Let’s make it 2.0 so we can charge for it again.

Chris Bowler on apps that charge for new versions: But as the consumer, I have to admit I grow tired of paying for the same app three or four times. I suspect this is a common refrain and I think there are more than a few issues compounding this: The iOS 7 update has certainly […]

Chris Bowler on apps that charge for new versions:

But as the consumer, I have to admit I grow tired of paying for the same app three or four times.

I suspect this is a common refrain and I think there are more than a few issues compounding this:

  1. The iOS 7 update has certainly caused a lot of apps to charge for new versions and all together that gets expensive, but this is certainly not how a normal couple of months go for paid upgrades of apps.
  2. As Bowler notes, there is no reason to upgrade something that is working, but we often feel we must. Either because of a new design, new features, or what have you to an app that we use several times a day. It’s hard not to update something when you use it constantly and the upgrade is only a few dollars. That said, it adds up.
  3. There are some bad seed developers ruining the experience for others. Some that do barely anything to their app and then call it version 12 and charge for a new version. I’ve been seeing a lot of head scratchers lately, and that is also adding to customer frustrations.

There’s nothing easy to point at as the cause, but there are a lot of little factors that are adding up right now. Ultimately, I think more subscription pricing is the future — allowing developers to set expectations that you have to pay me $X.99 per year/month to use this app. I’d personally love to see apps start charging $1.99-2.99 a year for an app with free upgrades. There’s no surprises in that for users and it gives developers a way to keep money coming in without having to resort to shady tactics.