See the entire conversation

Ok so you know me, I like to keep it light and I don't really do the HaSHtAG hawt takes on social - but talking to a journalist this morning about the App Store and our apps being available by default on Apple Silicon macs: I have a huge problem with this. Am I the only one?
30 replies and sub-replies as of Jul 10 2020

Hard to paraphrase on Twitter but basically - to me it feels like we're actively being encouraged to adopt universal pricing and bundling and I feel fairly strongly that this is a bad way to go for a lot of apps (not all!).
And then, seeing my app just appearing on mac for "free" doesn't help that situation. Yes, I know it's not optimized and yes I know it's the iOS version - but my gut feeling tells me consumers are going to expect this. Even for a small op like Spend Stack (cont.)
I've had probably 20+ emails asking if the mac version will *free*! What, no - of course it won't be free! Why should it? I don't use subscriptions, I don't have IAP? And these are super nice folks asking this too, which tells me that we've taught them to think this way already.
Anyways, the day they announced the availability of our iOS apps on Apple Silicon I disabled it in ASC. Reading @gruber's excellent piece on software quality last night also rekindled this feeling. I want to make great software that people pay for, & that's getting harder to do.
IMO If your app is paid upfront, this is always going to be a problem for’re doing all this work maintaining a one-time $4 app for free. IAP allows you to introduce new paid features, subscriptions allows you to monetize maintenance as well.
I’m speaking specifically to the “people expect the Mac app to be free” portion of your thread.
Yup, you're not wrong. Curious what the tipping point was for you personally to switch Darkroom from PUF to sub?
Darkroom was never PUF for this reason. We were always IAP with the notion of introducing a new IAP every quarter. We never managed to do that, and we did testing that indicated a single purchase option converted better anyway, which made our IAP strategy less viable for us.
Ah that's right, I was misremembering your pricing strat. Well TL;DR is that I made Spend Stack PUF since I don't rely on its income and I get what I signed up for. But now, it feels like this universal bundling+running on 🍎 silicon is salt in the wound. Getting harder to do.
Yeah they def want to push iOS users. Personally I think this is a good thing for the Mac, and presents a good opportunity for iOS developers who want to be universal. You can just opt out if you don’t want it...
Yup I did opt out. I am excited that the barrier to entry is being leveled to make a great mac app, just wish I had true upgrade pricing to go along with it.
100%, Upgrade pricing would solve these issues for you and for us.
What made us switch to subscription was realizing that we were spending enormous amounts of time improving quality for free, which made us less incentivized to do that work, and instead work on whiz-bang new features that got us new users
Yup, and it seems you've been one of the devs who've made the switch while keeping goodwill among your users. Which means you definitely need to write a book or something to let us in on the secret sauce 📚
We gave it for free to anyone who paid previously, and we have a “forever” option. Both those things help, but ultimately, a multi-year commitment to improving the app and growing it intentionally reassured people we’re for real.
People don’t need a subscription for everything my dude. People in general are already struggling enough without having more leeches sucking lifeblood out of their wallet.
It’s weird, seems that people don’t mind paying $10-$50/mo for certain softwares on the web but as soon as it comes to apps it’s like $4.99 ONE TIME purchase is expensive, I hate it I think we need to make it normal to pay for quality apps again
Yes, definitely - but the question is how do we do it? It seems more and more the answer tends to be subs. To be clear, I don't actively dislike subs, I just wish there were more ways to dress it up (i..e upgrade pricing).
That’s definitely the tough part, there seems to be some who have figured it out like Things but I’m honestly not sure I honestly like subs the best I think it’s the best way to get predictable and stable rev and to actually make it worth the time you know?
I think a great example for where not keeping the same app different platform would be Things. @culturedcode brought out separate versions of the app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, with different feature sets, and thus would require separate purchases per platform.
Yup, they've done a fantastic job
Agree with you totally on all of what you’ve said. I feel like the majority of iOS apps that will be available on Apple Silicon are going to be old unsupported apps or apps where the dev doesn’t realise they have to uncheck to stop it. Not all, but the majority.
For my own apps (if any actually applied) then I personally wouldn’t want an unoptimised app available without being able to try it and see what it’s like. And I can’t see being able to get myself a Apple Silicon Mac just for a quick test. 😕
There are positives, for sure. Apps that maybe need more time to cook up a great mac app that aren't PUF apps are sure to find a lot of value in it, same for games. For the PUF apps left it's not a great way to go IMO.
Oh for sure. There’s definitely a few categories of apps that this makes sense for. But I’ve felt since they announced this it should have been opt-in, not opt-out. 😕 Otherwise I feel this will just add more junk apps to the App Store (initially). 🤷‍♂️
Yes! I feel like they positioned it the wrong way as far as opt-in/opt-out
I’m probably in the minority, but these days, I’m more hesitant to even TRY a free app than one that honestly sets up a price up front. I just expect the free ones to be riddled with ads and unnecessary in-app purchase options.
As for the availability and pricing, I would also prefer proper Mac apps over iOS ones. However, for some things (games, mainly), there is something to be said for parity. It makes no sense for something to cost three times as much on the Mac if it’s functionally identical.
I think the exact same way as what you've said. But, we seem to be in the minority these days.
Making it free would kill what could become a pretty good revenue stream... I agree, don't!