Can I buy an app on iPad and use it on Mac?

The Apple ecosystem has many advantages that go beyond synchronization between Apple devices and your productivity when we work with several of them. In addition, the App Store is the ideal complement to Apple’s native apps, but, Can I purchase an app on the Mac and use it on the iPad? In this post we are going to see it.

Situations where you can

As you already know, there are applications that you can enter in various Apple operating systems. Next we are going to see some conditions that have to be met for this to be possible.

  • Universal applications: Apple has a program called Universal Purchase, which allows developers to offer their apps on multiple Apple platforms, with a single purchase. If the app you want to use is compatible with this program, you can download it to both your iPad and Mac without having to pay twice. This possibility is win-to-winIn other words, the developer wins by offering an app to all its users and the user wins because with a single payment, they have it for their entire ecosystem.
  • Applications with support for macOS Catalyst: macOS Catalyst is a technology that allows iPad app developers to easily port their apps to work on Mac. This means that if an iPad app has been ported with macOS Catalyst, you can use it on your Mac without issue. Of course, not all applications are under this option, since there are specific applications for that operating system.

  • Subscription Based Apps: There are some apps that have the option to cross platform as long as you share the same Apple ID on both devices. However, you have to know in advance if you can work with it simultaneously or not.
  • Web or cloud-based applications: There are more and more applications that work in the cloud, such as Figma, that work completely in the cloud. In these cases, you can access the app, you can access the app from your iPad and Mac using a supported browser. You won’t have to worry about OS compatibility as the app runs in the browser and doesn’t require local installation.

macbook pro m2

Situations where compatibility does not exist

  • Exclusive apps for iPadOS or macOS: there are apps like Evernote that are only available for iPad, just like there are apps like Final Cut Pro for macOS. In this case, they are decisions made by the developers because they seek to optimize the application’s resources and offer the best possible experience.
  • Applications based on individual purchase: There are applications that, although they are available for various operating systems, have subscription plans for each operating system, because they have tools to improve the experience for macOS and iPadOS.

iPad working

Apps not supported by Universal Purchase or macOS Catalyst: If an app isn’t compatible with Universal Purchase or hasn’t been ported with macOS Catalyst, you probably won’t be able to use it on your Mac even if you bought it on your iPad. In this case, you would have to purchase a separate version of the app for each device.