Airmail Users Frustrated About Sudden Switch to Subscription-Based Pricing on iPhone and iPad [Updated]

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. grmlin macrumors member

    grmlin

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    #126
    I bought many premium apps both for iOS and macOS in the past, no regrets. Things like magnet, paste or Apollo (on iOS) are just too good.
    I also use 1Password, but I'll look into alternatives next year when the subscription has to be renewed... pretty sure there are decent alternatives to get. I just missed it in June.
     
  2. MacBH928 macrumors 68040

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #127
    I love that guy who is complaining that he paid 5 Euros a year ago...:D:D

    I am not a developer. but by the power of the internet if you can make 200K users pay $10 for your app, thats $2M. Not sure if its enough income for the developer or not, and thats just for 1 of the apps he develops. Some make 2-5 apps.

    I am more ok with subscription with more complex bigger apps like Office, but something like a mail viewer and a podcast player...meh.

    That should be illegal
     
  3. jk1211 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    #128

    It's the point that the developer set a price (not the consumer) and consumer paid it for the app. Maybe the developer should have planned better and charged 10? THEY set the price, that is their problem.

    But now developer says, well we know you paid for the app but were taking away this basic app function (push notifications and multiple accounts) unless you pay us monthly now suddenly. Even though you already paid for the app with all of the features.


    Going back, it would again be like buying a car and 3-4 years later the car manufacturer deciding you know what you cant use your key fob anymore unless you pay us $10/month, even though you bought the car with a key fob in the price already that is the standard in cars today to unlock and lock it remotely and used it for a few years.

    Its completely wrong and likely illegal.
     
  4. grmlin macrumors member

    grmlin

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    #129
    I don't care how much I paid for the app, all that matters is that I did.

    Just imagine this becomes an accepted business model. It shouldn't be allowed to transform a premium/paid app into a free2play/use one. Make it a new app and abandon the old one. But don't take it away from the customers who paid for it.
     
  5. illmatic41 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    #130
    While completely different from the dickmove that Bloop did for Airmail, your analogy reminded me of my same thoughts regarding Tesla removing the long range function of cars they sold that at the standard range price. Granted the owners were not paying for these upgraded functions, I think it's interesting how Tesla can remove range, heated seats, etc. with software and then ask the owner to pay for the upgrade later. Vehicles becoming gimped software with a trial period...what strange times we live in.
     
  6. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #131
    Completely agree. However, I already paid them. I don't buy milk at the grocery store and then have the price go up the next day and have the farmer show up at my door telling me I need to pay them more money if I want to continue using the milk.

    This would be like buying a car and three months later the windshield wipers don't work anymore, and you call the dealership and they say, yeah, we decided to charge you a subscription fee for that. I really enjoyed AirMail, but I won't be enjoying it anymore. Hope Apple tells them they can't do that and makes them get rid.
     
  7. Wildkraut macrumors 6502a

    Wildkraut

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #132
    And -1; Adobe, MsOffice, Ulyssis, 1Password and ScanBot please welcome Airmail yeahhhhhh
     
  8. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    #133
    While there are valid arguments for both sides, as a customer I'm OK with subscription software. The reality is that my needs change over time, and sometimes that means switching to a different product. With a subscription, I get to pay a reduced cost every month/year... then if I still like it and use it I'm OK with paying that reduced cost again.

    Buying a perpetual license doesn't solve the main argument in this thread. It gives you a license to a particular version of software. Step outside the App Store and consider this. Buy Microsoft Office today. In 18 months they have a major version release. Your original purchase may or may not cover the upgrade. If it does... great! If not, you probably have to pay an upgrade fee. If not... you pay full price.

    From my perspective, it's not a question of "are we going to pay" but "how much and when".
     
  9. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #134
    I agree. I have no issue with subscriptions. But not for something I already paid for. Had AirMail released a new version of the app, hell, even if the updated version of the app didn't look any different, but my app still functioned as it had when I PAID for it, I'd be fine. Instead I got zero warning, suddenly my app is updated and I no longer have a feature I paid for already. That's BAD BUSINESS. If they would have even given us advance warning this was going to happen, I probably would have said eh, I like this app, I'm willing to pay a little extra. But the way they went about it, I will NOT pay them a dime in subscription fees.
     
  10. dsusanj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #135
  11. conshok26 macrumors 6502

    conshok26

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    North Tonawanda, NY
    #136
    I would agree with this approach. I've bought multiple versions of Reeder and Tweetbot. In these cases they don't strip functionality from their app (I'm pretty sure) they just add new functionality and offer a new app. If you want this great, you buy the app. If you're good with the way things are they don't take anything away from you.
     
  12. mfm77 macrumors member

    mfm77

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #137
    This was a colossal screwup, and the worst part is the developers are shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Costs increased, oh well” to their customers. No apology, no “We want to win you back, and here’s how we’ll do it” - nada. Maybe they banked on losing a huge portion of customers while getting enough people to buy the app to further their goals. That won’t last, though - not if they don’t zap the myriad bugs in the app.
     
