"Lite" versions of software?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by return7, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. return7 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #1
    Do they help? Would you pay 99c for a Lite version that had most of the features of a full app?

    UPDATE:

    So it's finally out..if anyone wants to try it :)

    BillMinder Lite
     
  2. MaxPower49 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #2
    depends on the app, features available, and cost of the regular app... but probably not.
     
  3. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #3
    Ok, so for example, our BillMinder app is usually 3 bucks. We want to do a lite version for 99 cents that basically drops password protection and a couple of minor features -- basically for those out there who just want a basic bill tracking app without bells and whistles. Thoughts?
     
  4. Orr3 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #4
    If there was a lite version I would probably still buy the whole Billminder app. Don't want to feel I miseed out on anything. You can do a lite version free with many dropped features so people can try?
     
  5. crackout macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #5
    I think the significant majority of people who are still interested in paying for it would just go for the full version.

    If you are looking to increase sales then a free Lite version might be a better option. Also, I think it would be better to make it have the exact same functions as the paid version. The only difference being that the Lite version limits you to 1 recurring bill and 1 or 2 individual bills.
     
  6. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Fair enough but wouldn't doing that basically make it useless? That wasn't our intent in making a lite version.

    Thanks for the input -- any more thoughts?
     
  7. rfrankl macrumors 6502

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    Apr 15, 2006
    #7
    I don't think most people would pay for a lite version. Usually if they like the lite version enough after getting to try it, they would then pay for the full version.
     
  8. IronWaffle macrumors regular

    IronWaffle

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    #8
    For what it's worth, I regularly use lite versions to get a sense of an app. In the case of utilities, productivity and other actually useful apps where I might have to invest considerable time (I'm thinking of Car Care-type apps) I like being able to get a sense of the product before putting time into exploring a program's strengths and weaknesses. This is especially so for apps where there may be several competing apps that do the same thing.

    I'm not in the market for your type of app (at this time), but based on my previous purchases I'd say that I'd probably download the trial at some point and try it out. There are several where I've downloaded the lite version and felt it wasn't ready, but kept it in iTunes so I'd know when there were updates and then I'd re-evaluate. I'd say that's led me to eventually purchase full versions eventually and, say, 1 in 4 apps overall.

    Now, that's different for games where I'll often download the free version to check it out, but rarely buy the full version since gaming's not my thing.
    (Okay, I admit buying Tetris, Scrabble and SimCity, but... but... when they were on sale... stupid nostalgia;))
     
  9. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    So would you prefer a free lite version with all the features but limited to 3 or 5 bills or a feature-limited version?
     
  10. WishIWasHere macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2008
    #10
    I often use free lite versions to see how I like an app, but have never used a paid lite version. If I'm going to pay, I'm more likely to pay for the full version. I personally feel, given the way the app store is shaping up, that anything called 'lite' should be free, just a demo version. Then maybe have a regular version with limited functionality and a pro version that has everything. Just my thoughts on the matter.
     
  11. rfrankl macrumors 6502

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    #11
    If the features you have on your paid version are that good and you think that is what differentiates your app from others, then I would include them, but limit the number of bills, etc.
     
  12. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Got it. So my next question is what the limit on bills should be for a lite version? What's enough to give you a taste but not too much that you won't buy our full app? Is 3 bills per month and 3 collectors/billers enough?
     
  13. IronWaffle macrumors regular

    IronWaffle

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    #13
    I agree with the above. Something I forgot to mention is that there are some apps where they link to their own site and have a video demo from which I can get a pretty good idea. If the video is articulate enough to give me an idea of the experience I've had no issue with making the purchase and skipping any possible lite version.


    As long as it were to give me an idea of what I'm buying, yeah. Personally, I don't mind spending on apps, but (especially in the case of Car apps) I found it annoying that I had to try so many before settling on the one that best fit my needs and now they clutter iTunes in case there are eventual updates to change my mind.

    As to how to limit the app, I have no idea. I may be off my rocker, but for that I might reach out to some true believers who have already bought the app and see what they might advise.

    I have no idea if my perspective is common or rare, though, so take it with a boulder of salt. I mean, I'm interested in paying for one or two free apps which I think are simply deserving of it.
     
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    The problem with a paid "lite" version is, if you later decide you need the full version, you end up paying more than you would have paid if you just bought the full version in the first place (cost of lite version + cost of full version). So, if the difference between a full and lite version is only a few dollars, I usually just buy the full version.
     
