Unfortunately, the App Store economy has never been built to accommodate this sort of experimentation. You download an app, you use it once, and you just wasted three bucks. It’s a better state of affairs than we had in the shrink-wrap era—when you had to get in your car, hit the Best Buy, plunk down $100, get home, and go through a long install process before you realized you grabbed the wrong app and have to head back to the store—but it’s still pretty annoying.
But a recent player in the Mac world suggests a future path for apps that could reinvent the software space in an important way. Setapp, a platform launched earlier this year by the developer MacPaw, is a Netflix-style refresh of the App Store model that Apple might even want to take a look at. For $9.99 per month, users can download an unlimited number of Mac apps from a selection of around 80.