Installing Alfred’s Powerpack

[Update: While Apple has added in-app purchase since this post was originally published, it has also brought in Sandboxing rules which affect our decision to put the Powerpack in the Mac App Store. You can read more on sandboxing in this Nov 2011 blog post.]

Since the Mac App Store was launched on Thursday, there has been a little bit of confusion over how to install the Alfred Powerpack after downloading Alfred from within the Mac App Store.

It’s quite simple… You need to download Alfred from our website to use the Powerpack. Think of downloading the version from our website as downloading a Pro or fully-featured version of software from any website. Once you have done this, the Powerpack tab will allow you to enter the serial code you have received and you can enjoy Alfred at his best!

Why can’t I just click a button to purchase in-app?

At this point in time, Apple does not support in-app purchase like it does on the iOS store. As soon as this feature becomes available to us developers, I will be right on it so purchasing Alfred will be as easy as clicking a single button!

What happens if I buy the Powerpack now or I already have a Powerpack?

Apple has not provided any mechanism for migrating users from outside the App Store into the App Store. We are not the only company to experience this – it has been talked about by Pixelmator, Panic and many more since launch.

This is not a problem in the slightest though as Alfred has been successfully updating itself automatically outside the App Store since the beginning of 2010. We have a wonderful community of users, including many Powerpack users, who enjoy the fast release cycle and sneak peeks into pre-release features – something we cannot offer to the Mac App Store.

As a user of the non Mac App Store, you will enjoy these benefits indefinitely :)

I don’t like reading, show me a picture

I don’t like diagrams, show me a better picture

Our cats when they were kittens, Rose (the b&w) and Jack (the ginger).
Jack and Rose

Andrew (@preppeller)

27 thoughts on “Installing Alfred’s Powerpack

  1. (Yes, I actually am the grandson of the great Buster Keaton).
    I don’t think I like the app store, and I believe developers should keep a close look on the downsides of it (like you do already, kudos for that).
    One of the great things about shareware on the Mac has always been its strong sense of community, created, a.o., by short lines between developers and users, quick response times and flexibility in pricing and upgrading – three things the app store can’t (doesn’t want to) provide. Of course I can see the upside of huge exposure, but don’t forget there’s these downsides as well…
    (BTW I am not really the grandson of the great Buster Keaton)

  2. I found that the version of Alfred I downloaded from the app store didn’t have the field to enter the purchase code. I had to download the web site version, which had a different powerpack menu.

  3. Thanks for the clarification – nice diagram!

    Is there a reason why you can’t or won’t have a PowerPack-included version on the App Store as well (alongside the free version), so that you’d be getting the benefits of its marketing potential and also complying with the same purchase method? Of course an in-app purchase to upgrade would be neat as well!

    I of course accept this would mean more deployment work for you – in producing a ready-licensed version ready for the App Store, and then maintaining the serial-number user base as well.

    • You are exactly right. I am the only developer for Alfred and the App Store already adds deployment overhead, I want to keep it simple by providing 2 versions of Alfred, one in store and one out of store.

      Once in-app upgrade is working for the Mac App Store version then nothing has to change, it just means people can also purchase in-app.

  4. Surely by getting your users to download the version from the website, to override the one from the AppStore, this will mean the App cannot be updated via AppStore?

    • Hi Dan,

      That’s correct – however as mentioned in the third section of the blog post, our update mechanism works very well and comes with a number of nice perks like access to pre-releases. :)


      • So there’s no way we can get our updates through Mac App Store and still keep the power pack before Apple releases in-app purchases?

  5. Just wanted to say… thank you for the openness of your approach to the MAS as well as to communicating with your customers. I’ve been using Alfred since it first came out and the customer support you guys have been giving has been the best. The quick release cycle would definetely get bogged down by the MAS so keeping a non-MAS version going would be a great solution for those customers that appreciate your speedy development!

    Keep up the great work!!

  6. Loved this simple post: great explanation, and adding a bit of humour to the mix only makes these technical things more accessible.

    Keep it up!

  7. First, Alfred is great. FWIW, I would not have found it if it was not for the Mac AppStore. Also, great to see that it is being actively supported.

    Now, back to the topic. Have you considered having two versions on the App Store – a paid with the powerpack and a free version? I understand that it would create more work in maintaining two products as well as slow down the development cycle. But the exposure could be worth it, as well as avoiding any update concerns from people buying the powerpack.


    Great Job, Andrew.

    • +1 for this idea, I really enjoy the connivence of the Mac App Store. Everything is right there. This would be a good workaround right?

      • We will eventually offer Alfred in the App Store, whether as an in-app upgrade if Apple allows it, or as a standalone app. Worry not, we’re working on it.

        Currently, the best place to grab the Powerpack is directly from our website, giving you access to early sneak peeks at pre-releases and no wait for the Store’s approval process ;)

  8. While I understand your reasoning, I love Alfred but I won’t buy the upgraded version until it is available on the App Store. I use multiple Macs and the convenience of installing from the App Store is too much to give up for this type of app. I would buy a Alfred+ from the App Store that had syncing/PowerPack for GBP 30 if it was available.

    • Alfred will be in the App Store for 1.0 so keep an eye out on the blog, our tweets, etc and you’ll find out as soon as it’s available for you to buy in the MAS. It’s unlikely that we’ll provide a lifetime mega supporter license in the App Store, as we can only offer one licensing type, so if you’re looking to get the Mega Supporter license, I would recommend doing so via our website :)

  9. The Mac AppStore now supports In-App-Purchases, what is the timeline for power pack on the AppStore? I would prefer to purchase there as it is so much simpler to not deal with license keys.

  10. Believe it or not, it’s the “I don’t like diagrams, show me a better picture” and the kitten picture that got me to buy the power pack. :D I found it funny and even if I end up not using the power pack features, I want to support you and your app.

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