  15. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Right, I think we're past wanting to charge for the lite version at this point. Thanks. :) Have any input on limiting the free version enough to incent people to purchase but not enough to put them off?
     
  16. IronWaffle macrumors regular

    IronWaffle

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    #16
    Okay, call this my way of milking the clock (sorry, boss, if you're monitoring this!).

    Having read your description and looking at the five screenshots on your app page, what would get me to d/l the free version yet whet my appetite for the full might be:

    1. Limiting either the number of alerts or the period they're available.
    2. Limit # of occurrences to perhaps 2 or 3 for any given bill (or limit the number of recurring bills one can manage).
    3. On Collector Info perhaps block the "Show History" to limit the functionality without penalizing upgraders who've built history.

    With something like that, my only hesitation as a potential buyer would be that if I upgraded I'd want any previously saved data in the free version to be available (automatically or with a reasonable effort) in the upgraded app.
     
  17. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #17
    We thought about the sharing data bit -- going to be painful as we can't access files between the separate app directories on non-jailbroken phones. We'll have to do some sort of backup/restore functionality (we want to anyway but it's a little further out on the timeline). Thanks for the suggestions.

    More suggestions are welcome, of course
     
  18. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Thanks for the suggestions. We're going to put out a free, lite version..sending it to Apple now. :D
     
  19. WishIWasHere macrumors regular

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    #19
    Ahh, well that's good news. After reading this thread, I'm actually curious to give BillMinder a try.
     
  20. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Well, I'm obviously biased but I think it's a great product. It is on sale right now for $1.99 (usually $2.99). I understand if you want to wait until this Lite version hits, though. :)

    It's basically a ToDo list for bills with a lot of features centered around that. We plan on adding more features (email export to CSV, more robust recurring bill options, etc). Anyway, I hope it works out for you one way or another. :)
     
  21. WishIWasHere macrumors regular

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    #21
    For what it's worth, it's really beginning to make a difference to me to see developers who are genuinely trying to put out a quality app, and to make it better as time goes by. I've gotten to where I routinely check the history of an app while I'm making a decision to get it or not. I have a general To Do app that was released in August, updated in October, a couple of price changes thrown in, but nothing at all since very early January. I understand that Apple is quite the taskmaster and sometimes updates don't get approved. However, 5 months of no updates tells me that either it has become an App Store Orphan, or the next update is going to be a whopper. It's a pretty good app too, I like it, but I'm looking for something new, because if you're standing still, then you're falling behind. I see that in the last 6 months, BillMinder has had 7 updates (as have the other 2 apps by the same guys/girls). Now, I don't know how big those updates were, but at least it shows the developer is making the effort. That makes a difference, and it's those developers that I want to support, and I want to see succeed.
     
  22. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Thank you. I'll be the first to admit we had a rough start with BillMinder but we've done our best to improve it (and will continue to do so) and had some major updates and as well as a few minor ones. We generally try to put out simple applications that WE would want to use and let our user base help us decide what else is needed (suggestions always welcome -- we can't always implement them all, but we do take them all seriously and consider them).

    I'm not defending the maker of said ToDo app but I can tell you from experience that once an app is off a Top 20 list in its category, it only sells 5-10 copies per day (at best). At 1-3 bucks a unit, this makes for a loss of money after one puts in time answering support emails and basic maintenance. It's sort of unfortunate, really, as it's very easy for an app to get entirely lost on the App Store and literally cost one money to maintain since there is little to no return on the time investment. That developer probably moved on to another application or gave up entirely. It's tough to justify the time when you're putting in 20-50 hours a week and getting a couple hundred bucks a month of out it. Granted, few people do that. I don't mean to sound greedy in saying that. The fact is most developers on the app store aren't making 5k+ per month, 10k+ per month or the elusive 10k/day in the top 10..it's more like a few hundred dollars a month or perhaps a (very) few thousand a month if you happened to come out with a popular product.

    Anyway, have a good one! :D
     
  23. Orr3 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #23
    Illusion Labs (developers behind, Touchgrind, Sway, Labyrinth) said they earned more than $1 000 000 one their apps last year!
    So you can live on making apps if you make a good app and have a little bit of luck.

    Sorry for my English (is from Sweden, same country as Illusion Labs :cool:)
     
  24. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Don't worry about your English, it's great that you speak a second language at all! Yes, that's very awesome for them (and I'm glad :cool:) but it's definitely not the norm for iPhone developers. There's definitely some luck involved..there's also putting out a quality product. :)
     
  25. return7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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