About CoverSutra, the Mac App Store and Sanity

by Milind Alvares

About CoverSutra, the Mac App Store and Sanity

by Milind Alvares on January 8, 2011

About CoverSutra, the Mac App Store →

Sophia Teutschler has got herself into quite a pickle:

Charging $5 for this update is fair. I don‘t think, nor did I ever think of, that this is a rip-off. You also have to admit that I‘m definitely not so stupid to break promises by intent. If I thought of that license text I would have simply declared this new version 3.0. Calling me a liar is simply wrong and way over the top.

I’ve seen some of the rage hurled against Sophia about this ‘act of greed’ — most of them were overtly rude. She doesn’t come across as a greedy person; has offered many discounts over the years, even making the app free on multiple occasions. However, I don’t think just because it’s only $5 changes anything. Or that she’s an indie developer and has limited time and resources (in which case the correct resolve would be to reduce the number of projects).

The truth is no one really cares about small bug fixes and minor features to be outraged. No one was demanding CoverSutra updates at the moment. The app works just as good today as it did the day they bought it. There are far more important things to worry about in life than updates to an iTunes controller. Moreover, if one buys version 2.5 from the Mac App Store now, they’ll get 3.0 when it comes out anyway so ultimately users who want to stick around won’t be paying extra. But all those factors are irrelevant to this case, which is breach of contract with existing customers, who might have paid up to $20 for a license.

This is far from that Loren Brichter – Tweetie 2 situation, where it was a brand new version that warranted a new version number and the App Store didn’t support upgrade pricing. This is nearly the same version, with minor feature updates, that can technically still be updated using whatever update system was in place. Pixelmator is doing it. Panic is doing it. I don’t think Apple is going to make you buy iLife ’11 apps again. It’s not such a big effort, considering both the packages are almost exactly the same. I’m not saying it’s greed that made her choose to go App Store only, just bad judgement. Her mistake is in not admitting to it.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Matthew

there’s going to be a lot of hurt with the appstore and people already owning the apps.

pixelmator is fair enough, I’ve had a license for ages, their update policy is generous enough it’s also discounted and I’ll be getting the next version for free.

Echofon however has yet to reveal what they are doing. Their app is in the appstore already, but no announcement has been made about updates to the outsider and this is for something I brought about 2 months ago! If they turn round and reject the outsider app, there is going to be *big* trouble. sure $20 might not be much to some people but it is to me even more so considering I’ve just brought it.

   

Aleks Ivic

“The app works just as good today as it did the day they bought it.”

Well put! It’s a great application and I’ve been using it the day it came out. I totally don’t understand people’s outrage.

Furthermore,

1) You have now the ability to install it on multiple computers for personal use (T&A)
2) Free updates
3) You have to dig the bigger desktop album cases!

   

Chris

I’m not happy–I purchased CoverSutra about six weeks ago with the understanding that updates would be free. Now I have to purchase it again? When I went to the CoverSutra website to see what’s going on, I found the “explanation” to be more than a little disingenuous; specifically, the developer states this is a 3.0 app (and says so in the license dialog), but is listed as 2.5 in the AppStore AND on the developer’s website in a blog dated January 6. Which is it? Regardless of what the real story is, this looks developer now looks like she’s trying to weasel out of a promise to previous customers. Not a smart move, and bad for business in the long run.

In the end, I will probably spend the money because CoverSutra does its job well, but I will certainly think twice before buying any of this developer’s software in the future. I realize Apple is to also to blame for this situation, but this move to the AppStore was poorly executed by both Apple and this developer.

   

stargOOse

Is it really the truth, tha it is not possible to deliver free updates for people who already purchased the softwae?

Because I bought Things in times before the Mac Appstore and it says “installed” in the Mac Appstore. So what’s the difference compared to coversutra.

   

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