Curio Traditional Licenses

Frequently Asked Questions (Still have questions?)

What are the pros and cons of a Curio traditional license purchased from the Zengobi website compared to a Curio subscription purchased from the Mac App Store?

A traditional license or a subscription may make more sense to you, depending on your specific needs, so we're happy to be able to offer you a choice.

Traditional License Pros:
  • With a traditional license there's no subscription that expires, leaving you with a read-only app. Your Curio app version keeps running, barring any incompatibilities due to future macOS releases, of course.
  • Traditional licenses are generally more cost effective as you can purchase upgrades when you need to, instead of having to commit to a subscription.
  • Curio downloaded from our website is not subject to the same restrictions imposed by the Mac App Store review process and sandboxing which can limit certain functionality.
  • We're able to offer academic and volume discounts in many cases.
  • You can begin a 2 week trial without having to first purchase a monthly or yearly subscription.
Traditional License Cons:
  • Traditional licenses have a higher initial cost, compared to a subscription's low-cost monthly and annual plans.
  • Purchasing via our website isn't quite as easy as the Mac App Store if you need to enter in credit card details. However, Paddle, our payment processor, does offer Apple Pay and PayPal payment methods.
  • After your initial period of free updates, you will no longer receive any new features, fixes, or macOS compatibility updates util you decide to purchase an upgrade to extend your license.
  • Installing requires you to manually download the zipped app and drag it into your Applications folder.
  • Dealing with a license key is less convenient that Apple's automatic receipt system.
  • App updates are handled by Curio itself instead of automatically by the macOS Mac App Store background process.

We invite you to read our Curio Subscriptions FAQ if you'd like to learn more about subscriptions.

How does the 2 week trial work?

Curio initially launches as a 2-week, fully functioning trial with all features enabled (aka the Professional edition). On the very first launch, the bundled Welcome to Curio project will automatically open with a guided tour and sample gallery showing off Curio's amazing features.

When the trial period expires, Curio will then go into a read-only mode which only allows you to view, export, and print your existing projects. You cannot create new projects or modify existing projects.

At any time before or after the trial expires, you can purchase a license key from our online store to activate your installation.

How do I purchase a Curio traditional license?

Curio traditional licenses are only available from the Zengobi website.

If purchasing an upgrade then you can enter your current license key and registered email to see the discounted upgrade pricing.

Curio traditional license keys can only be used by the Curio app downloaded from our website. Curio from the Mac App Store cannot use license keys, it only works with Apple subscriptions.

If you haven't already downloaded Curio then you can click on the the download link on the website. Once downloaded, drag the Curio application from your browser's Downloads folder to your Mac's Applications folder to install. Optionally, to create a shortcut on your Dock, drag Curio from your Applications folder to the Dock to create the shortcut.

What are the volume discounts?

While Curio’s license agreement allows an individual to use a single license key on multiple machines, such as a home and work Mac, if you have multiple users that want to use Curio, then a discounted multi-user license should be purchased. These discounts are automatically applied during checkout.

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How does activation work?

When you enter a license key into Curio's License dialog (via the Curio > License menu item), or click the instant activation link on the purchase page, Curio activates your installation by confirming your license with Zengobi's server and retrieves the properties associated with your license such as edition (e.g. Pro vs Standard) and free updates end date. It will also send you an email letting you know that a new installation was activated with this license.

On every launch, in the background, Curio tries to check in again with the Zengobi server to see if new updates to Curio are available or if your license has been updated, perhaps giving you access to a different edition of Curio or extending your date for free updates if you've recently purchased an upgrade. If it can't reach the server, it simply uses the results from the last successful query.

How does the year of free updates work?

Starting with Curio 15, we've shifted from massive major releases that come out every 12-18 months to smaller, more frequent major releases appearing approximately every 1-3 months. With the free year of updates we are able to constantly release new major features.

Why did Zengobi make this change to support a year of free updates beginning with Curio 15?

