I don’t like it when developers charge for product updates. I feel that it’s unfairly punishing consumers for decisions the developer has made. If a developer has chosen a sales model based on an up front software purchase, they should expect that their revenue stream from each consumer ends at the point of sale. It’s not the consumer’s fault - it’s the developer’s.
Developer’s might argue that they need to absorb the costs to maintain and develop updates for their apps when the platform they develop for changes (i.e. updates for iOS7). But this rationale is flawed. Any vibrant and high quality platform (iOS included) is built around backward compatibility. All iOS6-developed apps will work fine on iOS7. Will they look great - maybe not. Will they take advantage of all the great new things iOS7 offers - no. Is that the consumer’s fault - no. If the developer doesn’t want to update, they don’t have to - and if consumers complain and choose the competitor’s product, that’s free market economics for you.
If the developer depends on continued revenue, there are several options:
- Use in-app purchases to offer add-ons or additional features that don’t come with the base app - but don’t convert previously free features to paid features to monetize.
- Use a subscription model - if the user goes into the product expecting a $5 per year payment, that’s fine - it’s a decision the consumer made.
- Come up with new ideas - one-trick ponies will always run out of revenue streams. If you want to grow, grow your portfolio.
In short, don’t punish your consumers for decisions you make. It’s a great way to piss off your consumers.