Some Simple Mobile Tools apps are becoming paid

Tibor Kaputa
Nov 3, 2018 · 4 min read

As shocking as it sounds, it really isn’t as bad as it seems. Hear me out.
The apps have been free since the beginning, with a “Purchase Simple Thank You” dialog appearing occasionally unless you already had it installed.

But, the introduction of the new monetization model resulted in some of the suite’s popular apps to cost a tiny amount ($1.19 / 0.69€). It is a one time payment, so once you purchase an app, you will never have to pay for it again. Not even after you get a new device.

Also note that if you uninstall any paid app within 2 hours, you will automatically be refunded. If you want a refund anytime later, just contact us at hello@simplemobiletools.com and you will get it. That makes it really easy to test them out.

Less popular apps from the suite will continue to stay free. As free apps on Google Play cannot be switched to become paid apps, brand new apps had to be published to make them paid. A fresh app install also allows for some structural changes that would have been too difficult or too risky to do in a casual app update.

Why should you upgrade?

The Pro apps have been developed for over a year now and so they already have many new features, more stability, language translations, and performance improvements. Their average rating on Google Play is above 4.5, so you really don’t have to worry about the quality. Since the free app versions won’t be updated anymore, the difference will always grow. Let me list just a few of the most important changes in the new paid app versions.

Simple Gallery Pro:

Simple Calendar Pro:

Simple Contacts Pro:

Simple Notes Pro:

Simple File Manager Pro:

Simple Draw Pro:

Simple Gallery Pro promo video

Why am I doing it?

Developing these apps takes a lot of time. As their popularity is clearly growing, working on them is actually my full-time job - this is not a hobby project anymore. It isn’t just about coding, though. I spend a lot of time reading and replying to feedback/reviews on Google Play, emails, Facebook, etc. Since the apps involve so many different aspects of Android and programming in general, it takes a lot of research, too. For example, just because you don’t see me doing anything on Github for a day doesn’t mean I had a day off. I likely was researching a particular feature, which I even do on the weekends.

Being able to focus on development without having to worry about money will have a dramatic impact on app quality.

I was already making some money via Simple Thank You and other support, but I wanted to scale it further. I could be making much more at a full-time programming job, which I have had offers for, but I don’t want to go that way. If I had to work on my apps only in my free time, progress would be really slow and their quality would be diminished.

What does this mean to you?

Well, I would recommend getting the new app versions, which will have “Pro” appended to the app name on Google Play. The launcher name on your device will remain unchanged. Once you migrate your data from the old app to the new one (which is optional), you can delete the old version. The icons look the same, so you can identify the old version by the version number. To see this, go to Menu -> About and check the bottom of the page. Version 5.x is the old app, while all new Pro versions are 6.x. They also have “Pro” appended to the number.

Your settings will be reset to default values, so you might need to go back and change them how you would like. You will also have to migrate any locally stored items like Calendar events, contacts in Simple Contacts, and Notes.

The philosophy of the apps remains untouched. All apps will still be ad-free, open sourced on Github, and won’t require internet access and weird permissions.

What about Simple Thank You?

It will still be around and required for Shared Theme to work. Technically, Shared Theme needs one app that will take care of the synchronization, and it cannot be decentralized. It will still be paid, but I made it cheaper.

Why no ads?

Adding ads in the apps would require adding an Internet permission, which would discourage many people from using them, and it would go against the whole concept of the apps.

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That’s it for now. I hope that you understand my decision and will support it. I wanted to make it clear where am I getting the money from. Unlike many other apps, I’m not collecting or selling your data and I’m not forcing any ads on you, either.

Thank you!

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