PDA

View Full Version : Wolfram Alpha App Price Drop, New Mobile Site, and Upcoming iPad App




MacRumors
Apr 1, 2010, 02:10 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2010/03/31/wolfram-alpha-app-price-drop-new-mobile-site-and-upcoming-ipad-app/)

Wolfram Alpha, the company behind the online computational knowledge engine that was launched (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/10/19/wolfram-alpha-app-debuts-with-49-99-price-tag/) last year, announced (http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2010/03/31/a-new-focus-on-ubiquity/) today that the price of its iPhone app will be reduced to $1.99 from $49.99. Additionally, the company has launched a new site (http://m.wolframalpha.com/) optimized for mobile devices.

The app's drastic price decrease and the availability of the new mobile site that can be accessed for free both serve to meet the company's new priority to "get Wolfram|Alpha in the hands of everyone." According to Managing Director Barak Berkowitz, the company aims "to democratize knowledge by giving people everywhere access to the amazing computational power and factual archive that is Wolfram|Alpha."

Those who purchased the iPhone app [App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wolframalpha/id334989259?mt=8)] at its previous regular price of $49.99 or its sale price of $19.99 can request a refund via an online form (http://products.wolframalpha.com/iphone/rebate/signin.html) through May 3. At its prior price of $49.99, the Wolfram Alpha app stood out in stark contrast to its web site that could be accessed from the iPhone for free, though it has still earned an overall customer rating of 3.5 stars in the App Store. Such a considerable permanent price drop has not been common in the App Store and the offering of this refund is notable for its timeliness and the forthright manner in which it is being offered.

Wolfram Alpha will also be launching a version of its app for the iPad on April 3, to be priced at $1.99 as well.

Article Link: Wolfram Alpha App Price Drop, New Mobile Site, and Upcoming iPad App (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2010/03/31/wolfram-alpha-app-price-drop-new-mobile-site-and-upcoming-ipad-app/)



talkingfuture
Apr 1, 2010, 03:05 AM
Still seems a little pricy as their sites works well enough on Mobile Safari.

macduke
Apr 1, 2010, 03:12 AM
For whatever reason, it never seems to work for the things that I want to research. I've tried it 7 or 8 different times, and it always fails. This is the web version, of course.

Anyone else think they only raised the price to lower it and generate some free press?

nagromme
Apr 1, 2010, 03:14 AM
Itís pretty cool that theyíre going to the trouble of offering a refund to those who paid the former price. Thatís going outside the usual iTunes system. Not many companies have done that!

Switz213
Apr 1, 2010, 03:20 AM
The world's best computational site finally did their own computations. 49.99 when the mobile version was just as efficient and free? did they really think it would sell (even without the mobile version)?
1.99 is pushing it itself, though I think the refund is pretty cool.

zarusoba
Apr 1, 2010, 04:10 AM
They might want to change the hideous name to something that people can actually remember:

"Hmmm, now what was the name of that internet knowledge search thingy by that genius dude that I heard about on the radio... Oh screw it I'll just Google!"

Tardyon
Apr 1, 2010, 08:17 AM
Oh... and April fools?

tny
Apr 1, 2010, 08:27 AM
Oh... and April fools?

If it's April Fools', does that mean that the copy of the app I just downloaded on my iPhone for $1.99 will disappear tomorrow, or that they'll charge me $47.00 for it tomorrow? In other words, no, this isn't an April Fools' joke.

squier
Apr 1, 2010, 08:28 AM
Still seems a little pricy as their sites works well enough on Mobile Safari.

It's got a nice extra keyboard in the app keyboard, for those that need it $1.99 is worth it.

broncopde
Apr 1, 2010, 10:06 AM
It's got a nice extra keyboard in the app keyboard, for those that need it $1.99 is worth it.

Exactly. I think for the most part whether the app is worth it depends to a certain extent how often you're using it for math/calculus/differential equations. At least that's my experience.

