PopDo is Sold Through Paddle Now
I have been thinking about adding a second sales channel for PopDo for a while, just in case Apple decides it’s no longer fit for the App Store. It is not only about that safety net, but also about pricing freedom (there are no tiers), fees are much lower, knowing who your customers are, faster updates, etc. I chose Paddle mainly because everyone else is already using it and at first glance their integration is easy and I like their dashboard and product price settings.
I heard some people had problems with Paddle’s SDK, so I do not use it. I went with a custom solution instead, using license files in place of license keys. Paddle’s web hooks are very good for handling all of that in your own server, but their email template is not configurable. I expected I would be able to attach a file with the license to the email Paddle sends the customer after the purchase, but it’s impossible.
The license file is already base64-encoded, so it could be added to that email in the little box where the license key goes. But there’s an issue: a license key is short, usually no more than 20 characters or so, while a license file contains an encoded and digitally signed license, which is around 500 characters long. That little license key box does not wrap its content around and so when you receive Paddle’s email your license is too long to fit and you have to scroll to the end to select and copy it. Also there’s a bigger issue: if you double-click the license code to select it, it may not select all of it. Base64 encoding adds padding using “=“. You will have to triple-click to select the additional padding too!
Luckily Paddle allows us to insert a limited form of Markdown in place of the license key, which also includes URL links. So I embed a link to a script in my server that downloads the license file to your Mac. You can then drag & drop it into the License Activation window to activate the app.
I also send the customer an email with the license file attached after purchasing, just in case something goes wrong with Paddle’s email.
Not a Lot of Work After All
The entire process of adapting PopDo to be sold outside the Mac App Store, including the integration of Sparkle for updating it, didn’t take long and it was worth it. I plan to update FreelanceStation to make it available outside the App Store soon.