On App Store Pricing

2015-03-03 08:45:00 -0500

At the Daring Fireball blog John Gruber notes that he and his co-conspirators at Q Branch have increased the price of their excellent note-taking app Vesper:1

Put another way, we’re going to charge something sane or die trying. We tried following the iOS App Store trend by pricing Vesper at just $2.99 for months. It didn’t work. Prices like that are not sane, and not sustainable, at least for well-crafted productivity apps. So Q Branch is drawing a line in the sand, and we hope other iOS developers will follow.

We’re doing the same for our password manager app, STRIP. For a long time we’ve charged pretty low prices for both STRIP for iPhone (and for iPad), and STRIP for Mac: $4.99 and $9.99, respectively. The Android and Windows versions, same deal. Prices this low are not sustainable when we’re doing steady, iterative design and development while maintaining the apps and adapting them to major new hardware and operating system changes.

With the release of the 2.5 series of STRIP for Windows and OS X we’ve increased our prices. STRIP is now $9.99 on Android and iOS, $19.99 on OS X and Windows. The desktop releases are now available as 14-day free trials, which should help people get a feel for the software before deciding whether to make a purchase.

If you’ve purchased STRIP, thank you for supporting our work, it means so much to us!

1. I’ve always wanted Codebook to be more like Vesper, having based it on John’s writing on “The Untitled Note Problem,” and I love the design decisions that they’ve made.

I recently had the opportunity to bend the ear of Brent Simmons, one of the Q branch team making Vesper, during the CocoaLove2 conference in Philadelphia last October. I couldn’t help pitching SQLCipher as a datastore for Vesper. He listened thoughtfully and it was great having the chance to talk. Following the writing of these folks over the last few years has been really educational for me as a software developer and designer.

2. Yes, a footnote for a footnote! CocoaLove was fantastic. I highly recommend it. Check out the talks by William Van Hecke and Laura Savino to see what I mean.

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