GoodNotes is one of the most popular note-taking application for the iPad. Thanks to its incredible set of features and accessible design, the app tops the chart for iPad note-taking apps. A few months back, GoodNotes released GoodNotes 5 for Mac. The app is based on Apple’s project Catalyst framework that allows developers to use the same code-base for iPadOS and macOS apps.

And while the developers wanted to make the app free for Mac, they could not do so, as Apple did not provide a universal purchase option. That changed when Apple launched universal purchase options a few weeks back. And on the heels of Apple’s announcement, GoodNotes 5 has switched to universal purchase mode. What this means is if you have purchased the iOS or iPadOS version of GoodNotes 5, now you can download the Mac version for free.

Note that GoodNotes 5 developers had to launch a new app to make this work as Apple doesn’t allow the merger of apps on the App Store. Here’s the full post published on GoodNote’s website:

Installing GoodNotes 5 for free on Mac

Apple added macOS to the available platforms that support universal app purchases in March 2020. GoodNotes 5 makes use of this option and offers the app as a single purchase across all iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices.
That means, if you already bought GoodNotes on one of your devices, you can install it for free on any other device where you're logged into the same Apple ID.
Important: The App Store will sometimes still show the price of the Mac version and you will need to confirm that you want to download. After confirming, you will see a message that the download is free because you already bought the app
Q: Why you need to download the Mac version again even if you already downloaded it before
A: Unfortunately, it is not possible to merge existing App Store records together. To offer the universal purchase, we had to create a new Mac version and integrate it with the version for iOS and iPadOS.
The macOS version that we released in October 2019 is a separate app with an individual App Store record and we will remove it from sale to avoid confusions. You can continue using it but we highly recommend downloading the new App Store record of the mac app for free, if you already bought the iOS/iPadOS version. The old App Store record of GoodNotes for Mac won't receive any more updates or bug fixes.
Q: I just recently paid for GoodNotes on Mac, what should I do now?
If you recently purchased the Mac version of GoodNotes, you can check if you're eligible for a refund. Please note that all refunds on the App Store are handled by Apple and not by the developer of the application. If the refund page states that you need to contact the developer instead, you are probably not eligible for a refund anymore. We recommend to either try a different reason or contact Apple's support on the phone to explain the situation in more detail.

This is good news for GoodNotes customers as now they won’t have to buy the app separately. That being said, people who just bought the Mac version of GoodNotes 5 will suffer as they won’t get any updates in the future and they will have to buy the universal app again if they want to keep receiving the update.