Tai Shimizu

iOS & Mac Developer

Creator of the iOS photography apps Gridditor & Filterstorm, the Mac drawing app Inkist, the Mac HDR app Light Compressor, and the experimental web browser Torii.

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WWDC 2012 Thoughts From The Plane To SF

The One Thing I Want From iOS 6.

There has been a lot of talk and speculation over what Apple will announce tomorrow at the WWDC keynote, but the one thing I’ve been waiting for for the last couple years has barely been mentioned, if at all. Yes, mapping could be improved (and it will be) and yes, iOS could support better communication between apps, but there’s something else that is missing that hurts both consumers and developers.

Paid updates.

When I first released Filterstorm back in 2010, my plan was to charge money for the update that added layers to the app. Well, that came in 2011 and I didn’t end up charging. So far, the consumer has won if they’re purchasing from me. However, a number of other developers have gone the route of releasing a new app for their major update. PhotoForge 2 is a good example. In this (entirely understandable) case, existing customers lose, as they have to pay full price a second time for the app.

I want to charge $0.99 to existing customers for a major update, rather than having them pay the full $3.99 for the new functionality as if I were to release a separate app. I also want to be able to use the update screen to let customers know the new version exists rather than having to search for it on the app store.

On the other side of the coin, in app purchases would allow me to charge for new features, but this sort of nickel-and-dime charging per feature is antithetical to my ideals of simply charging a fair price for a quality product, and what I think a good user experience is.

What Apple TV Apps Could Mean

This is entirely speculation, and partially a list wish, but I do think the addition of apps to Apple TV could—by itself—be the game changer people have been expecting Apple to eventually produce.

I like TV shows, but I hate TV. It’s a common sentiment in my generation. The linear nature of preprogrammed material is contrary to what we’ve come to expect thanks to the magic of the Internet. The fact that we all pay subscriptions for packages of channels, most of which we’ll never watch, is almost insulting. An HBO app, with a paid subscription (as Apple already supports in the app store) that gives access to current HBO programming would by itself sell millions of Apple TVs.

I don’t think HBO will be there from the beginning, but I do think a number of other networks would be willing to test the waters in this way, and sports franchises already offer similar apps. An even simpler app could provide a real time stream of a network’s cable feed (though local ad sales issues might be prohibitive.) Once a critical mass of networks start offering apps, a people would cancel their cable subscriptions en masse. An à la carte revolution with no new hardware needed, just the app store. Everyone is excited to see what independent developers like me do on the Apple TV, but I’m excited about the big players.

Posted by tai on 2012-06-10 14:08:13. Comments (0) | Tiny link

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