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Poll - Preference for Subscriptions or In-Apps

Apps with Subscriptions vs In-Apps

  • Subscriptions are Fine

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8

Lzed

MobiLifer
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As some on here know I do some Beta-Testing of apps.

This one in particular started because I bought their app (SuperPhoto) along with the in-apps for it. I had posted some images to their online feed and I had written to them with a few comments and suggestions.
About a week later I got an email asking if I would be interested in beta testing a new app for them, and so it started...

This app is similar to SuperPhoto in that the app is free with limited save resolution and limited in the number of effects you can pick from. Closest what to describe the app is that it is similar to some of the new apps like Mlcvh, Prisma and Pikaza in that it has artistic effects that will be applied.

The one thing that that it has that I am not crazy about is it is subscription based instead of in-app.

So I ask them about why subscriptions along with a bunch of other questions and they said that the problem with going the in-app route for them is that they get a finite amount of money once and costs of development or further development needs a more constant stream of income. I can in some ways see where they would rather go this route but I am not convinced myself so thought I would throw it out here and see what everyone thinks.

Feel free to replay :)
 

terse

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Subscriptions are a hard sell for me. I don't mind paying $$ for a major update of an app I like. (They do this by offering the upgrade as a new purchase -- essentially as a new program.) I loathe ads of any kind in apps. And I like to see good developers make enough money to continue developing. But all the subscription rates I've seen so far for apps have not seemed worth the cost if I figure I'm going to use the app for any length of time. And I don't like running an app that will stop working in its present form at some arbitrary moment.

Then there are the many apps I have around just for one or two effects or "just in case" -- I'd be unlikely to have downloaded/paid for any of those if they were subscription apps because I wouldn't want them hanging around running up charges just on the off chance I might want them for a few minutes some day.

If the subscription model becomes dominant, I'll probably end up with fewer apps on my iPad (which could be a good thing for me if not for the developers).
 

GroovyGouvy

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I'd rather have an inapp that is payed once or better a pro app with all included. Thing is there is rarely an app I use constantly. So if there is a subscription, let's say limited to one month of unlimited saves, you can bet I think of using the app the day after and haven't done some before.
If the app has a year's subscription for a price of 99c I'm probably willing to buy. But that for an app that also works offline, means stand alone and no up- and download. I hate that and it keeps me away from apps that need it. Also apps that only work online. Just because as long as the world is not completely covered with free wifi there will always be no connection when you need it. Murphy's law. [emoji16]
 

sinnerjohn

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I'd rather not do subscriptions, as Gouvy says, we all tend to use lots of apps so a month could go by without touching a subscription app. I love VSCO but I've not used it for a while, but at least its not costing me anything.
If there are in-app purchases at least we can pick the ones we like.
What always makes me smile is that most apps range from 79p to £2.99 (uk money) where a pint of beer could be £3.00/£3.50. Which one lasts longer !!
 

zenjenny

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terse Ted's response is perfect for me - it says everything I've thought so far (that's prob his first sentence) and a whole lot more I hadn't thought of but do now.

I had a brief email conversation with Eugene Kaneko about the (imo) too high & thus off-putting subscription for the then quite new app Pigment. (Hands down the best colouring app in the store, btw). And I can see that for the most part there's an inevitable limit to the cash flow from an app. And with my less-than-basic grasp of market principles I can see that the hit & run devs would be in a better $ position than the devs who keep up the R & D, and update their apps. And . . . I don't know. Isn't that the economy of this aspect of digital technology -- like the other end of the continuum on which booksellers are going out of business, a kindof inverse 'built-in obsolescence'? Is it reasonable/possible to expect to make an ongoing living from one (or ten) app/s?
 

