Wolfram Alpha App Price Drop, New Mobile Site, and Upcoming iPad App

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    #1
    [​IMG]

    Wolfram Alpha, the company behind the online computational knowledge engine that was launched last year, announced 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 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] at its previous regular price of $49.99 or its sale price of $19.99 can request a refund via an online form 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
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    talkingfuture

    #2
    Still seems a little pricy as their sites works well enough on Mobile Safari.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    macduke

    #3
    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?
     
  4. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    #4
    It’s pretty cool that they’re going to the trouble of offering a refund to those who paid the former price. That’s going outside the usual iTunes system. Not many companies have done that!
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    #6
    Change the hideous name

    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!"
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    #7
    Oh... and April fools?
     
  8. tny
    macrumors 6502

    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    #9
    It's got a nice extra keyboard in the app keyboard, for those that need it $1.99 is worth it.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors member

    #11
    The Alpha engine tells me that $49.99 - $1.99 = $48.00, not $47.00. :p
     
  12. macrumors regular

    #12
    At least now I have something to hold me over until the mbp release.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    #13
    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?
     
  14. macrumors regular

    #14
    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?
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    #16
    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
     
  17. macrumors member

    #17
    Noticed it's a universal app earlier. You only have to buy it once.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    #19
    He might have factored in some percent error? Now let's see, Wolfram Alpha, what is that percent error? :D
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    #21
    Clearly, you are clueless as to what the app is used for.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    #22
    and what exactly is that?
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    #24
    We're still waiting for your thoughtful insights.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    japasneezemonk

    #25
    I bought it and it's awesome. I would have happily paid 10-15 for it.
     

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