The Mac App Store has made it dead-simple to reinstall applications after catastrophe strikes, and it’s even made it simple to move your purchases from one machine to another. Leading up to the App Store, it was generally expected that consumers would have to purchase a software license for every single computer they wished to install an application on, unless otherwise stated.
Apple’s been pretty great about leaving their software DRM free over the years, without the need for serial keys and other inconvenient software locks that are more of a problem for the technologically challenged than the savvy user, but even Apple advocated purchasing multiple licenses for multiple computers. Previously Apple would sell family packs of their applications, including operating systems, that were slightly discounted to provide users with incentive to purchase multiple licenses.
That all changed with the Mac App Store, and now users can download applications onto multiple personal computers without fear of breaking the End User License Agreement. If you own two computers, or three, you can now download your purchases to all three machines without a hitch, so long as they all use the same Apple ID.
The new philosophy has also been applied to iLife, and the new Macs purchased recently. If you buy a new Mac, iLife comes pre-installed, ‘same as it ever was,’ but now you can install iLife on all of your Macs according to Macworld:
The iLife license you get when you set up one of the latest Macs is no different. Which means that if you haven’t yet gotten around to upgrading to iLife ’11, buying a new Mac mini or MacBook Air essentially gets you iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand for all your Macs running OS X 10.6.6 or later (since you need at least that version of Snow Leopard to run the Mac App Store). And this isn’t sneaky or dishonest—it’s right there in the Mac App Store’s software license.
You’ll be able to find the software for download directly in the Mac App Store once you sign in with your Apple ID.
Pretty awesome move on Apple’s part.