Another fine iOS/Mac app goes subscription

FantastiCal now requires a $39.99 USD year subscription.

And… nope. The race to the bottom with app pricing, plus the inability to charge for updates to the same SKU in the App Store kind of make this type of move necessary for devs.

Yep, and I’m out. I don’t use it enough to make that worth it. Too bad.

I bought iPad, iPhone and iPad versions all but now I’m out like Drafts.

Frankly, I decided about 2 months ago that it was not improving my productivity or making it easier for me to manage my calendar, so I uninstalled it. I wish them success, but I do think they’re going to need to differentiate a little more from Calendar to make that happen. They also should consider completely new products.

CardHop is pretty great for contact management. That said, I wouldn’t subscribe to it. Good apps, but they aren’t anything I couldn’t live without. $40 a year for a calendar is app insane.

Drafts is easily worth the $10 a year. The dev is constantly improving it, like with the added Mac app. That would have never have happened if it wasn’t for the subscription.

In theory, if you bought version 2 upgrading to 3 should just work, and retain every feature you had before. That’s how Flexibits says it’s supposed to work.

In my experience, that is completely broken on both iOS and MacOS. Don’t upgrade until they fix it.

I will never, ever, subscribe to an app. But I would have been happy to float them another forty bucks to buy version 3. Instead now they get nothing.

I should come up with an app that helps you track your subscriptions… and charge a subscription for it.

I know, I know, Apple does this. I was making a funny.

There are many already.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuoooooock that!

Bobby and Hiatus are two others.

Reminds me of this absolutely ridiculous article from the wirecutter earlier in the week, wherein a young woman with literally $24 in her bank account reviews microsavings apps costing $5 per month. Just like wait, what?

I have an Excel spreadsheet for it, which is a really expensive sub in itself. I spend a few hundred a year on app subscriptions (Office 365 is by far the biggest). I have almost no issue for subs for software. I think it’s a really good deal for some of them, like Drafts which they constantly improve, or Carrot Weather which has to pay for the weather data. What I don’t like is apps piling on features I don’t need or want and then making them a sub.

I have a great little grocery list app. They decided to integrate recipes into it and make it a sub. Luckily the grocery part is untouched and still free, but you could tell they weren’t expecting the backlash.

What makes it worse is every Apple blog/site has a review up today saying how amazing Fantastical 3. No one is saying $40 a year for a calendar app is getting ridiculous. It’s like all these sites are just PR for their developer friends.

Pretty much.

You get in with “The Usual Suspects” and you get free advertising as a mention on their podcasts. It’s also why people don’t want to piss off Gruber et al.

Federico briefly mentioned it: “At $40/year, Fantastical Premium may be a big ask for some users, but as a busy individual who deals with teammates all over the globe and likes Fantastical’s new features, I plan to subscribe.” By “subscribe” I assume he means: accept a comped subscription. I’d love to hear him talk more about how running a website with a few people requires complicated calendar needs.

Ulysses is the only app I sub that I can’t really work well without. It aligns so closely to how I like to write, the $25 a year reduces friction.* I pay for Drafts, but it’s more to to just support his work.

I feel for the devs with Apple not allowing any upgrade pricing, but this subscription thing is getting out of hand.

*I could use I A writer for my blog posts, but I prefer the interface to Ulysses. Scrivener is no go because the iOS version is pants.

Was recently irritated by Pepperplate’s decision to go to a monthly/annual subscription without any sort of notice to users. (They have my email! They could have used it!). A dumb move, IMO, as their selling point was not the quality of the app (deeply flawed but basically functional) but the price (zero). For no dollars, one can forgive a lot of flaws. For $33/year, I can pay $30 once for Paprika Recipe Manager for Windows, $5 once for Paprika Recipe Manager for iOS or Android, and still come out well ahead by year 2. Even if I pay for both mobile versions (as I use both an iPad and an Android phone, the former for cooking and the latter for groceries), I’m ahead, frankly. And Paprika works a lot better to boot.

I’m just waiting for Paprika to go subscription based. I love the app and use it all the time so I will pay the money when they do, assuming it’s not ridiculous.

My wife and I have used Paprika for 10 years and absolutely love it. We have EVERYTHING related to our cooking in there. I have organized the aisles in the order they are in our local grocery store, for efficient shopping, entered all the pantry items, etc. It saves us so much time and money that I easily would pay a subscription for it. I’d probably pay a weekly subscription for it. :p

We also pay for You Need A Budget, which has saved us tons of money through more aggressive financial discipline.

They lost me with a web app. I might have paid a sub for it, but no way on a web app. Thanks to various jobs that have used crappy web apps, I despise them. Plus it’s not difficult to do a YNAB like budget with Excel.

Banktivity is what I use and they have taken to an annual new version instead of a subscription. They don’t add a lot, but I pay because I want to be sure they stick around.

Fucking fuckers. The “upgrade” has tons of bugs & things that used to work are broken or cost subscription money to fix.

They’ve lost me as a customer (and many others too). I’ve uninstalled this on all my devices & am no longer recommending it.


FantastiCal or YNAB?