Mac App Store FAQs for BBEdit Customers


So, what’s the story?

When the Mac App Store debuted in 2011, BBEdit was one of its first products available for sale. However, due to technical and business constraints we encountered in the store, we decided to withdraw BBEdit from the Mac App Store in 2014.

Following BBEdit’s exit from the Mac App Store, we had many conversations with our customers, and with Apple, regarding the issues that we had encountered with the store.

In the spring of 2018, Bare Bones and Apple announced that, subsequent to the release of macOS Mojave (10.14) and the accompanying refresh of the Mac App Store, BBEdit would be returning to the store.

This was made possible by changes to the OS itself which allow Mac App Store versions of BBEdit to function to their fullest extent while complying with Mac App Store rules; as well as changes to the Mac App Store business mechanics which make it possible for us to distribute our software through the Mac App Store as part of a sustainable business model.

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Why subscriptions in the Mac App Store?

In order to support the ongoing evolution of BBEdit, we need to fund its development. Traditionally, we have done that by selling a “perpetual” license, and occasionally releasing new major versions, which registered customers have been able to purchase (upgrade to) at a discount.

This business model has served us well through more than 25 years of shipping BBEdit, and though multiple Mac OS and hardware transitions.

However, we can’t use the “perpetual license with upgrades” model in the Mac App Store, because the Store has no mechanism for offering paid upgrades.

Instead, the Mac App Store provides a subscription mechanism, which developers are encouraged to use to support product development on an ongoing basis.

In order to give our customers a choice, we will also continue to offer “perpetual” licenses (including multiple user licenses) via our online store and selected resellers.

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How much will a subscription cost?

There are two levels of paid subscription:

You may install BBEdit at no charge via the Mac App Store, and use it either with a paid subscription or in Free Mode.

There is a 30-day evaluation period (beginning the first time you use it on your computer), during which BBEdit’s full feature set is available. At the end of the evaluation period, BBEdit will continue to run with a permanent feature set which includes its powerful editing capabilities, but not its web authoring tools or other exclusive features.

To enable the exclusive features in your copy of BBEdit from the Mac App Store after the end of the evaluation period, you will need to have an active BBEdit subscription.

An active subscription gives you access to all of BBEdit’s advanced features, including any new features that we introduce in updates or new major releases, for as long as the subscription is in good standing.

When you purchase a subscription, payment will be charged to your Apple ID Account upon confirmation of purchase.

Your subscription will renew automatically, unless you cancel your subscription at least 24 hours prior to the end of the currently active subscription period. Your Apple ID Account will be charged for the renewal within 24 hours prior to the end of the currently active subscription period, and your account history will reflect the cost of the renewal.

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Do I have to pay for BBEdit?

If you purchase a BBEdit subscription, you will get features that aren’t available in Free Mode: web authoring tools, Git and Subversion integration, code completion, Clippings, the Scratchpad, shell worksheets, and much more.

Purchasing a subscription also makes it possible for us to continue evolving and supporting BBEdit.

For those reasons, purchasing a subscription is a great idea, but it is not required.

If you have an active subscription, you can cancel it any time.

Without a subscription, you can continue to use BBEdit in Free Mode, with no nag screens or unsolicited interruptions.

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Can I try out BBEdit’s features before subscribing?

Absolutely. BBEdit has a 30-day evaluation period. During that period, all of BBEdit’s features are available. When the evaluation period is over, you can still use BBEdit — with no nag screens or unsolicited interruptions, for free, forever — with its powerful core feature set.

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What features do I get when I subscribe?

Buying a BBEdit subscription gets you all of the advanced features that are not available in Free Mode:

As we introduce new features that are only available with an active subscription, those features will be available to you at no additional cost.

In Free Mode, you get a powerful core feature set.

Bug fixes and refinements to existing features are always included, whether in Free Mode or with an active subscription.

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What has changed since the last App Store version?

A comprehensive list of the additions and changes since 10.5.13 (the previous App Store release) and BBEdit 12.6 is available here.

There are nearly three hundred and fifty changes in all.

Comprehensive change notes for each new version are available in our release notes archive.

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Are there any functional differences between the Mac App Store version of BBEdit and the version you distribute?

No. By working closely with Apple, we have been able to achieve our goal of making the Mac App Store version of BBEdit have identical functionality to the version directly available from us.

Note: Due to changes in macOS that were required in order for the Mac App Store version of BBEdit to function, BBEdit from the Mac App Store requires macOS 10.14.2 or later. (The direct-distribution of BBEdit requires macOS 10.12.6 or later.)

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I would prefer to just pay once. Is there a way to do that?

“Perpetual” licenses, in which you pay once and have a license for that version, are only available directly from us. When you buy a BBEdit license from us, you are eligible for free maintenance updates to that version for as long as we support it, as well as discounted pricing on future paid upgrades.

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I am currently a BBEdit 12 customer. Is there a way to convert my license to the Mac App Store?

Unfortunately, there is no way to switch between a perpetual license and a subscription.

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I have a serial number for an older version of BBEdit. Can I get a discounted upgrade to the Mac App Store version?

We regret that this is not possible.

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Is it possible to convert a Mac App Store subscription into a direct license?

Unfortunately, there is no way to switch between a perpetual license and a subscription.

Your best bet would be to cancel your subscription renewal and set a calendar event for its expiration date. When the subscription expires, purchase a license directly from us, then download and install the latest version available as of then.

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I have BBEdit 10 from the Mac App Store. What is my upgrade path?

Because the Mac App Store doesn’t provide the ability for us to offer paid upgrades to existing customers, we regret that after you install BBEdit 12 from the Mac App Store, your previous BBEdit license will no longer be recognized.

You’ll have a full 30-day evaluation period, at the end of which you may decide whether to start a subscription or continue to use BBEdit in Free Mode.

Since your license to use BBEdit 10 remains in effect, you can continue to use the older version. You will need to restore the old version from backup, and take care to prevent the App Store from updating it. (Please be aware that BBEdit 10 is not compatible with current versions of macOS.)

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Will I need, or can I get a subscription if I’m not using the Mac App Store?

Subscriptions will only be available from the Mac App Store. We have no intention of introducing or requiring subscriptions for customers who purchase a BBEdit license directly from us.

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How do I get BBEdit from the Mac App Store?

BBEdit is available here in the Mac App Store. You can also open the “App Store” app on macOS and search for “BBEdit”.

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