User: "I love apps!"

Dev: "Great, here's an app for $5!"

User: "Well I don't love apps *that* much..."

Dev: "Okay, here's an app for free with ads instead!"

User: "Ads are disgusting and immoral."

Dev: "Oh, uh, here's an app for free with in-app purchases and no ads!"

User: "In-App purchases are a cancer that's destroying the industry!"

Dev: "Well I'm out of ideas. No More app."

User: "Damn greedy devs stopped updating the app I paid for 5 years ago!"

@bigzaphod I have a lot of sympathy for devs moving to subscription models, but it still feels pretty unfair as a consumer to keep piling on $x/mo charges for every app I use these days.

The expectation of continuous updates forever really ruined how software for profit is delivered. :\

@erynofwales subscription and ads and everything else wouldn't be necessary if people would pay $20-30 for a new version very few years.

@erynofwales so in some ways, having a subscription of a few dollars a month or $10/year or something works out to be about the same in the long run. In theory. 😛

@bigzaphod True enough! I personally feel better about one time expenses, so I'd happily pay $20-30 every few years for something. $10/yr means I have factor it into my yearly budget and who has time for that. :P

@bigzaphod @erynofwales It’s not just the market: it’s largely Apple’s App Store policies.

@USBloveDog @erynofwales well, sure, but those policies literally define the iOS app market so I think that's a distinction without a difference, as they say.

@bigzaphod @erynofwales I’m used to thinking of market failures as problems with the supply or (in this instance) demand side and not with the rules of the market (I think of those as regulatory failures)

@erynofwales @bigzaphod Honestly, I feel better about a $10/year subscription vs. $20 every two years for a new version, both as a developer and a user. As a developer, I think it encourages me to put out more iterative releases… and as a user, I think it's more predictable.

I'm working on a product where we had argument on how to monetize. At one point, someone was suggesting $2/year. I said "If we're not worth more than a cup of copy per year we should just go home and find new jobs."

@erynofwales @bigzaphod Yep, the market is causing consumers to make difficult choices and it'll cause lots of fatigue.

@erynofwales @bigzaphod I almost think pay-per-update (maybe with a pay-what-you-want model, too), but with a target total amount that unlocks the update for free for everyone (unless you want to pay), might make sense?

(Also, the FOSS model of charging for support might help, although that has the problem that it encourages obtuse UIs and poor documentation.)

The big downside I can see is... now you have more people hanging onto old versions again, so you have more old security bugs lurking.

@bigzaphod 😂😂 sounds about right

“I just paid $1,000 for my phone, all the apps should be free like they are on android”

@bigzaphod Unicorn User: I paid for the iOS version and backed the macOS version on Kickstarter!

@bigzaphod User: Why so judgy? Is it not we who judge? They give us stars and everything

@bigzaphod Story of my business. Fucking $0.99 tier and IAP scams killed it.

@mdhughes @bigzaphod I think shovelware was probably a problem to a lot of devs, too: It's tough to sell a great game at a reasonable price when GTA Vice City sells for $6.99, even if VC is virtually unplayable due to the control scheme.

@tewha @bigzaphod And they made shitty games because it's not profitable to work harder on it. I bet GTA or any of those ports were an intern for a few weeks.

@mdhughes @bigzaphod Yup. It's hard to compete when you have to develop a game and they can just port one over poorly. That's why I call it shovelware; I'm not sure if there's a real term for it.

@tewha @mdhughes even worse when they're some shady factory that pumps out hundreds or thousands of knockoff stolen game concepts using art stolen from other games.

@bigzaphod @mdhughes Yeah, I can't even contemplate those. You'd think Apple's review process or the App Store rating would kill those but enough live that it's profitable.

@bigzaphod @tewha A gachapon review youtube I watch covers a bunch of these, and they're so shameless. Like literally all the same engine with assets stolen from Nintendo and various anime. Half-dozen CanColle ripoffs.

@mdhughes @bigzaphod At $9.99 (GTA: San Andreas) I'm sure they're raking it in, though. They could have afforded a little more effort.

As a dev, the reality is there is always going to be someone offering a good enough free alternative with no strings attached.
The majority of devs would rather have a popular app with users and no money than an app with no users + no money. The second you ask for anything someone will step in to take your spot with a no strings attached free offering. It's a tough spot to be in if you are expecting any compensation at all.

Dev: here’s $1 / year
User: now you’re being greedy!

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