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With the impending release of Lion, I'm wondering whether there is a way to download an app from the Mac AppStore only once, but use the downloaded installer or binary on more than one machine.

This is especially important for Lion, as I understand that will be a 4GB download. I have two Snow Leopard machines to upgrade, and considering the draconian data caps we have down here in New Zealand, I'm trying to avoid having to perform 8GB of downloads in order to upgrade them both.

Is this possible, or is it a limitation of the architecture that a shared app has to be downloaded via the AppStore on both machines?

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Don't worry about downloading Lion itself; Apple's got you covered. – Nathan Greenstein Jun 23 '11 at 22:11
We don't have Apple Stores here in New Zealand, so while that looks like a great initiative by Apple, it's not much use to me. – Cleggy Jun 24 '11 at 0:00
I don't know how it will work with the Lion upgrade, but right now, you don't have to download apps on every machine you want to install them on. You may or may not be asked for your Apple ID when you try to install your already-downloaded app onto another machine, but as I understand it, that is somewhat up to the app author -- I've installed iPhoto '11 on all my Macs this way without being asked for my password. – scottishwildcat Jun 25 '11 at 20:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically, the press says it will be possible and supported for businesses and schools, but you may need to pay for volume licenses. It's just not yet clear if this will be economical or feasible for individual consumers.

In general, you will have to download each purchase once for each mac. Updates will come up as small delta packages to reduce the load on you as well as Apple. Lion itself seems to be getting extra handling as a special case.

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That looks interesting, but not if we'll be pinged the NZD $39 for each copy of Lion. If that is the case, I'll have to take the (large) hit on my download allowance, and upgrade each machine separately from the AppStore. I get charged NZD $2 per GB once my data cap has been exceeded, so that will be the cheaper option. – Cleggy Jun 24 '11 at 0:30
The Apple retail stores are inviting customers in since there's always free WiFi. Perhaps a local NZ store might offer the same, but that can be awkward with a desktop and a longer drive. Sadly, your internet might make the cost of Lion higher than just the purchase price. – bmike Jun 24 '11 at 14:08

Although it's a little early to tell (things may change until the final release, but it's unlikely) you should be able to download the Installer-App just once and use it to create a bootable DVD for other Macs.

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When you purchase a game or any other product from the Mac App Store, you can download it to several computers. Just log in using the same Apple I.D on the other computers and there is the option to re-download, so I suppose it will be the same for Lion 10.7 when it comes out. Lion Developer Preview

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I know that. But in the case of Lion thats 4GB x 2, and because I have a data cap I'm looking to minimize the amount I have to download. – Cleggy Jun 24 '11 at 22:57
And in the general case, you don't have to download App Store purchases on every computer you want to install them on anyway. You can just download them once and copy them across. See the "Use applications multiple Macs" topic of the App Store help for details. – scottishwildcat Jun 25 '11 at 20:04

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