Apple is enabling universal purchases of macOS, iOS, and tvOS apps

Last year, in an attempt to bring more apps to the macOS App Store, Apple announced Project Catalyst. The tool allows developers to create a macOS app based on an existing iPad app without much in the way of additional work, making it easier to release apps on macOS. One big flaw with that strategy, though, was that you couldn't buy an app on iOS and automatically own the macOS version. That's changing next month, though.

On its developer website, Apple has announced updates (first spotted by Steve Troughton-Smith on Twitter) that will enable developers to not only make their app available on multiple platforms, but also sell them as a universal purchase across Apple's different operating systems, including macOS and tvOS. This makes the experience even more similar to Microsoft's original goal with Universal Windows Apps. Developers can create a new multi-platform app with a new app record or add more platforms to an existing app record.

In addition to the new universal purchase updates, Apple is unifying the iOS and macOS App Store categories to go along with the change. As such, "Developer tools" and "Graphics & Design" categories will be added to iOS, while macOS will get a handful of categories including “Books”, “Food & Drink”, “Magazines & Newspapers”, “Navigation”, and “Shopping”. The "Video" and "Photography" categories on macOS will be merged into "Photo & Video", and "Kids" will no longer be a subcategory in "Games" on the Mac App Store.

These changes will go live starting in March, so developers should have some time to prepare if any changes are necessary.

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