iPhone App Directory

Updates, Pricing and the beginnings of a discussion

A while back I got this comment on a post about the c74 app:

've been hoping we would have seen some updates to c74 with things like as a Windows-compile of the Max external and support for iPad. But we've seen nothing.

c74 is a great idea. But it should either be updated or the developer should set it free.

It did make me wonder why some apps just don't get updates for a long time or the developers just decide that they aren't going to update at all any more.

It is a real shame, but the real problem is that Apple won't let developers charge for an update. In the desktop world we are all used to paying for updates whether we agree with them or not. Some are fair, some don't seem fair, but either way they happen.

If Apple were to allow developers to charge for upgrades I think it would make it easier for some apps to survive.

So, that was a round about way of asking for your views on update pricing and what you think of the possibility.

c74 - nr37

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Darksound said...

I've never paid for 'updates' on my computer apps, but have for 'upgrades'.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the idea of update pricing.

If devs want to get paid to add a ton of features, they can make the features in-app purchases or release a sequel app. The in-app route encourages devs to keep improving the core functionality of the app.

For the most part, I try to buy apps from devs that do update their apps (checking update history in appshopper).

Updates also benefit devs. A recently updated app receives plenty of free exposure (both in the app store and in app trackers like app shopper). If you look at the sales figures for an app, you can often see a sales bump after an update. The IAP route is also extremely flexible. With music apps we've seen IAPs include everything from recording functions to patches and loops.


Anonymous said...

Lots of updates are free in the software world. It doesn't inspire loyalty to pay for a bug-fix or a new button color.

I think the rule of thumb for pay-updates should be:

Bug fixes/minor tweaks - Free

New Features/Major revision - Pay

Right now, when an update shows up on the iPad, you either allow it to download, or continue to have the little number on your Apps icon.

Maybe pay-updates should be an in-app purchase, which would give you the choice and not annoy you. No one wants to be forced to pay for an update after they just bought it recently.

If it affects the interoperability between app versions, that should be free. I don't think forcing paid upgrades is a good business model for apps.

Would devs hold back features from the first version in order to charge more on an update? Not cool, man.
Happy New Year !

johnnyg0 said...

It should be simple :

1.0 -> 1.5 = free, its the same software with bug fixes.

1.0 -> 2.0 = not free, its a new software with new features and tools.

But with in-app paiments/upgrades it makes things more complicated. Especially if you want to keep the older version of the app too.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like we're all pretty much level-headed and fair when it comes to this subject. Bug fixes should be free and major updates providing key new features should be payable....possibly through in-app purchasing. Before I started considering comparing DJ apps, I was shocked at the demands being made of the developers and what users were expecting for free....given that their original app purchase was about the cost of a pint or two! Something like access to the iPod library which was made possible with iOS 4.2 however, could be seen as such a major beneficial feature to a DJ app, that it may make more sense for this to be a free update.

Personally, I would rather have an in-app payment for new features, than experience a massive influx of unwanted ads within apps and free upgrades.

Anonymous said...

The best path to follow I think is this:
Update your existing base with new features via in app purchase, while at the same time releasing a version 2.0 as a new app (with no in app purchases)

Keep your existing base working, updated, and offering a discount incentive to in-app upgrade, but also
get that new app promo juice, placement in "recently released"

Anonymous said...

FWIW Mixtikl came out for iOS end 2009, updates have been regular and free ever since (though they've added in-app options to later versions)...