LastName
Apr 1, 2010, 10:41 AM
If it's April Fools', does that mean that the copy of the app I just downloaded on my iPhone for $1.99 will disappear tomorrow, or that they'll charge me $47.00 for it tomorrow? In other words, no, this isn't an April Fools' joke.

The Alpha engine tells me that $49.99 - $1.99 = $48.00, not $47.00. :-P

dolphindolphin
Apr 1, 2010, 12:58 PM
At least now I have something to hold me over until the mbp release.

coolbreeze
Apr 1, 2010, 04:24 PM
Wait, the $1.99 purchase today for the iPhone app will require a separate $1.99 iPad app purchase?

I see a disturbing trend here...thought the apps were to be interchangeable.

Sounds like if you want an app to run full screen without being pixelated, you need to buy the duplicate iPad version.

Right?

easepease
Apr 1, 2010, 04:35 PM
what about the 30% cut apple got from 49.99 price...??? is Wolfram just going to take the hit or what is going to happen?

Prenvo
Apr 1, 2010, 06:11 PM
Wait, the $1.99 purchase today for the iPhone app will require a separate $1.99 iPad app purchase?

I see a disturbing trend here...thought the apps were to be interchangeable.

Sounds like if you want an app to run full screen without being pixelated, you need to buy the duplicate iPad version.

Right?

Sorta.

A single app (that you've already bought, which has been updated) can install and run on both iPhone and iPad, but Apple's only allowed iPad-only apps at launch (allowing universal ones later); not universal ones..

EDIT: turns out some devs managed to get universal apps on to the store. Hmm.

fruitpunch.ben
Apr 1, 2010, 07:55 PM
what about the 30% cut apple got from 49.99 price...??? is Wolfram just going to take the hit or what is going to happen?

i'm sure they can afford it with all three people who were dumb enough to buy the app at $50 when it was free on the web

anthonyjr
Apr 1, 2010, 08:11 PM
Noticed it's a universal app earlier. You only have to buy it once.

Becordial
Apr 2, 2010, 12:38 AM
The problem still is whether it's really useful for much at all.

That's where the price comes in.

I asked it around 6 questions and got 1 meaningful answer, beautifully formatted.

And that's precisely the issue with it. They're drawing on primary data in many cases, and just appear to be packaging it around a set of templates determined by them to be relevant.

The way me and my colleagues use data is just much more dynamic and involves looking a the dataset from all angles. I'm just not sure that their system accomodates anything like that.

And that, therein, lies the problem. Who is it really meant for? Data experts or regular punters? Its got the feel and reliability which sits no higher than an consumer product and yet the average 'man on the street' couldn't care less about any of the questions and issues that Wolfram Alpha are trying to cover. OK, so data experts then? Again, not really, because to be quite frank it just can't be trusted to be a) comprehensive; and b) up-to-date. It also doesn't build a strong enough link to the primary data source if you need to more about methodology etc.

So there it is. Wolfram Alpha we like what you're trying but is it not enough of anything for some and too much for others.

wadejc85
Apr 2, 2010, 11:09 AM
The Alpha engine tells me that $49.99 - $1.99 = $48.00, not $47.00. :-P

He might have factored in some percent error? Now let's see, Wolfram Alpha, what is that percent error? :D

BuddyTronic
Apr 2, 2010, 03:15 PM
what about the 30% cut apple got from 49.99 price...??? is Wolfram just going to take the hit or what is going to happen?

Good point - I am also interested to know how software "refunds" can work through the appstore payment scheme - I'm sure they have some policies on doing that - but I wonder if there is extra "paperwork" on the back end accounting.

strike1555
Apr 6, 2010, 12:43 AM
The problem still is whether it's really useful for much at all.

That's where the price comes in.

I asked it around 6 questions and got 1 meaningful answer, beautifully formatted.

And that's precisely the issue with it. They're drawing on primary data in many cases, and just appear to be packaging it around a set of templates determined by them to be relevant.

