No plugins in the Mac App Store version of Sketch?

First of all, congrats on getting Sketch back in the Mac App Store after almost 8 years of absence. As a developer I have mixed feelings about MAS, but most people do in fact prefer it to installing apps the old school way.

Now, what caught my attention is this little bit:

If you have downloaded Sketch from the Mac App Store, you won’t be able to install, enable or use plugins due to security restrictions.

I just wanted to clarify whether the lack of plugin support in the MAS version of the app is a temporary thing, Apple-enforced limitation, or a deliberate decision that we might see implemented in the non-MAS versions of Sketch soon?

I can also see that there’s no sketchtool binary in the app bundle downloaded from MAS. Would love to learn more about this one as well: is it intentional/temporary/etc?

Thank you!

1 Like

Hey! I just discovered that there’s an App Store version. I like getting as many apps as possible from App Store as possible.

I was just about to ask a question about differences between those two versions, but forum recommended me to look here to this thread instead. I’m deciding if I should delete my current Sketch app and get it from the App Store instead, but it seems like it would be worse experience?

So I guess my question is… are there any more differences between those two version, besides plugins not working? And is it worth it to use the App Store version at all, if the downloaded one exists?

Based on the recently updated support articles, some other things are missing from the Mac App Store version in addition to plugins:

  • Assistants.

    Although they were going to be sunset later this year anyways, so I guess they’re going to disappear from the regular version as well soon.

  • The ability to import Figma files.

    Although you may still download and use the standalone command-line converter tool for this purpose.

  • The legacy Mirror app for iOS is not compatible with the Mac App Store version of Sketch.

    Although, as with Assistants, this old Mirror app was already on track to being deprecated later this year anyways.

  • sketchtool binary is also missing from the MAS version. It’s a command-line tool that’s useful for automating various Sketch document-related workflows. Some external tools such as Zeplin or Abstract rely on this binary to analyze Sketch documents and generate previews.

I think an official announcement and/or a blog post from Sketch that will explain all the nuances and details about this new offering is imminent.


Hello Dmitry and Ondřej!

Thank you for your kind words. As you surely know, putting Sketch on the Mac App Store required some more effort than it could appear at first :smile:

As @rodionovd noticed, putting Sketch on the Mac App Store came with some compromises. We had to comply with Apple Store guidelines. For that reason, plugins had to be removed in its entirety due to these requirements. Basically, some APIs we use under the hood aren’t allowed, so please don’t expect to see them there in the foreseeable future, sorry.

Also, there are restrictions in the App Store when putting additional binaries within the package. For that reason, we had to remove sketchtool and the Figma importer.

To answer @OndrejTom question, another difference is that registering Sketch with an only-Mac License (the ones starting with SK3) is not possible. Also, there’s a Workspace linked to the Mac App Store account that will be created, so if you already have a workspace, I think the best course of action would be to keep using yours.

Right now, we’re working to ensure everything is working as expected until we push the release a bit more on the marketing side, but please ask any questions you might have!