Sketch, the popular image creation and design tool for OS X and winner of an Apple Design Award in 2012, is leaving the Mac App Store. Developer Bohemian Coding has announced the move in a blog post today:
Today, we’re announcing an important change in how you receive updates to Sketch. After much thought, and with a heavy heart, we’re moving Sketch away from the Mac App Store. If you’re a Mac App Store customer, all you need to do is download Sketch from our website, launch it and enter your email address to receive your license.
As for the reasons behind this decision, Bohemian Coding mentioned a few usual suspects:
There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.
Sketch is, quite possibly, one of the most popular image editing apps for professionals who use Macs nowadays, and it’s yet another high-profile departure from the Mac App Store. Bohemian Coding doesn’t rule out returning to the Mac App Store if things change, but, for now, they are going to be selling the app directly on their website.
At this stage, we are far beyond the point of acknowledging there is a problem on the Mac App Store. We are not talking a bunch of isolated cases anymore – leaving the Mac App Store has become an accepted trend among developers, which is compounded by the sad state of abandon in which Apple has left it and other issues developers illustrated in the past.
The simple reality is that, gradually, developers of the best apps for OS X are finding it increasingly hard to justify doing business on the Mac App Store. I hope Apple also sees this as a problem and starts doing something about it.