The In-App Purchase Thread (Observations and whining)

I’ve had some back and forth about this with Ken on the twitter machine but wanted to open a discussion here on some of the nuances of iOS and in-app purchases and how some developers use them and how OmniGroup uses them.

Up until somewhat recently my household used the same AppleID across all devices. Before Family Sharing I didn’t have a choice, but at launch Family Sharing was too annoying and weird at the time and there were other dependancies involved. But I’ve been starting to push my household back onto their own accounts and leverage family sharing.

So far I’m the only person that is using my own Apple ID for my App Store/iBooks/Etc.

┌────ipad───┐ ┌─────ipad──┐ ┌──────ipad─┐
│           │ │household  │ │household  │
│my   ┌─iP─┐│ │ ID ┌─iP─┐ │ │ ID  ┌─iP─┐│
│ ID  │my  ││ │    │hh  │ │ │     │hh  ││
│     │ ID ││ │    │ ID │ │ │     │ ID ││
│     │    ││ │    │    │ │ │     │    ││
│     └────┘│ │    └────┘ │ │     └────┘│
└───────────┘ └───────────┘ └───────────┘

So I originally bought every version of OmniFocus on the household account. iPad, iPhone, and then iOS. I bought OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle and then the pro upgrade for OmniGraffle but I used the household account for that.

Fast forward to a time when I start using my own ID and rely on Family Sharing and I install Omnistuff from the household account via family sharing, but now I don’t know what to do because nobody else in my house has any interest in OmniGraffle and certainly doesn’t need OmniGraffle Pro but I can’t restore the purchase because I didn’t buy it with my personal ID.

I don’t know how long of a ‘cooldown’ is triggered by me switching my app store account to the household account and then restoring the purchase that way. It was my understanding that I can’t switch back to my own account afterwards for a period of time that is non-trivial (like two weeks or something?)

The discussion on twitter didn’t go very far but I did discover that some of my iOS apps that have in-app purchases are bound to the store account and that I could apparently restore an in-app purchase from a different ID. The recent example I used was DEVONthink to Go — I acquired the app originally on household account and that’s how I install it on my iPhone and iPad, via Family Sharing. HOWEVER: if I do the “pro upgrade” in the mobile app I can purchase it with my personal ID which is expected, but I noticed that if I hit “restore” it will prompt me for the password of my household account! If I bail out of that and then hit “purchase” instead of “restore”, it asks me to authenticate and then gives a message that I already paid for it and can activate it for free etc.

So I don’t know if that is expected behavior or what on the part of DEVONthink To Go, or if it’s a bug, or if OmniGroup doesn’t care to implement such a thing (I admit that I must be an edge case here) but I’m already pretty sure I won’t be buying a Pro upgrade to OmniGraffle or even OmniGraffle at all when it gets a new major version just because I’m annoyed by this whole process.

So does anyone know of a workaround for this situation, or if DEVONthink to Go is doing something incorrect or broken? Is there a way to circumvent the cooldown or archive the upgraded version to my Mac and package it for installation on my personal ID’ed devices? My 4 year old couldn’t care less about OmniGraffle but her iPad is the place I have to go to when I want to use it away from home. :P

(PS if you haven’t used DEVONthink to Go in a long time the new version doesn’t suck and it totally makes up for how bad it was for several years.)

I think this has nothing to do with Omni. The in-app purchases are tied to the App Store account which was used to buy them and cannot be transferred to another account. That’s the App Store policy.

There is no “cooldown”, I used to juggle with two App Store accounts all the time (and they’re not even in the same country!).

No need to do that. Just log in on your personal device using your household App Store account, install the app, restore the in-app purchase, log out, done.

I knew that IAP are handled by Apple and that Omni doesn’t have anything to do with it, which is why I was surprised that it was implemented differently by another vendor, so I was just raising the issue in case it could be done an easier way, which may be moot if you’re correct that there is no app store cooldown. Maybe I was thinking about the joining a family share cooldown or something? It’s something I was avoiding for so long that now my reasons aren’t valid (which is why I’m just now getting around to this.)

I’ll try the IAP via ID swap and see how it goes.

It occurs to me that this may screw up my iBooks collections and stuff though since IIRC those are still bound to the Store account (because you would only ever read books purchased in iBooks from your ID rite #headdesk)