Offer Obsidian on the macOS App Store

For macOS users I think it would be nice to have Obsidian on the App Store. Would avoid security issues such as

Are there any reasons why Obsidian for macOS is not available on the Apple App Store?



Are there any reasons why Obsidian for macOS is not available on the Apple App Store?

I’m not part of the team, but I assume it’s because:

  • Devs have to pay Apple annually to make their apps available on the App Store, even when they’re free. Some devs get around this by charging for the App Store versions of their otherwise free apps, such as LibreOffice.

  • Apple requires that all programs in the App Store be sandboxed, so the App Store versions of some apps (such as Scrivener and Marked 2) are less capable/powerful or lack features present in the downloadable versions. So two versions of the Mac app might have to be maintained, which would consume time the devs could otherwise spend working on new features and improvements that everyone—including Mac users—can benefit from.

  • The App Store approvals process has a reputation for being opaque and fickle. That can be an additional time drain for developers, and it can delay updates and the rollout of new features for users.


I wasn’t aware of this. That is, that the Apple fee applied also for free apps. See for instance this article:

It says that:

On the iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS App Store, Apple charges a 30% fee for apps and in-app purchases. However, the fee doesn’t apply to free apps.

Am I reading that right? Or maybe that’s not the fee you’re referring to? Sorry if I’m being naive here I’m not too familiar with how the Apple developer programs work.

Beyond that, I would happily a one-time fee for Obsidian.

I understand this point. But I guess it depends on the particular app whether the sandboxing is a limitation or not. I would intuitively assume that Obsidian is not doing any tasks that would require special permissions.

On the plus side, sandboxing adds security for users.

I don’t know if the fact Obsidian already has iPhone / iPad apps would make a difference here? Maybe some of the code-base can be shared with those apps.

Or maybe that’s not the fee you’re referring to?

AFAIK even the devs of free apps have to pay an annual fee just to be in the App Store. I believe the 30% you’re referring to is on top of that.

I would happily pay a one-time fee for Obsidian.

It could possibly be an annual fee, however small, because they would have to pay Apple annually in addition to the costs of having to potentially maintain a separate App Store version on a continual basis.

There’s also the issue of a new installer having to be downloaded and used whenever Obsidian upgrades to a new version of Electron; idk how or whether that would work in the App Store.

Only one comment on this, is that I would avoid any note-taking app that has a recurrent fee. A one-time fee is fine. For instance GoodNotes seems have a functioning business model with a one-time fee.

I’d guess the installer would be replaced via updates from the Mac App Store, which would be a nice convenience.

I think the annual fee is for an Apple developer account, which applies to both the Mac and iOS app stores, so they should already be covered (unless I’ve misunderstood).

Other reasons to not use the App Store may apply, of course.

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I would avoid any note-taking app that has a recurrent fee.

For the most part I do, too, though I did pay Bear’s modest annual fee when I used it, and I’m paying more than that now for Obsidian Sync.

Personally, I’m happy to get the app from the website if skipping the App Store saves the team time and money they can spend working on features and bug fixes.

I always, always prefer product websites over Apple’s bloatware store.
Also, Apple asks a 30% fee of developers, (Just statistically, a rate of 9% is more than enough) no matter if your app is freeware or not. That is too much.

Isn’t it rather that to get an app (irrespective of it being free or paid for) the developer has to be registered with Apple as a developer and that cost an annual $99 or did when I looked a while ago as I investigated creating my own app for Apple devices.

Also, and this would likely hit Obsidian sync and publish subscriptions, any money transactions made in an App Store app Apple takes a 33% commission.

They can keep doing it basically like they do now instead of doing it in-app.

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