  13. mnylen, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019

    mnylen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2019
    Location:
    Akaa, Suomi
    #138
    It isn't quite as cheap as you might think it is. If you have 10,000,000 email accounts you need to check every 10 minutes with each check taking on average 1 second, you end up doing 44,640,000,000 checks monthly and as many seconds of time. Likely the interval is shorter than 10 minutes too.

    Because the checking is not compute intensive (it's mostly waiting on Gmail's API) let's say you decide to get AWS EC2 t3.medium instances with 2 cores each at $0.0416/hour. Let's say you can run 8 "checker threads" per core as mostly they spend their time waiting on API calls and not doing any computing.

    You end up needing 1042 EC2 instances for running the checking at 24/7. This will cost you $31,200 per month and only includes the cost of _checking for mail_. It doesn't include for example the cost of databases (where the account information is stored), the components that schedule the checking to happen once every 10 minutes for each account, storage to store the checker application and the logs, any automated monitoring (you really don't want to manually go through 1000 instances when something goes awry), data transfer etc. Plus you would often have some extra capacity provisioned in case there's any slowdowns with the external APIs.

    Sure, you can get by with $5/mo DigitalOcean machine for your personal use. But in scale, you need a lot more.
     
  14. Khedron, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019

    Khedron macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #139
    The customers they're losing are the ones who already paid the single cost. The customers they gain are on subscriptions. Fewer customers to support and the ones they do pay more. Win-win, apparently: "...love to focus on smaller but loyal userbase"

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Airmailred...ion/etx1uqc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x
     
  15. ginkobiloba macrumors 6502a

    ginkobiloba

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #140
    I'm perfectly ok paying for an upgrade ( or even full price if it's not expensive ) for new versions. I have some pro audio and video software that costs over 200$ for upgrades to new versions. I just don't like being hold hostage by software that has no jusfication for monthly rent.
     
  16. auxbuss macrumors regular

    auxbuss

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #141
    This makes some weighty assumptions.

    First, I think we can safely say that Airmail doesn't have 10M accounts to check. Most users are going to have one account, far fewer with two, and so on. (fwiw, I have three; but I know I'm an edge case.) But let's go with it.

    Next, not every account will have push activated, nor will each have push available.

    Next, if you run OS threads per processor, then you're doing it wrong. For example, even if we take the 10M accounts as correct, then you can spin up that many erlang processes simultaneously on a single 32Gb instance of some VM. (erlang processes are approximately 8Gb minimum per 3M (on a 64-bit system).) A dedicated CPU 32Gb Linode runs 120 USD per month.

    Now, there's more to it than that, of course, including a database (as you mention, although scheduling is simple per process) though there are many ways to limit the checking. However, this is not something that requires large scale infrastructure along with its associated costs.

    At bottom, you're just pinging endpoints and sending notifications based on results. Trivial stuff, even at massive scale, which this isn't (by today's standards).
     
  17. auxbuss macrumors regular

    auxbuss

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #142
    For my part, I spent the afternoon migrating two macOS and two iOS with three email accounts back to Apple's Mail.

    That's wasted time, far more costly that the software.

    This is my second experience of Apple's enabling of bait and switch. The other was Ulysses.

    While I hold both developers in absolute contempt – equivalent to thieves or, more accurately, pickpockets – I also blame Apple for enabling this practice. Apple controls the market absolutely. None of this would happen if their rules precluded this obnoxious behaviour. Where are they?

    Henceforth, I will not buy anything from the MAS until Apple blocks this practice.
     
  18. Khedron macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #143
    Nice try but you ignore a couple of key points; we passed peak push a few years back and now the push wells are running dry. The cost of a barrel of pushes has grown exponentially over the last few months. The government has started rationing pushes to ensure the supply of military pushes and medical pushes is not compromised, as well as subsidising agricultural pushes and stockpiling pushes for future use. This has only increased the burden on consumer push suppliers and users face increased push costs or a loss of push services completely. Senator Ted Stevens forewarned us that the internet tubes would be eventually be clogged by unsustainable push use, but the propaganda campaign by big push drowned him out.
     
  19. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #144
    I did the same. I like having my work email in a separate app from my personal mail, but I need push notifications for my email on both ends. I don't like Spark, Outlook doesn't work for me for some reason, so I'm back to Apple Mail, which has always been excellent for me other than having to have my personal and work accounts in the same app.
     
  20. yayarod macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
    #145
    Spark is fantastic but it only supports IMAP.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 16, 2019 ---
    Spark is fantastic but it only supports IMAP.
     
  21. jdclifford macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #146
    DO U mean as opposed to POP mail accounts?
     
  22. jonblatho macrumors 65816

    jonblatho

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    Missouri
    #147
    Containers and microservices exist for a reason.
     
  23. yayarod macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
    #148
    Yes, Spark doesn't support POP3 accounts.
     
  24. wirefire macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    #149
    Simple solution... they should have released "Airmail Pro" and used the subscription model on that software. Airmail should have been discontinued (no longer sold) but allowed to exist in its current form. Until some iOS update destroyed it and forced everyone to move to airmail pro. I don't like it but I was screwed on this just like Plants Vs Zombies. I have the original paid for version on my iPad but it has bugs, those bugs do not exist on the current advertising supported version but the old paid for version will never be fixed.
     
  25. dsusanj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #150

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