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 macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    Still seems a little pricy as their sites works well enough on Mobile Safari.
  3. macduke macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    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. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    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. Switz213 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2008
    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. zarusoba macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2006
    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. Tardyon macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2008
  8. tny macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2003
    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. squier macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2006
    It's got a nice extra keyboard in the app keyboard, for those that need it $1.99 is worth it.
  10. broncopde macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Conway, AR
    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. LastName macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2010
    The Alpha engine tells me that $49.99 - $1.99 = $48.00, not $47.00. :p
  12. dolphindolphin macrumors regular

    May 29, 2008
    New York
    At least now I have something to hold me over until the mbp release.
  13. coolbreeze macrumors 68000

    Jan 20, 2003
    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.

  14. easepease macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2010
    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. Prenvo macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2009
    United Kingdom

    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. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2008
    Surrey, BC
    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. anthonyjr macrumors member


    Sep 27, 2007
    Noticed it's a universal app earlier. You only have to buy it once.
  18. Becordial macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    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. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    He might have factored in some percent error? Now let's see, Wolfram Alpha, what is that percent error? :D
  20. BuddyTronic macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    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. strike1555 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    Clearly, you are clueless as to what the app is used for.
  22. bakerster macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    and what exactly is that?
  23. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    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. Becordial macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    We're still waiting for your thoughtful insights.
  25. japasneezemonk macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2005
    I bought it and it's awesome. I would have happily paid 10-15 for it.

Share This Page