Free Refills vs App Updates

“The best things in life are free.”

Think about this… You can get free re-fills for your $1.50 soft drink while you’re at the restaurant. But you’ll have to pay again when you return the next day. This is how the App Store works today.

Some developers do work hard to make those apps for you. You can argue that they’re reusing a lot of the same code; somewhat true. And the soft drink makers are selling you the same recipe. Right? But you keep paying for the same thing over and over again. Well, when it comes to apps, it’s not always the same code or recipe. But you don’t want to pay for it more than once. I rewrite most or sometimes all of my code. So, you’re not always getting the same recipe. I do that only because I always find ways to improve and make the app better. Soft drink makers rarely do this. I don’t think charging for a major new release is unreasonable.

I’m seeing a lot of complaints from people having to fork over another dollar or two for an update to an app they had already paid for. I don’t understand the resentment. It makes me think that those people don’t realize how much work goes into an app update. Especially, a major new release. I’ve been thinking about this problem since the App Store opened. Apple do need to address this problem and allow developers to charge a minimal upgrade fee for those who already bought the app. The new customers would have to pay the full price. Maybe we need a sign like McDonald’s in the App Store?

Now think about this… Your soft drink is gone but you still have the app to play with and enjoy. Isn’t that worth a dollar or two more?