just $10, having access to all of these would mean $770 as a one-time purchase. Now compare that to the $9.99 monthly fee Setapp asks for.
Still, the value changes if you use them for a longer period of time. So the question arises: would you keep on paying for the whole suite when you use only a few of them?
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