The way me and my colleagues use data is just much more dynamic and involves looking a the dataset from all angles. I'm just not sure that their system accomodates anything like that.

And that, therein, lies the problem. Who is it really meant for? Data experts or regular punters? Its got the feel and reliability which sits no higher than an consumer product and yet the average 'man on the street' couldn't care less about any of the questions and issues that Wolfram Alpha are trying to cover. OK, so data experts then? Again, not really, because to be quite frank it just can't be trusted to be a) comprehensive; and b) up-to-date. It also doesn't build a strong enough link to the primary data source if you need to more about methodology etc.

So there it is. Wolfram Alpha we like what you're trying but is it not enough of anything for some and too much for others.

Clearly, you are clueless as to what the app is used for.

bakerster
Apr 6, 2010, 04:23 AM
Clearly, you are clueless as to what the app is used for.

and what exactly is that?

gotzero
Apr 6, 2010, 09:59 AM
I was one of the people that happily bought it at $50, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Even though it is available as a website, it is an amazingly powerful app, and sometimes, it is more about rewarding fantastic innovation than surface-level cost or perceived value.

If Wolfram is paying me back Apple's cut out of their pocket, which means I actually cost them money, I hope they make an option to withhold that amount or donate it back.

Wolfram is almost laughably powerful, and it would be worth just about any price of entry to me. There is a learning curve. You have to learn how to search on it, and what does not work, but it is more than worth the time.

Becordial
Apr 7, 2010, 01:21 PM
Clearly, you are clueless as to what the app is used for.

We're still waiting for your thoughtful insights.

japasneezemonk
Apr 8, 2010, 04:14 PM
I bought it and it's awesome. I would have happily paid 10-15 for it.

RawlsRorty
Apr 8, 2010, 04:44 PM
The problem still is whether it's really useful for much at all.

That's where the price comes in.

I asked it around 6 questions and got 1 meaningful answer, beautifully formatted.

And that's precisely the issue with it. They're drawing on primary data in many cases, and just appear to be packaging it around a set of templates determined by them to be relevant.

The way me and my colleagues use data is just much more dynamic and involves looking a the dataset from all angles. I'm just not sure that their system accomodates anything like that.

And that, therein, lies the problem. Who is it really meant for? Data experts or regular punters? Its got the feel and reliability which sits no higher than an consumer product and yet the average 'man on the street' couldn't care less about any of the questions and issues that Wolfram Alpha are trying to cover. OK, so data experts then? Again, not really, because to be quite frank it just can't be trusted to be a) comprehensive; and b) up-to-date. It also doesn't build a strong enough link to the primary data source if you need to more about methodology etc.

So there it is. Wolfram Alpha we like what you're trying but is it not enough of anything for some and too much for others.

Pardon me, but you sound like a poser who doesn't have any idea what the Wolfram Alpha site and app are for.
Now I can't speak for everyone who uses Wolfram Alpha, but I use it to look up answers to math problems that I've either forgotten, or can't be bothered to derive:
1) How do you derive an exact analytical solution of the pendulum equation?
2) How do you expand Bessel functions into sines and cosines?
3) How can I make a quick GUI to solve the Van der Pol equation with arbitrary parameter values?

These are all problems that I occasionally have to deal with at work. I don't deal with them often enough that I can afford to spend hours coding up solutions in SciPy or Matlab. They're also esoteric enough that I'm not always going to remember their derivations.
I can solve these problems MUCH faster with Wolfram Alpha than I can with anything else.
Like others have said, I'd pay $10 bucks easy for this app now that I have an iPad.

Becordial
Apr 10, 2010, 10:50 AM
There's no need for insults, and I feel no need to validate my quant work with you. Still it's more than a little ironic to open your insult by labelling someone as a poser and closing with a reference to your iPad.

FieldingMellish
Jun 22, 2010, 09:39 PM
I need the Wolfram app to finally be able to answer my old high school math questions. Like the one pertaining to two locomotives traveling at different rates of speed; they left at two different times; so what flavor latte do they serve on each?