The agony and the ecstasy of the modern app market

So there’s this app (iOS and, when I get another Mac, Mac OS) I use. I like it a lot.

The makers of this app released a really nice upgrade. Really nice. Really, really nice. It’s even a “free” upgrade.

Yes, “free”, not free.

See what they did was, they built a whole new dingus on top of the already good dingus, and switched it to a subscription model. This subscription model exceeds the cost of the initial app by quite a bit. I think the original app was less than $15 and now a year is $40.

TO BE EXTREMELY FUCKING CLEAR

I do not have a problem paying for software. I do not believe software should be free or at most $0.99. I will pay for software I like or want to use. That’s how it works. I don’t pirate things, I’m a grownup with a job.

But what gets me, is that in building the free tier, they moved one feature out of the old featureset and into the subscription tier. One (1) thing I used in this app, and 60+ things I will likely never use, for $40/year.

Goddamn it.

This is an edge case in the subscription model, I’m sure, but for me it’s a pain point. All the new features address what are obvious and very good use cases. They were smart, right, and good to add these features, they’re clearly what other people’s similar apps have and what Apple isn’t ever going to add to any of theirs. So, yay.

This edge case frankly sucks. It sucks because I’m sure if I opened a dialog with the devs, they’d probably wince, too. The obvious calculus is more than 80% of their users want/need those extra features, so win. Some of the remaining 20% will buy in for a few of them. And some small number will get fucked by it.

Well I’m in the small group. Huzzah.

I’m a grownup who pays for software but man sometimes it pisses me off.

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