Lzed

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Anyone know of any subscription apps that are doing good? I can't really think of any.
Like you all I have many apps that I don't use on a regular ongoing basis. Maybe some of that is because I like playing with apps so I try a lot and some I keep but the vast majority probably don't get much use after the initial playing around with a new app unless I come across a need for it, then the problem becomes I had an app that could do that but do you think I can recall the name of it...
I know Hipstamatic.s Oggl did pretty good initially but I don't know of very many that continued the subscription after the initial period. I paid it for the first year but found I didn't use it as much as I thought I would so in the end didn't bother continuing the subscription. If anything it made me use Hipstamatic more :)
 

ImageArt

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Subscriptions are a major turn-off for me for all the reasons already given. The only app I would be prepared to pay for on this basis is iColorama and I probably wouldn't have used it at all if it had been subscription before I had started using it. I don't even look at an app if it's subscription. I would have bought Adobe Illustrator if it hadn't been subscription despite it's high price. Instead I use a free app, Inkscape, and am probably no worse off.

I agree with Ted. Upgrade charges are the way to go for major new releases.
 

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MobiLifer
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Yet another of the utilities I use has become subscription. Clearly any new apps from now on are going to be subscription and some web ‘utility’ apps like pdf editing, video downloads for example have now become subscription. People aren’t going to buy more, they are going to buy less. I finding myself going back to my PC to use software because it’s a one off cost. I’m still using Word 2010! Who needs more. If you add on music and Cloud backup subscriptions, it gets ridiculous.

Ok, I understand that the existing pricing is too little but why can’t companies charge a subscription of £1 a month?? Given the number of people who use apps, this should more than cover their development. I much preferred the upgrade pricing system. At least you had a choice if you wanted any new features. Who can possibly justify paying £100-200 a month for 10-20 measily apps that only do one function?

I sat down and counted the paid apps that I really couldn’t do without and I had 18. These weren’t even the like-to-haves that add something different. My iPad Pro still feels brand new but is already long in the tooth. I feel that I should get a new one now so that I can make my existing paid apps last as long as possible. I won’t be upgrading this iPad at the next major iOS upgrade.
 

sinnerjohn

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Yet another of the utilities I use has become subscription. Clearly any new apps from now on are going to be subscription and some web ‘utility’ apps like pdf editing, video downloads for example have now become subscription. People aren’t going to buy more, they are going to buy less. I finding myself going back to my PC to use software because it’s a one off cost. I’m still using Word 2010! Who needs more. If you add on music and Cloud backup subscriptions, it gets ridiculous.

Ok, I understand that the existing pricing is too little but why can’t companies charge a subscription of £1 a month?? Given the number of people who use apps, this should more than cover their development. I much preferred the upgrade pricing system. At least you had a choice if you wanted any new features. Who can possibly justify paying £100-200 a month for 10-20 measily apps that only do one function?

I sat down and counted the paid apps that I really couldn’t do without and I had 18. These weren’t even the like-to-haves that add something different. My iPad Pro still feels brand new but is already long in the tooth. I feel that I should get a new one now so that I can make my existing paid apps last as long as possible. I won’t be upgrading this iPad at the next major iOS upgrade.
I really think its all price dependant and obviously how much you rate and use a particular app. As I've said elsewhere, I've subscribed to VSCO for a year for around £19, so less than a pound a month and I'd probably sign up for the sub for the Firstlight camera, again mentioned elsewhere.
The real sticking point is the Adobe apps or any that want £5 or £10 a month, no forget that !!

If subscribing to something for a reasonable amount means the app is constantly updated and developed, then I think it's maybe ok.
How many apps have been great as a one off purchase and have then ground to a halt after a few years?

I no longer buy physical music or films etc, its all streamed now, less clutter instant access. But yeah that means subs of course.
There are free alternatives to Word that are just as good btw :)
 

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I really think its all price dependant and obviously how much you rate and use a particular app. As I've said elsewhere, I've subscribed to VSCO for a year for around £19, so less than a pound a month and I'd probably sign up for the sub for the Firstlight camera, again mentioned elsewhere.
The real sticking point is the Adobe apps or any that want £5 or £10 a month, no forget that !!

If subscribing to something for a reasonable amount means the app is constantly updated and developed, then I think it's maybe ok.
How many apps have been great as a one off purchase and have then ground to a halt after a few years?

