iOS apps have to stop going subscription


With Halide joining the likes of Fantastical, Twitterrific, Weather Line, among others, to go subscription, the number of good iOS apps on the platform still not on a subscription is dwindling fast.

Yes, maximizing profits is important for a company or any individual developers, and yes, there is a general idea that Apple users are financially well-off compared to Android users, but to capitalize on that, especially during a year when people are losing their jobs at an unprecedented rate, is just wrong.

Think of the bills you hate to pay the most. Utility bills, telco bills, are likely what you hate the most. The idea of pay once, use all the time, is so prevalent in the human psychology that paying every month or year for something you might or might not use, is absolutely in everyone’s minds, a wasteful process.

Like a gym membership?

Nobody likes to pay for a gym membership to only realize that one year later, you have wasted your money because you did not go to the gym. People are thus forced to go to the gym because they don’t want to let their membership money go to waste. What does that do for their experience at the gym? Probably not very well.

Same for apps on a subscription service. The very idea that you have to use an app because you already paid for the subscription, makes your experience of using the app less than ideal, or maybe even hateful. I do not understand why any app developer who love their creations will want to sour the experiences of their customers using their apps.

The apps we should support

For now though, there are at least a few shining examples of great apps which have not turned to the dark side, Tweetbot and Reeder for example.

Reeder had just released Reeder 5, with new features and support for iOS 14 widgets, as a brand new app costing 4.99USD.

However, if you have already purchased Reeder 4, or even 3, exactly because Reeder has chosen to make the new features a new release, people who do not want the new features or are financially unable to make the purchase are able to keep using their old versions. That very choice that the developer chose to give all users is exactly why we should support the developer. Same with Teeetbot.

Holding users hostage?

Developers who hold their users hostage by updating an app that you have previously paid full price for and now can no longer use without an subscription are just disgusting and despicable. How will they like if a new government in power suddenly tell them they have to start paying new monthly mortgage if they have paid for their homes in full?

Developers tell you that you can chose to stop using their app if you do not want to pay the new subscription fees, but will they move out of their homes that they already paid for if they don’t want to start paying more money for it?

Choices? Not really.

Some developers try to argue that they are not deceitful by offering a very expensive “lifetime” or “one time purchase” pricing, saying that you can pay that sum if you choose not to pay subscriptions. However, how can the customer know how long the “lifetime” of the app is? What if the developer comes out with a new version of the app in a year and wants another “one time purchase”? The very fact that these developers have chosen to go subscription make a large number of their current users suspicious of their future intentions, and they are more likely to seek alternatives than to pay what the developers want.

A way that these developers could have chosen to make things better for their users is if they chose to release the subscription as a new app, but none of these developers do that, for they know that the majority of their current users will stick with the old app and not even consider moving to subscriptions if the developers gave them a choice.

Developers and well-to-do people will tell you that the developers need to feed their families too. But if you think Apple choosing to remove the power bricks this year is a dick move, then choosing to go subscription in 2020 is almost criminal. That is why Android users like to call us suckers, because we put up with such behavior.

P.S. On 27th Jan 2021, Tweetbot 6 was released and it went subscription. If you have already purchased Tweetbot 5 it will show up in your purchased apps section.


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

About Sponsored Posts

MacRyu is welcoming sponsored posts to offset the cost of hosting this site. Do email Ryu to make a fair offer, we will be most willing to consider your offer. COVID-19 has not been kind, and MacRyu appreciates all help to keep the site running.

Subscribe to RSS (site)

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)


Google Search