In Support of Tweetie: The Case for Upgrade Charges

As some of you know, there was quite a bit of discussion over at the Just Another blogs (Just Another Mobile Monday and Just Another iPhone Blog) over Tweetie’s decision to charge for their latest iPhone application upgrade. They did this by creating a new application and charging for it, rather than upgrading the existing one.

Despite the fact that Tweetie had to do something kind of hacky due to the limits of the App Store, the reality is that they did what they had to. Upgrades cost money – sometimes a LOT of money – and that money has to come from somewhere.

To that end, I wrote an article dealing with this issue and talking about the situation from a developer POV. If you’d like to get the full story, check out my post over here at JAMM. It’s also my first contribution as the “Developer Perspective” author for JAMM which is kind of exciting. Also, let me know how you’d like me to handle these posts in the future – do you mind visiting JAMM to read them? Or would you rather I dual post them here and over there as well? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “In Support of Tweetie: The Case for Upgrade Charges

  1. Gorky

    There was a similar debate when Agile Web came out with their 1 Password “Pro” app.

    There is really no way out of this but it all depends on the relationship that the developer has with his customers and also the “improvements” that the upgrade brings.

    Almost all the customers at 1 Password supported the developer and said they would be glad to pay the upgrade price which would mean that the developer has the means to bring continued improvements to the application in question.

    The developers of 1 Password also said that they had provided improvements on the initial app for free for nearly a year – which is true. How long can the funds keep coming (and how fast?) if the developer doesn’t charge for the continued improvements? In the long run, the quality of the application is bound to suffer, the developer suffers and the customers suffer too. It is really a no win situation.

    My relationship with Ilium and Agile (at least from my end :-))is based on the trust that the developers will not let me down. Though I might not get all the features that I desire (some of them pretty outrageous!!!), the developers are thinking more about the application than I am. It’s their job to make it better and their lives depend on it!!!
    Over the years, I have seen both these applications flourish and serve a bunch of very happy and satisfied customers.

    It is a careful balance that one has to maintain. The developers have to ensure that they are not charging too much and too soon and the customers should make sure that they pay with a smile for the apps that make their life better.

    I just read somewhere recently – when you buy a product, you invest in the company as well. I want to add that you invest a little bit in yourself too – because sooner or later the money will come back to you in the form of a better product. It is with this sentiment that I “invest” in Ilium and Agile and some other companies whenever they come up with a paid upgrade. The cost involved is sometimes lesser than two cups of Latte but rewards are far much more!

  2. Andrew

    In regards to the dual post… I did have to use the muscles in my finger and hand to click that link, but i believe the exercise did me some good. In addition I discovered a new site that i never would have known if not for the single post and my having to follow a link.

    I don’t think it matters which way you do it, but I can’t believe anyway would have an objection to clicking a link.

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