Curio Traditional Licenses

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for our Curio Subscriptions FAQ
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 an app with limited functionality. 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.
  • Since we handle the app update process you can have optional access to early previews of upcoming major releases.
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 (which is one year, for Curio 15 and above), 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.

If you still have questions please contact support.

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.

Once the trial expires, if you decide not to purchase a license, you can continue to use Curio with the Standard feature set to explore the bundled Welcome to Curio project and to create and edit your own projects each with up to 5 idea spaces. Larger projects are opened read-only for viewing, exporting, and printing.

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.

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.

At the end of this year of free updates your Curio app continues working normally — it does not expire or deactivate! — however, you will no longer receive app updates.

Whenever you wish, you can purchase a discounted upgrade license from the Zengobi website to extend your license with another year of free updates. The next time you launch Curio it will automatically notice the license extension and update itself to the latest release and resume another year of free updates. There's no need to download or install anything or type in a new license key!

Why did Zengobi make this change to support a year of free updates?

This is a change 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.
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 from the Mac App Store goes into a limited functionality mode. There are pros and cons of subscriptions which you can learn more about in our Curio Subscriptions FAQ.

My 12 months of free updates has ended, how to I get the latest release and another 12 months of updates?

Just to make sure this is clear: you don't have to purchase an upgrade. You're welcome to stay at your current major release as long as you'd like.

But when you are ready to move up simply purchase an upgrade on the Zengobi website.

Once you make your purchase, your license will be updated so you receive another 12 months of free updates from your date of purchase.

The next time you launch Curio it will automatically notice the license extension and update itself to the latest release and resume another year of free updates. There's no need to download or install anything or type in a new license key!

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's in the Curio 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. 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 if I lost my license key or need to re-download Curio?
Simply fill out this form with your email address and we'll send you your current license key information and the download link to the appropriate version of Curio.
What happened to Curio Core?

Curio Core was our least expensive edition of Curio with a greatly simplified feature set. It was originally conceived of as an intro to Curio for customers that didn't need many bells and whistles. However, in the end it sustained a very low and ever-decreasing percentage of overall sales, perhaps due to free or very low-cost competitors that have appeared on the market.

It was discontinued at the end of 2022 which allows us to simplify our offerings, code, and documentation.

Existing Curio Core customers will continue to receive updates and new features during their year of free updates. After that time customers can elect to upgrade to Curio Standard or Pro with special discounted upgrade pricing.

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.