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What’s the best software deal for MacOS, and is it too good to pass on?


If you’re a relatively heavy Mac user for your work and digital endeavours, I think you’re going to love what follows. 

Nearly three years ago I signed up for a subscription service called SetApp. This was a very surprising turn of events for me, as up until that point I had no software subscriptions at all, and I avoided them like the plague. Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but I just detested the idea of basically renting software, rather than owning an outright license. Despite my serious subscription-resistance, SetApp immediately won me over. I was astounded … how did it achieve this effect over me?

I found SetApp whilst looking for deals and discounts on a couple of relatively pricey apps I was considering buying. Both of them were available through SetApp. What’s more, a significant number of other applications I was already using were also on SetApp. I did the math, and realised that the cost of SetApp was almost too good to be true. So good that at first I was actually suspicious it might be a scam—selling pirated software, for instance—or at least if it was legitimate it surely wouldn’t last. Some years later, I can honestly say it’s the best software investment I’ve made in all my 35 years of computer use.

Before SetApp (aka. Time-consuming BS)

As a heavy computer user, I often have a need arise for performing a certain digital task, and I’ll go online looking for solutions. I will look through reviews, test apps out, and basically go through a process to ensure I’m getting the best bang for my buck—or even avoid parting with my $$ by finding a free option. After a lot of research, trials, and messing around, I would buy something that met my needs, and then hope I don’t later find something more suited for the purpose (requiring another purchase). I’d often try various alternatives to find the app I liked best whilst staying within my price range.

That was life Before SetApp. A couple of years ago, that situation completely changed.

After SetApp (aka. Sweet AS)

Now, and for the past few years, for the most part, when I need to achieve a new and specific function on my computer, I just launch SetApp, plug in a few keywords related to my needs, and voila — I am typically presented with one or more (usually many) excellent, carefully curated, professional applications that will do the task I require. I install it, and get on with my work.

As they say on SetApp’s homepage… Think tasks, not apps. Setapp curates apps for you, so you can focus on work.

What’s so great is that I already have the right to instantly download and use whatever I find, as a fully licensed user! There’s currently over 250 applications on SetApp. Through my SetApp subscription, I currently have 59 fully licensed apps installed on my computer, which I’m guessing would have cost me close to one thousand dollars in individual license costs. Many of these apps I was already using and had paid for. Now that I get them through SetApp I don’t have to worry about paying for upgrades.

Admittedly, I actively use around 40 of the apps I’ve installed, not all 59. The other 19 or so are software I tried out because I was curious about it, and I haven’t used much since. But even the roughly 40 apps I make use of, would have cost me a lot lot more than I pay for SetApp. Take BusyCal and BusyContacts, which I was using long before SetApp came on the scene. Each sells for US$50 a license. So there’s $100 just there. Then there’s Ulysses—the ultimate writing app for Mac—now sells on a subscription model too. It’ll set you back US$50 a year. Then there’s PDFPen, another excellent app I’ve used for years, for editing and filing out PDF files. It’s US$80 for a license. I’ve also used TextSoap for years. A licence for that is US$45. Those five applications add up to $225 for regular licenses, plus a year $50 subscription (Ulysses).

Through SetApp I also get access to ClearVPN, a top-notch VPN service. It normally costs US$60 a year, or US$12.95 a month. ClearVPN is not such a VPN but also gives you access to media sites like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix for other countries. I previously used Getflix for this, which is US$40 a year, or $55 for two years.

I’ve just touched on 5 apps and a VPN service, and already it makes financial sense to use SetApp. Paying yearly, SetApp costs me US$8.99 a month, which comes to US$107.88.  Every month they are adding new apps. I recall there was around 120 apps when I joined. That’s more than doubled in less than three years.

Time and convenience

Aside from saving a lot of money, it also saves me a lot of time. The team at SetApp have already researched, serious considered, and therefore curated the many options and alternatives for each app they have in their collection. Whether it’s an FTP client, SSH manager, writing apps, productivity apps, to-do lists, file managers, and way to much else to mention, SetApp typically has an app to meet most needs.

Your Shortcut to Prime Apps for Mac.

Do you want to save some time and money on apps for your Mac? Please do yourself a big favour and get on board with SetApp.

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