Saying Goodbye to Codebook Lite and Codebook for iPad

2019-01-28 12:14:00 -0500

Having arrived at the end of a process begun a little while ago now, we’ve removed Codebook Lite and Codebook for iPad from the iTunes App Store. Now there’s only one version of Codebook for iOS available, a universal app for iPhone and iPad that offers a 14-day free trial.

These companion apps served us well over the years. It was more than a decade ago—2008—that we first released our password manager Codebook (then called STRIP) for iOS (then called iPhoneOS) in the App Store. At the time it was stand-alone, only supported iPhone, and required an upfront purchase to download and run (and would stay that way for a long time).

We wanted a way to allow people to try it for free, but In-App Purchases weren’t a thing yet and trials weren’t allowed in the App Store so we did what seemed the next best thing: we created the Lite version as a separate, free-to-download app limited to ten records and no Sync feature.

The Lite approach has its limitations! Offering a clear migration path to the paid version (we did this pretty well I think), difficulty if not outright inability to track conversions from free to paid, and the limitations themselves that prevented the customer from really trying out the app realistically and on more than one platform.

Then there’s the extra work to make sure this second application target is always as up to date as the full version, with every new version of iOS, any bug fixes, and any new features. To be sure, most of the code is shared, but this additional version needed to be maintained and tested and managed in the App Store.

When the iPad arrived on the scene, developers had a choice: build a separate app targeted at the iPad only, or adapt your existing iPhone app to handle both as a universal app. At the time, it seemed like the fastest and easiest way to get Codebook going on the iPad was to go the separate app route.

So now we had a third app, with all the attendant effort required as described before regarding the Lite version! Prior to the modern automation of code signing in Xcode this created some serious challenges to getting everything built and signed properly.

A few years back we began the work of whittling this down. We adapted the main iPhone version to be a universal app supporting iPhone and iPad, and began to let customers of the iPad-only version know that it would be eventually discontinued in favor of the universal version.

Fast-forward a couple years to recent changes in how Apple allows In-App Purchases to be used, and we were finally able to offer a free trial in the main, universal version of Codebook for iOS, and last year we jumped on it.

All this is a long way of saying it feels good to say goodbye to Codebook Lite and Codebook for iPad: we’ve come a long way with Codebook for iOS! And we’re in great shape for what’s to come. All of us here at Zetetic have been working hard on Codebook 4, now the primary focus of Codebook development. It’s a big upgrade to Codebook’s security and sync features, so we’ll be doing extensive testing, and looking for more beta testers. If you’d like to become a beta tester and help us make sure we’ve got Codebook 4 just right, please email us at and let us know!