Just between you and me– and Google’s search engine, and various other search engines which scan NoodleMac, and their readers– I cannot afford subscription applications. Yes, I have a few. More than a few. And, yes, I know the trend toward app subscriptions is the present trend and the future of application usage.
I cannot afford subscription applications because subscriptions are priced higher than application prices of yesteryear. Do the math. A seemingly inexpensive subscription app priced at $1.99 a month, really is almost $24 a year. In three years, we’re talking serious money for what seemed like an inexpensive app– more than $70.
Alright, subscriptions are here to stay. Apple has been accused of consorting with various iOS and Mac application developers to help promote subscription apps. Remember, Apple gets a healthy cut of a multi-billion dollar app industry, and hooking users into paying for an app forever seems like a good financial decision to make.
I have financial decisions, too. I cannot afford subscriptions applications.
All those subscriptions which seem priced as monthly or even annual minimums add up. The total for subscriptions to yours truly already exceeds what I would normally spend on applications and we’re just over halfway through the year. That is not a sustainable situation and something must be done.
What to do? What to do?
The obvious answer is to pay much closer attention to which applications I’m willing to subscribe to, and look over carefully those applications I might have to pay to use, and pay again in a year or two to upgrade to the latest and greatest.
Therein lies an important distinction between subscriptions and application purchases. The upgrade. Subscriptions, you use forever until you stop paying. Purchased applications can be used until the cows come home (which is exactly that location on the space time continuum where the app no longer works.
Here’s an example.
Bear is a nifty word processor of the notes and note-taking variety. It’s $1.49 a month or $15 a year. A year. Forever. In three years Bear would cost $45. Bean is a far better option and it’s free. iA Writer does more and over two years costs less. And it runs everywhere.
If you want to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and a few other Adobe apps of renown, you used to buy the whole package, then upgrade to the latest and greatest every year– or every two years, or every three years, or never. Now you have to pay $50 a month. Forever. That math don’t work for me.
Here’s another example.
Many years ago I bought Macromedia Fireworks and then upgraded to Adobe Fireworks (when Macromedia was bought out). It’s a great app with a wonderful reputation and it still runs on macOS High Sierra, despite Adobe phasing it out from its app portfolio five years ago.
Yes, I got my money’s worth on Fireworks, but the app is 32-bit and won’t run on 2019’s macOS Bakersfield, so I need a replacement.
Subscription? I don’t think so. Adobe? That’s a subscription-based application company, so I am forced to look elsewhere. Why? I can’t afford subscription applications any more.