So, I’m tracking the success of Tweetie 2.0, which was released yesterday (it is currently the number one highest grossing app on iPhone today in USA). I’ve been using it a week and it already has become my favorite Twitter app on the iPhone. I own (and paid for myself) all the major ones. Twittelator, Echofon, TweetDeck, SimplyTweet (which is my second favorite), etc etc. You could build a career on just reviewing iPhone Twitter apps. On appolicious, a great iPhone app review site, there are 4,374 Twitter apps listed for iPhone when you search for Twitter.
But what I love is that there’s already a bunch of 1 star reviews in iTunes store for Tweetie 2.0. The first review I saw was by Vector Sigma, who writes “I object to having to pay for the upgrade. I already bought the app and now I have to pay for it again to get this version. If you don’t have it already then yeah, get it, if you do have it already then GIVE THIS ONE STAR and show your disapproval for milking their customers.”
But it isn’t just people I don’t know on the iTunes reviews who are saying nasty things. Lots of my friends have been too, like Erik Boles, who I follow on Twitter and said “Why in THE HELL would you think of charging for an upgraded app after charging for v.1 is OK???”
Now, let me get this straight.
First, a latte at Starbucks usually costs me more than $3. A latte lasts a few minutes, then is gone. Lots of people drink them, because I always have to wait in line for them.
But a Twitter app, that was completely rewritten, like Tweetie was, and that you’ll probably use every day many times (I’ve already put more than 40 hours into my Tweetie app) isn’t worth $3?
I guess they must really bitch because Microsoft charges $300 for Windows 7 or Apple charged $30 for its latest update (I think Tweetie 2.0 might have had more features, actually).
I love paying for apps.
Because when I do that I encourage developers to build more cool apps for me.
Don’t believe this? Well, look at this note from an app developer (did Twitteriffic) who is demoralized because he hasn’t been able to make much money on the iPhone.
I do think that Ged (the developer who wrote that post) has some points about how hard it is to build a “hit” app, but I learned about Tweetie from the community. I follow 4,000 influencers to see what they think is hot, and I don’t really care too much about what Apple thinks is hot. Tons of beta testers told me both on and off the record that Tweetie was the best iPhone/Twitter app out there. When I got a chance to see it last week TechCrunch’s MG Siegler had it on his phone and showed me around. It wowed me immediately and I begged for an early release. I got one and haven’t looked back, although there’s a couple of features of SimplyTweet that I like better (clicking on an “@twitter link” should take you to the tweets, not information about the twitterer, but that’s a minor problem and one that doesn’t bug me that much).
Anyway, the main point here is that it’s not the app store that’s screwed up: it’s our expectation that developers should work for free.
Sorry, when an app update is cheaper than a freaking latte at Starbucks you don’t have a leg to stand on and you simply look like the cheapskates that you are.