Sparke App Store vs downloadable version

Hi @duncan is there a difference between the Sparkle
App Store vs the downloadable version

While being here (and before i get the license or subscription)
i do have a question about using it on multiple mac’s
The reason i am asking this is because i have several Mac’s a use (most) on a daily basis:

• MacBook Pro 13inch (that i mostly use when traveling)
• MacBook Pro 16inch (*that use at home)
• iMac 27inch (my office Mac)
• Mac Mini (that is use for development and testing)
Do i need to buy a licence for each of them? (if so that’s gonna be a real bummer)

You may find your answer on this page.

Hi @pflitterale , thanks for your reply, appreciate!
And yes i am aware and do know that page.
Unfortunately it doesn’t answer my 2 questions.

Regarding my 2nd - i specifically mentioned that i use all those macs (and no one else)
so it does not fall under:
• The Family one (again they are my own and also registered as such)
• The Business cause i am do ONLY “co-worker”

@wolfferine, I’m sure @duncan will chime in to give you better understanding.

From what I know your license works on two macOSs devices.
I have a feeling the family license would work for you but Duncan is the authority on that one…

Hi @FlaminFig thanks for your reply, also appreciated.
Here’s my point:
The Family and/or the Business license are obvious if indeed more than one individual,
be it a family member or a co-worker is using the app.
But me as being the only person who uses the app, but on 4 different devices, should pay (or subscribe) once, same goes when getting an Office 365 license - i can use on multiple devices (as long as i use it with the same microsoft user account )

Could the app store version be the one i need?

Sorry @wolfferine, as mentioned I wasn’t totally sure.

I just went in and read the family and business licenses on the Sparkle website. I think I’m reading (it isn’t very clear) that with a family license you get one license shared with 5 macs. With the business license you get bundled 5 individual licenses? or a mac can have up to 5 co-works (x5)?

In regards to your question, I believe you would only purchase the one license to cover you macs.

Again I don’t think the business license is very clear in what you actually get.
Please either contact Duncan or I’m sure he will chime in here after his sleep - it is 1am for him at the moment!

Hi @wolfferine, I realize it might be unclear but as the main store page says:

license for one or more personal Macs

The intention of this is to mean that you can use it on multiple Macs as long as you are using them.

Again we don’t differentiate the direct and appstore version in any way, including pricing, licensing and usage model.


Hi @duncan - awesome!

Happy that you made it clear that there isn’t any (functional) difference
between the App Store vs the Direct (website downloadable) version.

I think i will add the above as a footnote to the printable documentation.

Sorry never I stated that there is no functional difference. Pricing, licensing and usage model.

The appstore version is sandboxed, and due to sandbox limitations and bugs there are some minor functional differences affecting the appstore version. We would love to sandbox the website version as well for better user protection, but the sandbox limitations have held us back. There are sandbox bugs dating back to 2008 that Apple still hasn’t fixed for example.

So anyway while the small issues aren’t anything people would lose sleep over, they are there. I realize some people will be scared by this so here’s the list:

  • if you were to connect to an SFTP server with an ssh key, because of the sandbox Sparkle can’t look into the files shown in the file dialog, to grey out files that aren’t valid ssh keys, whereas the version from our website can do that
  • likewise for filtering lottie files from json files that are not valid lottie animations
  • due to the aforementioned bug, when opening many files in Sparkle (say adding a ton of images), Sparkle will become unable to open more files and even to save the project file itself, the only solution is to quite Sparkle (without saving) – the file limit varies based on many things, but it’s somewhere in the 3000-5000 range

All in all mostly minor issues that nearly nobody is affected by in practice.

1 Like

Hi @duncan thanks again for your (quick) reply and apologies for my hasty conclusion :blush:
I completed forgot that indeed the App Store applications are sandboxed, damn how could i ever have such an important detail!

For anyone who my read this topic and wants know more about it,
here are some good readings from Apple:
About App Sandbox
App Sandbox in Depth

The App Store sandboxing rules could have serious impact on usefulness of an application, think about an application like FileZilla or Transmit

And another piece of advise i wanna give the reader - when getting an application from the App Store, check if there’s also a downloadable version at the authors site, cause there may be functionality (features) differences (due the the sandbox nature of apps in the App Store), like:
• “The Unarchiver” - direct / appstore

Anyhow thanks again Duncan for reminding me about it.

Well the impact might be overstated by app developers who have specific needs and for whom their app model doesn’t fit the sandbox. The sandbox is a net positive in security of Mac applications, as I mentioned the differences are minor, and I am not advocating against the sandbox or the appstore version of Sparkle. In fact I fully understand who prefers that due to not having to lookup licenses or account for subscriptions separately for each app they purchased, it’s totally legit. We do have criticism about Apple, but it’s more about business model freedom and customer support (both probably specific to us), but it’s not the sandbox, even despite the neglect for its bugs.

One last remark Duncan, i am on the same page.
As i said some application may better, not be put in the App Store
due to there nature or purpose :slight_smile: