Well, it’s been a pretty crazy week since the launch of V2!
This has been a real labour of love for us over the last year or so, and I can’t even begin to describe how hard the development team have worked on it. Not only getting the V2 apps launched, but also of course finally bringing Publisher to iPad.
With this being our first paid-for upgrade there has understandably been a lot of feedback / questions around future updates and our pricing policies. I thought it was worth addressing / clarifying our position on some of these personally...
Updates to V2 moving forward
Buying V2 not only gets you all the new features you have seen, but we have various updates planned – including many more new features and improvements – which you will get for free. This will continue until such a time that V3 is released. We’re not sure exactly when V3 will be, but I can confirm we are not going to move to anything as regular as an annual upgrade cycle as has been speculated.
It’s worth saying too that V2 does include many under-the-hood changes to our underlying technology, and we have also been investing in several new areas of research recently. Some of these haven’t manifested themselves into new features yet, but overall V2 does give us a better platform to develop on moving forward and I’m sure you will be pleased with the updates V2 will receive.
Updates to V1 moving forward
While we did say on the FAQ that V1 would no longer receive any updates, I want to clarify that was about new feature updates. We will be updating V1 to fix any critical problems caused by operating system updates in the future. So if the next version of macOS breaks V1 we will endeavour to fix it. There will be a point in time when continuing to maintain V1 in this way will not be tenable, but certainly for the foreseeable future we will continue to patch. In fact, we have an update to V1 queued up for release very shortly with some fixes for Ventura and issues caused by a recent Windows security / quality update.
We will update our FAQ shortly to make that clearer for everyone.
In case you didn’t see, I’m pleased to confirm we have decided to run this initial launch offer until 14th December to give everyone the best chance possible to get it if they wish / have a decent amount of time to trial it.
It’s been really hard to see some of the comments about us not looking after our existing customers – we’re pretty devasted that anyone feels like that to be honest. But the fact is we felt our hands were tied somewhat with being able to offer upgrade pricing in a fair way. The main reason for this was App Store customers (which make up around 35% of our userbase). The problems with that are two-fold: firstly, we didn’t have a way from within V1 to validate an App Store purchase receipt to reliably ensure customers who were entitled to an upgrade could get one; and secondly, we could not find a good way for people to get that discount via the App Store. Us pushing upgrade customers to go exclusively via our own site (including customers who were previously acquired via the app stores) may also have put us in violation of App Store Ts & Cs which we were obviously concerned about.
I’m not saying that these issues were completely insurmountable, but any solutions we came up with would be messy, and most importantly could have resulted in some bona fide V1 customers struggling to get validated and claim their discount. We certainly don’t have the support resource here if we ended up needing to manually validate tens of thousands of receipts for example.
The only option we felt was safe to move forward with was a general launch offer, which would guarantee that every V1 customer could get the discount, whether they purchased directly through us or the App Stores. We knew a side effect of that would mean some new customers would end up receiving that same discount – but we felt that was a better option than V1 customers missing out. It’s also worth saying that while there has been some good press about V2, all our main marketing has been via email and through social media to our followers. In other words, we felt ok about it because we knew the vast majority of people who would find out about it or take advantage of the offer would be existing customers. I would be surprised if over the offer period customers upgrading from V1 didn’t make up more than 90% of our sales.
Overall I do believe us giving a 40% discount, along with the addition of the new Universal Licence of course, is offering fantastic value for money for those who want to upgrade.
However, taking on board some of the feedback there is something extra we can do – we will offer a new free bundle of content exclusively for V1 customers upgrading to V2 as an extra thank you for your support. I’ve seen this suggested by a number of customers and it’s a great idea as it does remove the App Store conflict entirely.
We’ll need a little time to put something together, but all customers who previously registered or purchased V1 and have since upgraded to V2 will receive a voucher code for this via email as soon as we can.
A comment on no subscription
I do want to say that some of the points above are exactly the reason why software companies move to subscription. Whatever you do with upgrade pricing, you still have the issue of customers who bought the previous version 3 months ago vs. those who have had it 2+ years. Offering perpetual licences also gives the additional overhead of needing to maintain the previous version longer than you would if everyone was on subscription / generally always on the latest version.
We are a small team so some of these complications are not ideal — all we really want to do is focus on developing our latest codebase, push out regular updates and continue with our mission to make great creative software accessible to everyone.
But it does need to be funded somehow. We know you love our no-subscription model, but there also needs to be a level of appreciation that the alternative is having paid-for upgrades from time to time. That unfortunately comes with its own problems.
All of that said, I have to say we have been blown away with the response to V2 - around 3 times as many people have upgraded in the last week than we expected - and we really can't thank you enough for the support you have shown. More than anything the success of this upgrade puts us in a great place to continue investing heavily in development which is ultimately what it's all about, and we’re super excited to crack on with some great updates coming next year!
All the best,