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I felt so bad for the Notability developers when they misjudged their move to a subscription business model a few weeks ago. They made all the classic mistakes. Starting with the gleeful “We’re going free!” heading in the announcement post and continuing to hit every branch as they fell out of the tree.

The reaction was so quick, predictable, and completely unforgiving. I didn’t even search for people talking about the transition, and still saw several people saying awful things about them on Twitter. I hate to think what I’d have seen if I had gone looking. 😱 Of course, they course-corrected, and the internet rejoiced! Another company successfully prevented from switching to a business model that might make what they do sustainable. 🎉 All is right on the internet again.

I’m writing about this now for two reasons. First, Matt Ronge wrote a fantastic post telling you how not to screw up switching your app to subscriptions. The best thing about this article is how simple the three points are. Apple should open this post every time you try and switch a paid app to subscriptions in App Store Connect.

But secondly, as a reminder that even though the App Store has never been a more challenging environment, and situations like this can be devastating, it still normalised selling B2C software. Software was almost exclusively a business purchase before the App Store. You might argue that the move towards B2C software was inevitable as technology advanced, but it’d be hard to say that the iPhone and the App Store didn’t help it accelerate.

It has been a long time since there was a “gold rush” on any software platform, and making money through selling software is never easy, but we should be glad that making money selling software B2C is now extremely tough, where it used to be impossible! 😂

Dave Verwer

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Senior iOS Developer @ Komoot – We love Tech. We love Nature. We work hard to make it easy for everyone to explore the world’s most beautiful places. Today, millions of people explore nature with our apps. Their experiences are what drive us and make us smile every day. – Remote (within European timezones)

iOS Engineer @ Fjorden – We are a small team and you would be our first iOS engineer, next to Florian our CTO. Together we will build & ship our camera app (around 60% done today), and design an SDK other camera apps can integrate to take full advantage of the Fjorden grip. – Remote (within European timezones)

iOS Engineer @ Branch – Branch is on a mission to help working Americans grow financially. We do this by helping companies accelerate payments and empower working Americans with accessible, fee-free financial services. We’re committed to building and delivering more inclusive and transparent financial products. – Remote (within US timezones)

Senior iOS Engineer @ onX – Are you an iOS developer who loves the outdoors? Join onX! If you’re passionate about writing great software, love playing outside, and believe in protecting access to public lands – then join our team, where we empower millions of outdoor enthusiasts to explore the unknown! – Remote (within US timezones)

Mobile Full Stack Engineer @ Expensify – Join our passionate team of top-notch engineers to solve a real-world problem, and help people spend less time managing expenses and more time pursuing their real goals. – Remote (Anywhere) with some on-site work (Australia, United Kingdom, or United States in CA, MI, NY, or OR)

Lead Swift Engineer @ Vital – Vital is an API that empowers health companies to provide preventative healthcare using a combination of continuous monitoring & lab tests. We've just raised $3mil backed by Y Combinator and a number of other amazing investors! We're looking for Swift Engineer to lead our health-kit integrations. – Remote (within US, European, or Asia-Pacific timezones)


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Dave Verwer

And finally...

How about we finish this week with a deep dive into the history of the HIG.

Via Andy Matuschak's recent tweets, I ended up deep in the 1987 version, followed by a pre-release version from 1985 and finished with a version from 1992. Fascinating!