MindNode found a way to do update pricing!

Hi Guys, I know that L&L has been very frustrated by the Mac App store and it’s limitations. For the record, me too.

Today, I bought the new version of MindNode from the great folks over at IdeasOnCanvas. It’s a cool app, but the most exciting part was I painlessly received update pricing for my Mac App store purchased copy of the previous version! Yeah, you read that right!

MindNode on Mac App Store:

So, Keith, have a look at what their doing? It might be something that can work for Scrivener as well. I would love to write a review on the Mac App Store, but I can’t since I bought it directly. If I could get update pricing, I’d buy it again just to write a glowing review!

Btw, it looks like they are using an app registered custom URL scheme to verify that the old version is installed. Very clever!

I’ve seen a couple of apps do something like this. They do it using in-app purchases. The problem with taking this route, though, is that you have to let everyone download the app for free and then unlock features using in-app purchases (which can be cheaper for people who have owned another of your apps, such as an earlier version). So, the way these apps (including MindNode) work is:

  1. You get it for free. The free version allows you to view and share files or is otherwise limited - you can’t edit files.
  2. You get a limited period of full use (a trial) - two weeks in the case of MindNode - after which it reverts to the free read-only version.
  3. You can unlock the full version using in-app purchases.

It would be very difficult to create a read-only version of Scrivener, though, given the number of views and editors - it’s not a single-window app with one main editor at its core (in contrast to MindNode or even our own Scapple). I also don’t like the idea of Scrivener being listed as “free with in-app purchases” - I much prefer potential customers to be able to see the price up front on the main listing page. I do think this is a clever way that apps have got around the no-update-pricing limitation of the App Store, and salute other developers for doing this, but I’m not sure it’s the best approach for Scrivener.

Thanks and all the best,