We live in a world of subscriptions. We watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+. We stream music through Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and Pandora. Rather than use cable, many of us have cut the cord and subscribe to services like YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling, and Philo for our day-to-day TV viewing. And joining the subscription trend is software. An app with no subscription is getting harder and harder to find. But, could a subscription actually be a better deal than buying a stand alone app? Let’s take a look at Setapp.
Setapp is a Mac-only platform that contains over 160 apps for $9.99 per month. There’s no limit to the number of apps users can access at any one time. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Sounds great, but we’re back to the original question-is it worth spending $120 a year for software?
The apps on Setapp are categorized into Lifestyle, Creativity, Developer Tools, Productivity, Mac Hacks, Writing & Blogging, Education, Maintenance, Task Management, and Personal Finance, and the variety within each category is extensive. Clicking within a category reveals a list of available apps. Choose an app and you’ll be shown a full description, along with screenshots, of that app. Installing (and uninstalling) is done within that window.
Now to the important part: what apps are included? Because there are over 160 apps within Setapp, with more and more added on a regular basis, I’ll touch on a few highlights. For people who need a serious writing app with document management, Ulysses might fit the bill. Need to organize menu bar apps? Try Bartender. (Spoiler: I love it, and can’t imagine my computer without it!) PDF Pen is a full-featured PDF editor with OCR. MarsEdit is a go-to app for many bloggers. BusyCal is a well-known calendar app that uses natural language to schedule events and tasks. For visual storytelling FotoMagico Pro is an incredibly powerful way to bring slideshows to the next level. CleanMyMac X will keep your Mac humming at tip top shape by finding and getting rid of large files, uninstalling apps with all the support files, and running maintenance tools. Pathfinder offers advanced file management on your Mac.
If you were to purchase the above-mentioned apps, the total price as of publication would be $416, plus $40/year subscription for Ulysses. And I only mentioned eight out of the over 160 available apps. Plus, updates can be pushed out automatically by checking a box in Preferences, so each app will always run the most recent version. No more upgrade fees or downloading a brand new app when a new version is released. Need more data? Setapp has a full listing of all their apps, with descriptions and screenshots here.
Setapp is a fantastic service to learn about new apps, or try one of those programs you’ve heard about but didn’t want to purchase. They offer a seven day trial for users to evaluate the service before they subscribe. An annual subscription is $8.99 per month, billed yearly. Family, education, and business plans are also available.