For Mac OS X users, there’s no better way to purchase software than through the Mac App Store. It’s easy to find, easy to download and install, easy to update, and you don’t have to worry about saving all of your software licenses. It’s best feature, however, is that a single purchase license from the Mac App Store permits you to install your software onto as many of your own Macs as you wish.
That means you can purchase an app on your MacBook Pro, and install it on your iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro at no extra cost. (Though no one should have that many Macs for personal use.) That also means, of course, that if you’ve purchased one of Apple’s latest Macs — which no longer ship with physical media — you get iLife ’11 for all of your machines for free.
When you first set up your new Mac, you are prompted for your Apple ID and password — this activates your iLife ’11 license and allows you to install the latest releases of iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. If you then login to the Mac App Store any of your other Macs, you’ll find those applications under the ‘Purchased’ tab, and you’ll be able to install them completely free, as noted by 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.
Of course, you may notice there are two applications missing from Apple’s digital iLife ’11 suite, that are included when you buy the boxed retail version; that’s iWeb and iDVD. However, there’s a good reason for this: Apple has announced that iWeb will soon be extinct; and if you’ve purchased a new Mac with no physical media, you won’t have a SuperDrive to burn your DVDs anyway.
If you find you just can’t live without these two applications, however, iLife ’11 is still available from Apple’s online store for $50.