AMITIAE - Friday 12 July 2013
Purchased Software not Recognised by the Mac App Store: Apple Support Suggests I buy it Again
By Graham K. Rogers
My immediate reaction on seeing an available update was to download it, but I had a less than pleasant surprise when an App Store dialogue told me that, I could not update the software as I had not owned the major version of the software.
It has been something of an annoyance that, ever since the appearance of the Mac App Store there appear to be loose ends: some software shows as installed, while some indicates it is not.
As far as I am aware, no one has ever announced that these legitimate purchases were to be left out in the cold, although updates when they arrive are available via Apple's download pages; but you have to know they have been released as Software Update opens Mac App Store and nothing is shown as available.
This new notification, albeit spurious, touched a nerve here and I decided to find out if there was a way the earlier purchase could be recognised in my Mac App Store app. In short, No.
Having bought them already, I thought this was impertinent. I replied with a screen shot of the panel, pointing out that (with Aperture for example) I have receipts going back to Version 1. I also pointed out the way Software Update works here and asked that the query be sent to a supervisor.
Not quite, as the versions of Aperture, iWork and iLife I have are all the current versions, albeit bought "via means other than the Mac App Store": through Apple's own online purchasing systems or (in the case of iLife) the iStudio in Siam Discovery. The box is in my office. I have all the receipts.
For all the users in the same position, with Aperture, iWork and with purchase copies of the last iLife update, there is nothing apparently that can be done. Certain updates do appear on the Apple downloads pages, but if there were a disaster, such as a hard disk crash and the user needed to reinstall, there are limits.
Some may have the DVD, but many users took advantage of Apple's early offers of downloading, purchase and registration online, before the Mac App Store existed. The downloaded software can no longer be retrieved from Apple, even if one has the receipts. And unless the user has a full backup, the only alternative would be to buy the software again. There seems to be a certain level of unfairness here: buy early and draw the short straw.
When any of these releases are made available, I will be one of the first to click and purchase, but I am not going to pay twice for the same, current applications.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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