Mac Apps Report 2022: Setapp App Purchase and Usage Survey

Setapp is not just a practical package of over 240 full versions of Mac apps that are available as a low-cost subscription. the Setappdepartment of the parent company MacPaw is also involved far beyond offering useful programs. That's how it was this year produced a podcast, and currently the Bundle promotion with 1Password and MasterClass. In addition there is Surveys on software use in SMEs and the Mac Apps Report – here is our contribution to the one from 2021. Now Setapp has the Mac Apps Report 2022 released. In the following I have summarized the main statements about app purchase and use.

Demographic key data of the survey

First of all, to classify the survey results: The online survey took place in the USA among Mac users aged 18 and over. The survey included 611 people of this age distribution: 22% were between 18 and 24 years old, 32% were between 25 and 34 years old, 26% were between 35 and 44 years old and 20% said they were over 45 years old to be. According to the respondents, 58% were female and 42% male. More interesting than this data, however, are the statements that can be made based on the survey about the use of apps on the Apple Mac.

Key takeaways from the 2022 Mac Apps Report

Here I have listed the most important statements that can be formed from the evaluation of the survey described. I find it interesting how the ones offered by Apple Apps cut off:

  • Compared to last year's survey, the average number of installed apps has increased from 31 to 37
  • However, the average number of apps used daily has only risen from 12 to 13
  • A total of 10 of the 13 apps used daily are pre-installed Apple offerings
  • In addition, the respondents spent around $139 a year on apps (this includes purchase prices for full licenses as well as in-app purchases for additional content and subscriptions)
  • When it comes to new apps, functionality and security are the most important selection criteria
  • The reputation of the respective developers or software companies does not play a major role when choosing an app
  • According to the survey, the most cited sources for information on new apps are the App Store and social media (but recommendations from social media are followed less frequently)
  • Even if the subscription model is finding its way into more and more apps, Mac users still prefer to purchase individual licenses

The most popular pre-installed apps on the Apple Mac

Before we talk about third-party apps, let's take a look at the survey results for the preinstalled apps on macOS. Here it was asked which of the programs are used on a daily basis. Of course, multiple entries were possible. More than half accepted the standard offers for Web browser, chat program, photo management and email client ticked:

  • Safari: 68%
  • News: 65%
  • Photos: 59%
  • Email: 57%
  • Calendar: 47%
  • FaceTime: 45%
  • Notes: 44%
  • Calculator: 43%
  • Music: 42%
  • App Store: 40%
  • Cards: 34%
  • Contacts: 27%
  • TV: 26%
  • Memories: 24%
  • Podcasting: 23%
  • Screenshot: 21%

The most important post-installed apps on the Mac

You can do a lot with the pre-installed apps from Apple, but you can't do everything with them. And especially when you need professional tools and/or communicate with people who don't use Apple apps, you need other software. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, etc.), Google Chrome, and Adobe Apps (Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro, etc.) called. Others included Spotify, Twitter, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Firefox. 

Purchased apps/content used for over a year

It was also asked which of the paid apps and content had been used for more than a year. The information included individual apps as well as subscriptions. The Apple Music subscription and the paid version of Spotify were mentioned by most people. After that came Apple tv+, Microsoft Office, Eagle and Amazon Prime Video. Adobe Creative Cloud, Gemini, One Switch, Adobe Photoshop, Downie, Permute, CleanMyMac and iCloud were also mentioned in a similar distribution.

Important factors when choosing apps

As mentioned above, the functions offered and the security of programs are the main factors when selecting offers to be newly installed. However, other selection criteria were also checked. The possibility of multiple selection (up to three options can be selected) resulted in the following distribution:

  • App features: 47%
  • Security (protection against malware, data theft, etc.): 45%
  • Price of the offer: 38%
  • User interface and experience: 37%
  • Privacy (handling of personal data): 35%
  • App design: 31%
  • Developer reputation: 17%
  • Other: 1%

Important factors when buying an app

After an app has been selected based on the above criteria, it has to prove itself and justify the purchase. Corresponding points were also asked about in this regard. Up to three of these could be selected for each person interviewed:

  • Benefit – The app does what it is supposed to: 48%
  • The price fits into your personal budget: 45%
  • Online ratings: 32%
  • Free demo version: 31%
  • Recommendation from friends or colleagues: 27%
  • Previous experience with similar apps: 24%
  • Discounts and sales promotions: 22%
  • Developer reputation: 19%

I find it interesting here that the reputation of the app developer is a bit more important when buying an app than when choosing an offer. If a purchase decision is made, a few people will definitely look again to see who the software actually comes from.

Important reasons against buying an app

Besides the decision for certain products there are of course also enough reasons to choose dagegen to decide. When it comes to application software for the Apple Mac, there is no exception. As part of the Setapp survey, up to three answers could again be selected from the following options:

  • The app is unlikely to be used regularly: 41%
  • There are free alternatives: 40%
  • The price does not fit into personal budget: 38%
  • There are negative online reviews: 31%
  • The app doesn't do what it's supposed to: 26%
  • Negative experiences with friends or colleagues: 19%
  • Bad developer reputation: 14%

These Mac models were used by the respondents

The usage environment of the specified apps can be deduced, among other things, by considering the systems on which they are used. Several answers were also given when asked about the Mac models used. This resulted in the following distribution:

  • MacBook Pro: 45%
  • Macbook Air: 34%
  • Mac Pro: 23%
  • iMac: 20%
  • Mac mini: 6%
  • Mac Studios: 6%

The justification for using an Apple computer is also interesting here. The security of the system, for example by reducing the risk of Virus– or other malware infection is not as important as one might think. When asked about the main reasons why an Apple Mac is used and not a computer from another manufacturer, the following answers were given (multiple answers possible):

  • I love the Apple brand: 56%
  • I like the macOS operating system: 50%
  • Macs are convenient and easy to use: 47%
  • My Mac syncs with my other Apple devices: 47%
  • Macs are better quality and more reliable: 47%
  • I love the design, the light weight: 43%
  • The risk of catching a virus is lower on Mac: 39%

More information and statements from the Mac Apps Report 2022

In addition to the information already mentioned, there are a few more statements that can be found in the Mac Apps Report 2022. So use e.g. For example, only 18% of respondents use their Mac primarily for work or education. 35% indicated primarily private use as an area of ​​use. 47% ticked the fifty-fifty division of use in the professional and private areas of Apple computers.

Native "Apple Silicon" support of apps (i.e. direct use of M1 and M2 chips) is considered very important by 55%, important by 35%, not very important by 7% and undecided by 4%. Nobody ticked “completely unimportant”. You can get more information in Blog entry on the topic by Setapp.

Which of the statements and decisions do you agree with? Where do you disagree? And what seems incomprehensible to you? Feel free to leave a comment with your statements about apps on the Apple Mac :)

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2 comments on “Mac Apps Report 2022: Setapp App Purchase and Usage Survey”

  1. Hmmm, doesn't sound bad. I installed some apps, including Commader One Pro, 1 Password, Bartender, ...
    1 password as a subscription, the others bought a few years ago.
    Many apps in the Setapp are available multiple times, at least in terms of functionality. Ok, so you can try and see which one you like better.
    maybe you can get away cheaper with Setapp, I won't use it anyway. But for many, this model is just right.

  2. Thanks for processing. I currently only use 3 subscriptions in the family: 1. Office because of 1 TB of storage and usable for 6 people. 2. Adobe Creative Cloud for Photoshop on the iPhone for the Instagram faction in the family. 3. Setapp now on 4 devices and by 3 people, because it works really well and I have a lot of apps that I didn't buy before, but now use regularly. Happy Holiday

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