Curio 14's release was remarkable in many ways:

  • It was one of our largest, most featured-packed major releases.
  • It had to work with macOS 10 Mojave, for those that didn't want to lose their 32-bit apps.
  • It had to work with macOS 10 Catalina, which had a number of bugs and deprecations we had to work around.
  • It had to work with macOS 11 Big Sur, and support several new features, which was released later in the year than usual.
  • It had to work with Apple's new M1 silicon chip architecture as a universal binary build.
  • All of this during a global pandemic.

After that thoroughly exhausting protracted release period to solidify Curio 14, we realized our normal timelines had been pushed out substantially. So instead of targeting a delayed, late-2021 Curio 15 massive release, we decided now was the perfect time to shift to a new approach we've long been considering:

  • Instead of releasing huge major releases every 12 to 18 months, we'll shift to a constant release cycle.
  • This means major releases containing major features appearing much more frequently, like every 1 to 3 months.
  • These releases will be much more stable because they aren't packed with dozens of big features and thousands of changes.
  • Moving to a year of free updates makes this continuous stream of major and minor releases possible.
  • No more grace period anxiety where you worry about purchasing a few weeks before a major release.
  • Customers can more easily try out new features as they appear, instead of being deluged with a flood of features.
  • This opens up a tighter feedback loop so that suggested improvements can appear more quickly in subsequent releases.
  • This also allows us to react to market trends and competitors much more easily and rapidly.
  • And, to be honest, it'll be great releasing major features as they're finished, instead of waiting until a massive release that could be many months away. It was frustrating have a big feature working in-house knowing it would be so useful to our customers if only it could be released.

Curio 15 is our first jump into this new release schedule! It has a number of requested major features, but not nearly as many as previous major releases. Subsequent major releases will follow shortly thereafter (Curio's 16, 17, 18, etc) containing more major features and functionality... a constant stream of major feature releases!

We're not the first software company to go down this path. Other companies that follow this constant release cycle include Sketch and Panic Nova that also use this technique with their traditional licenses.

What happens when the year of free updates ends?
At the end of this period, your Curio app continues working normally — it does not expire or deactivate — however, you will no longer receive app updates.
Is this a subscription?

No, this is not a subscription!

When your year of free updates ends your Curio app continues to work normally... you just don't get any more free updates.

In contrast, a Curio subscription purchased from the Mac App Store requires an active monthly or yearly subscription to remain active. If the subscription is not renewed then Curio goes into a read-only mode. There are pros and cons of subscriptions which you can learn more about in our Curio Subscriptions FAQ.

What happens if there's an emergency update that appears right after my free updates end?

Say you purchased Curio 23 and your year of free updates gets you just through Curio 27. But, the very next day, Curio 27.1 comes out with an emergency fix. Are you able to get it?

Yes, if that hopefully very rare situation happens you have access to any ".x" minor releases that appear for a major release, even after your free updates end date.

What happens after I decide to purchase the upgrade?

If you decide to purchase an upgrade you will visit the Zengobi store at our website once again and purchase a discounted upgrade.

After purchasing the upgrade, assuming you're already Curio 15 or later, your Curio app will notice your existing license has been extended and automatically update itself to the latest release. There's no need to download or install anything or type in a new license key!

What's new in the License dialog?

The License dialog (via the Curio > License menu):

  • Shows your current trial state (if in a trial),
  • Allows you to enter or paste a purchased license key to activate your installation,
  • Shows your current license details.

After entering your license key, Curio's features and functionality may change as appropriate for the entered key. For example if you purchase a Curio Standard license then Professional features will be removed from the interface. Likewise, entering a Curio Core license will remove Standard and Professional functionality. As a note, you can always purchase a crossgrade license if you wish to upgrade your Curio edition.

If a licensed installation, the License dialog shows your current license details including the last date for free updates and the number of installations using your license (plus the ability to deactivate those installations and retrieve an updated license if something seems amiss).

The License dialog will let you know if your license allows you to freely update to a newer version of Curio on your current macOS or even on a newer macOS.

And, if you're beyond your free updates end date, it will report what Curio versions are available, both on your current macOS and on a more recent macOS, if you were to purchase an upgrade to extend your license.

What is Curio’s license agreement?
Curio purchased from the Zengobi website is covered by this License Agreement.
What is the Zengobi’s privacy policy?
Our Privacy Policy details what personal information we collect, why we collect it, and how we use it.