I no longer buy physical music or films etc, its all streamed now, less clutter instant access. But yeah that means subs of course.
There are free alternatives to Word that are just as good btw :)
Getting used to Google Docs and quite like OpenOffice but will use Word until it’s obsolete.
 

terse

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My iPad Pro still feels brand new but is already long in the tooth. I feel that I should get a new one now so that I can make my existing paid apps last as long as possible.
I just got a 12.9" iPad Pro, but I bought a refurb 2017 model. That was cheaper, of course, and also meant I didn't have to buy an Apple Pencil v2 ($129) but could keep using the v1 I already had.

Now you've got me thinking I should go inventory the apps and make note of which ones I actually use.
 

rizole

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If I didn't get a free subscription with my work this year I'd still be on office 2000. I think I'm still running Photoshop 7....
 

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I thought I would raise this old chestnut again. All new apps now appear to be subscription and I wonder how long it will be before we have no choice. It has become a major money spinner for Apple so we know why it has come about. Our old apps will dwindle and fade away and we will be left with a treasured few which we subscribe to. It will result in fewer developers and competition and the rise of app giants similar to Facebook and Google who swallow up opposition.

I do feel for developers like Procreate who put so much energy into their product and it’s a shame they can’t earn from upgrades. They don’t even seem to accept donations. I would definitely be prepared to pay them £10 a year or a larger lifetime fee. I would hate to see it disappear.

However, companies that charge £10 a month just aren’t going to get a look from me. I still use Office 2003. Much prefer it to the new subscription version but wonder how long I will still be able to use it. Thank goodness Microsoft don’t come out with a new OS every year like Apple.

As for hardware, I get a new iPad and a new iPhone every 3 years. My dearly loved iPad Pro is dying slowly after 3 years. I now have to have it plugged in continually. I have worked out that at the present prices, it now costs me around £100 a month if you spread the cost over 3 years!
 

Starzee

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I thought I would raise this old chestnut again. All new apps now appear to be subscription and I wonder how long it will be before we have no choice. It has become a major money spinner for Apple so we know why it has come about. Our old apps will dwindle and fade away and we will be left with a treasured few which we subscribe to. It will result in fewer developers and competition and the rise of app giants similar to Facebook and Google who swallow up opposition.

I do feel for developers like Procreate who put so much energy into their product and it’s a shame they can’t earn from upgrades. They don’t even seem to accept donations. I would definitely be prepared to pay them £10 a year or a larger lifetime fee. I would hate to see it disappear.

However, companies that charge £10 a month just aren’t going to get a look from me. I still use Office 2003. Much prefer it to the new subscription version but wonder how long I will still be able to use it. Thank goodness Microsoft don’t come out with a new OS every year like Apple.

As for hardware, I get a new iPad and a new iPhone every 3 years. My dearly loved iPad Pro is dying slowly after 3 years. I now have to have it plugged in continually. I have worked out that at the present prices, it now costs me around £100 a month if you spread the cost over 3 years!
I try not to think of a time went I have to pay subscriptions again. I had the Adobe Cloud subscription for several years for Photoshop and Light room. It wasn’t a real big deal when DH and I were both working, but now he’s retired and income isn’t what it was. We’ve had to pick and choose what we’re willing to pay for. Adobe Cloud isn’t one. Besides, I no longer use Photoshop or Lightroom. I would def pay for Procreate and probably Superimpose ( I use that quite frequently with Procreate). I will probably continue to covet the next best iWhatever, but I’ll try to rein in the impulsive buying.
 

terse

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This past year, I upgraded the OS on my MacBook Pro, which killed the old Photoshop CS6 I'd been using. So I tried the $9.99/month "Photographer" subscription that gets you Photoshop and Lightroom on the desktop and the premium extras in Lightroom Mobile on my iPad. I decided drop it after two months, though.

Some of the extras in Lightroom Mobile were useful, like perspective correction, but none of them were essential because I have other good apps to do the same thing. As for the desktop, about all I ever do with photos there these days is print (because printing from iOS is so weak). For photo editing, I'd rather use the iPad these days, so much so that the Photoshop way now feels awkward. So I stripped all the Adobe stuff off my laptop and have Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro there for printing-related stuff.

So far, I haven't been tempted by any other subscriptions.
 

sinnerjohn

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I don’t know....I’ve haven’t had a non-Apple product since......A long time ago. ;)
I didn't mean that, I meant is it about apps in general of more about Apple hardware.
 
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