Setapp is growing, and we’re hitting the next big milestone — going multi-platform. You can now install and activate mobile versions of some Setapp apps on your iPhone or iPad — right from Setapp!
In this article, you'll find the answers to the most popular questions about iOS apps in Setapp.
What’s new about Setapp for iOS? Some mobile apps were available before, what has changed?
Setapp has made working with iOS apps much clearer & easier for both members and app developers.
You can finally see available iOS companion apps in the Setapp desktop app. Install & activate iOS apps easily right from Setapp
App developers can now distribute iOS apps via Setapp and earn money for that — just like they do for their Mac apps. Previously, our partners provided access to iOS apps on a free basis only, which limited their resources for further development. Hopefully, the new distribution model encourages the developers to reinvest their profits and make iOS apps even better.
Important note: you’ll need an unoccupied device slot in your account for every iPhone or iPad you’ll be using iOS apps on. If you don’t have one yet, add an extra device subscription. Learn more here.
Setapp uses QR codes to activate iOS apps. Is that acceptable for the App Store?
We hope so. Setapp has spent several years on consultations and validation of different approaches, and finally came to a solution that would satisfy all parties involved. To know more about the technical details of this solution, see this blog post: “Setapp for iOS: App Store Guidelines compliance.”
Which devices and iOS versions are supported?
Setapp supports apps for iPhones and iPads; for brevity, let’s call them “iOS devices.” We don’t currently have the watchOS and tvOS apps available in our library.
iOS versions. Every iOS app in Setapp has its own minimum requirements:
- 2Do: 10.3+
- Gemini: 12.0+
- MindNode: 12.2+
- Paste: 13.0+
- PDF Search: 11.0+
- SQLPro Studio: 10.3+
- Taskheat: 13.4+
- Ulysses: 12.2+
We recommend updating your device to the latest available version of iOS.
How do I know which apps in Setapp have mobile versions?
Open Setapp and click "Available on iOS" in the sidebar. You'll see all apps that have iOS companions; click any app to open its page.
You can also navigate through the entire app collection (here are some hints on discovering apps). A small icon in the lower-left corner of an app icon shows that this application has an iOS companion.
What do I need to start using iOS apps in Setapp?
- Active subscription to Setapp.
- Unoccupied (available) device slot in your Setapp account for every iPhone or iPad on which you’d like to use iOS apps.
An active subscription is any subscription plan you've successfully paid for; it also includes accounts on a free trial and a grace period. When your subscription gets suspended or canceled, it's no longer active. Check out the Subscription page of your account to know your membership status.
The number of available devices that you have is displayed in your online account ("My devices" page).
- If you see "New device" (like on the image above), then you do have an available device and can start using mobile apps right away.
- If you're using Setapp on 2 or more Macs and want to free up a seat for an iOS device, click "Disconnect device" — or sign out from your Setapp account on a Mac that you want to disconnect.
If you only see a single Mac that is already connected to Setapp, and no other devices, you can purchase one by clicking “Buy an extra seat.”
For more details, see our article on managing devices.
QR code scanning works with the Camera app from iOS 11 onward. If you have an earlier iOS version, you'll need to install a QR code reader app from the App Store.
For members of the Family plan, mobile apps are not available yet. We're working hard on improving the terms of the Family subscription and hope to introduce updates soon. For now, if some members of your Setapp Family want to use mobile apps in Setapp, consider switching these people to individual subscriptions, so that they could manage devices in their accounts and work with iOS apps. See "Change a subscription plan" for instructions.
Install and activate iOS apps with Setapp
- Open Setapp, select an app, and click it to open the app's page.
- Click "iOS app" (next to the Install button).
- Scan the QR code using the Camera app on your iOS device, then install the app from the App Store.
If you already have an app installed, update it to the latest version.
If there's no QR code in the dialog, you might have no available device slots or all of them might be occupied. Click either Add Device or Manage Devices, then follow the instructions on the screen. Once ready, proceed with installing the mobile app.
- After installing the iOS app, click Done in Setapp on your Mac (or drag the slider to "2. Unlock full version"). Then, scan the second QR code.
- On your iOS device, a QR code notification appears on top of the screen. Tap it, then tap Open to start the app.
That's it! The app is now fully-functional mode and there's nothing more you need to do but enjoy the app.
How do I know an iOS app has been activated successfully?
Right after you activate an iOS app on your device, you’ll see a notification from Setapp on your Mac, like this:
If you miss it, you can always see it later, just open Setapp and click your profile picture in the upper-right corner. Alternatively, check out the notification center on your Mac; Setapp’s messages are also displayed there.
Some iOS apps might show a message after you activate them using Setapp. Note that the activated app should not prompt you to purchase a full or Pro version. If it does, try scanning the 2nd QR code in Setapp again to activate the app. If this doesn't help, let us know.
I’ve activated an iOS app with Setapp, but it prompts to purchase a full or Pro version. What do I do?
Try activating the app again by scanning the 2nd QR code. If the problem persists, kindly contact our Support Team.
Before Setapp version 2.7, released on August 6, 2020, members could activate some iOS apps without scanning QR codes, just by using the same iCloud account on an iOS device and a Mac with Setapp. These apps are:
Such apps, installed before August 2020, might require activation again because of the new iOS system in Setapp. To do so, follow the same steps as when installing & activating an iOS app.
Please note these important aspects:
- You’ll need an available device in your Setapp account — even though it wasn’t required when you installed the app for the first time. And, of course, an active Setapp subscription is a must. For more details, see this section.
- After scanning the first QR code, you'll find that the iOS has already been installed on your iOS device but needs to be updated. Please update the app.