$5 is too much! (Or is it?)

Originally posted 2015-10-28 17:00:28.


Now before we start. Yes I’m a Brit and yes I just used the Dollar sign. Right now that’s out-of-the-way let’s get started.

About a month ago Tapbots released the sequel to their popular iOS Twitter app, “Tweetbot”. With Tweetbot 4 came an updated app with better aesthetics and a just an all round smoother experience. Oh yes, it also came with a $4.99 price tag. Most people are of the intelligent understanding that app developers have to make a living as it’s their job, unfortunately some people expect everything on a plate and for free.

Before Tweetbot 4 released, if you look at any of the popular forums on the inter-web you will see comments such as “Oh I hope this is free” and “This is just an update yes? I won’t have to pay again?” Wrong. Whilst it was another version of Tweetbot, it was exactly that, another version and this is what baffled me about the entire situation.

People are willing to pay £40-£50 every year for the latest Call of Duty or FIFA, or even £600 for the latest iPhone, yet stick a $5 price tag on a new version of an app and its the full-blown apocalypse. I’m talking elephants flying through the sky, ostriches running the land and frogs staging the Olympic games at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s hypocrisy at it’s finest.

What these people don’t realise is that by all means every app can be free at launch, but then every app will be launched with bare-bone features and countless advertisements in which you would have to spend more than the $5 to unlock. If every app had this approach then please give me back my old Nokia 3210 and we’ll call this era in mobile communications off as a bad idea.

If people are willing to pay for an app (now I’m not talking about an extortionate amount), then by and large we will get better quality apps and everyone benefits; however if people would rather pay nothing all the time then why should a developer even bother? Having apps that you pay for, even if it’s as a yearly update is good for the ecosystem and should be encouraged, whether you are on iOS or Android.