I'd Rather Pay A Subscription

Jared Sinclair:

Considering the enormous amount of effort I have put into these apps over the past year, that’s a depressing figure. I try not to think about the salary I could earn if I worked for another company, with my skills and qualifications. It’s also a solid piece of evidence that shows that paid-up-front app sales are not a sustainable way to make money on the App Store.

There are a few iOS apps that are essential to my day to day computing happiness: Overcast, Reeder, Omnifocus, Evernote, Tweetbot, Byword, Pocket, Fantastical, and 1Password. Outside of Evernote and Omnifocus, all of these apps cost less than $10. In fact, I am pretty sure you could buy all of them for less than $30 total. Evernote is free with an optional subscription. Omnifocus is a (whopping) $20. I am happy to pay an Evernote subscription to enable additional features and to help the service survive. When Tweetbot 3 came out, I happily paid the minimal price of the new app. I use these apps daily and want them to continue development. Innovation and continued development cost money. If 1Password released a new paid version of their iOS app today, I'd upgrade immediately. It's an app that saves me time and manages something important to me.

I say all this to make the point that I'd gladly pay an addtional small subscription fee on top of the purchase price (or instead of) for the apps I use daily. I hope many developers use iOS 8 as a time to release a new paid version of their app. I'd like to see many developers release new paid editions on a schedule. I think 18 months from time of release seems like a fair upgrade cycle. We've got to make iOS app development sustainable for the big companies and the small companies.