Troy Patterson
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Thu 16 May 2019
1:42 PM

App Subscriptions

It’s been awhile now since we entered the world of app subscriptions and while the future of subscriptions is still up in the air, I feel where we are is a very good place for users. I’ll leave developers to discuss what they think of them.

I know I have my complaints still. Like how a family group on iOS could buy an app like Fantastical and the whole family could use the app. Very much like if I bought Mac software anyone in my family could also use it. This is no longer the case with subscriptions. If I subscribe to Bear for my notes app that does not carry over to my wife and kids, but If I pay for an app like Goodnotes then we can all use it.

I think this is still something Apple should contemplate much like allowing families to share iCloud storage we should be able to share app subscriptions. I can’t say how developers feel about this one, but my guess is it increases the number of paying subscribers, but just not as much as the number of users that gain use of the app.

Back to my main point in that a user deciding to pay for an app to use must require and app that can prove it is more valuable than the included apps from Apple and better than any free apps on the market as well. I think that limits what an app can cost as well as how many do this. I’m also ignoring apps like exercise and video apps that require a subscription.

I’m currently am still using a few lower cost apps in my iOS lineup. I have used Bear off and non for my notes, but still don’t have the workload of writing that requires that service. It’s a great app, but I’ve found better places to put my thoughts and don’t keep enough long term notes that the tagging system is not a must for me.

The apps that are must sub for me right now are Parcel, Drafts 5 and Carrot Weather. Two fo these are under a yearly sub model and right now I’m on the monthly sub for Drafts, but now that I’m pretty established with my setup I think I’ll need to change to yearly on Drafts as well.

An app needs to be integral to my day for me to decide to spend the money on it, but I think that’s how this should work. Drafts is now a must have for me and as a minimalist on my phone it’s basically the only required” front page app. I could get through my day searching for everything else, but Drafts I need up quick all the time.

Parcel is great cause it gives me a central place to track everything in the mail and come holidays I need more than the free 3 shipment tracking. The share sheet function of adding shipments makes this a great one I’m glad to support.

Lastly Carrot Weather you don’t need to sub for, but to get weather notifications including rain starting soon I consider the annual $3.50 a solid investment in staying dry and dressing properly for the day. I could take or leave the snarky comments, but the overall design is what I stay for.

I’ve not included services I subscribe to that I pay for outside of the App Store like Netflix and Hulu, but those are things you should never do in the App Store anyway. You either pay a 30% markup to cover the Apple charges or you pay the service 30% less when Apple does take their cut. If you can subscribe outside of Apple always do so until Apple finally decides to fix their 30% fee on payments.