I Fricking Hate Subscription-Based Apps

While still frustrated about Airmail keeping so many features in its “premium” subscription, I happened the realized that my favorite calendar app Fantastical would go for subscription business model as well today.

What’s gone all wrong for these app makers? Do they really think this is the future, to make every customer pay for a set price monthly for each of their daily apps?

First thing first, I am not against the subscription business model. Instead, I think it is a great way to motivate developers to keep up their great work, as long as the pricing is reasonable and they can thrive to their commitment. However, the reality is going nowhere if everyone only cares about their own business. To start with, let’s consider how much you are going to pay monthly if all your favorite apps go subscription-based, let’s take mine as an example – 1Password $2.99, Fantastical $3.33, Airmail $2.99, Ulysses $4.99, Moke 3 $0.99 and potentially so many more. Each one of them claims that the price of a cup of coffee a month is all they want but none of them think about paying tens of developers (with number increasing) is getting more and more absurd.

Truly there’s a third party curator service such as SetApp which does a great job in serving as a cluster. You pay $9.99 monthly to get access to hundreds of apps, but what you need might not be in their stock, and they might also provide you with plenty of apps that you don’t need – at the end what you want is A la carte. Moreover, many of the apps are essentially nice supplements to system-shipped free version, and I wonder how many of them really deserve to be paid regularly.

Not planning to offend any developers here, I know how difficult and how cumbersome it is to solve countless bugs in order to ship a complete software, since I work on coding too. But I am becoming more and more reluctant to pay for an increasing number of apps, and I started to hate whoever that adapts to his model without considerate thinking, wholeheartedly.

I just hope SetApp or any other platform can be the middleman in this game, since paying for every app monthly (at least this is the trend I observe), is definitely not the way to go – WE ARE NOT THAT RICH YET.

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