Why I Paid For Fantastical 2

During the week I found out that Flexibits were releasing a major upgrade to their OS X calender app, Fantastical. When Fantastical first came out, I bought a copy from the App Store and since then I’ve used it on a daily basis. I can’t remember how much I paid for it, but it was money well spent. For close to two years, I got an excellent calendar app that sat in my menu bar and did the job it was intended to do. It came with a number of minor upgrades to the application over the time that I used it. Not bad value for money.

Today I opened the App Store, found Fantastical 2, bought it and installed it. No hesitation, no pondering if the application is in fact worth the purchase or even deciding whether Flexibits deserve my hard-earned cash for the new version of Fantastical (they do btw).

I don’t mind paying for major upgrades to software that I use. Not only am I supporting the future of the software product that I am using by ensuring money goes back into the company that produced it, but I’m also supporting the developers who make the software. For developers, writing code is a way of making an income to support themselves and in some cases also supporting their families. Some developers work for clients, some provide consulting services, but for indie developers and small software houses like Flexibits, they work on a business model that requires income from people buying their software. Nothing wrong with that. It’s how many businesses work.

Here’s the problem though. Some people expect the software they buy to be supported for life. That’s a ridiculous idea and here’s why.

Software doesn’t last for ever.

Changing operating systems and technology as well changes in the way we work means that software will always change. It’s just the way things are, and it’s not restricted to the world of technology and software either. Lots of products we buy can last for years, but they’ll rarely last us a lifetime. Software isn’t any different. When I buy a software product, I’ll expect a couple of years worth of updates before having to buy the next version up of the product. It just makes sense.

When apps first appeared on the App Store as different versions, there was an initial push back against the idea. People were complaining about having to buy the app again that they had already forked out a few dollars for in the past. I’m glad to see though that there’s less resistance to the idea of new major versions of software and apps coming with a price tag.

If the app you use makes a positive difference to your day, then why wouldn’t you fork out the money for a new major version of it? If the developer of the app is releasing a new major version every year then I might see the point against paying for that app, but most app developers are giving their apps a couple of years at least before releasing a completely new version of their app.

Software doesn’t last for ever, but with the support of you as a paying customer, it can keep going for as long as the developer has the financial support they need to keep working on it. That’s a small price to pay for an app that makes a big difference to your day.

Suggestions for Your Reading List ...

… all the way from sunny Arizona.

Thanks Michael.

NSA Busting Security Advice

Okay, maybe not NSA busting but definitely more secure than thinking up your own passphrase.

For the Pen & Paper Fans

Tools & Toys excellent guide to analog writing tools.

Tempted to purchase a few Field Notes books.

Fixie Friday - 1986 Pista

Photograph of a 1986 Pista bike

Beauty or beast?

via FGGT

Curtis McHale Knows Good Project Plans

A project plan should be built in partnership with your client. When they buy into the project plan you then start a scope and build a proposal/scope off of it.

Quality stuff from Curtis.

The B-52, Still Flying

This planning deficit is nothing unusual. It would be a tribute to Boeing engineers’ advance planning that the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat, er, Fella) is due to keep flying until at least 2040, when the airplanes will be octogenarians…except that the longevity has been achieved despite the best that military planners could do.

Amazing.

DailyMuse: The Today View

Email is great. It’s a reliable form of content delivery that can reach a multitude of devices and it’s platform independent. Who cares if it’s Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS or Android you’re running? Email is the cornerstone of any platform, which is why it’s the preferred delivery method for DailyMuse.

As great as email is though, I also like having alternatives to email, something as flexible as email but also accessible. I would open my DailyMuse email a couple of times a day, but quickly it became lost amongst other emails. I needed a way of seeing my DailyMuse message for the day without opening my email.

For a few weeks now there’s been a Today view in the DailyMuse application. If logged in and you visited it you would see the last snippet that DailyMuse sent you. Fine and good, but it was rendered within the context of the application and I quickly realised that it became lost amongst the rest of the elements of the application. I needed a view of my snippet that was free of the context of the rest of the application.

This morning I added a link in the DailyMuse sidebar that will address this issue. At the top of the sidebar is a Today link that will render a colourful view of your snippet for the day that is free from the rest of the application so that you can have your snippet front and center on your web browser.

Here’s my snippet for today:

A screenshot of the today view from DailyMuse

Rather than sticking with default font sizes for all snippets, I’ve also tweaked the font size for snippets that vary in length. If your snippet is small in length the font size for it will increase so that it becomes easier to read.

This has been a planned feature for a while, but viewing the snippet within DailyMuse has never felt right. With this in place now, I’m happy with being able to view my snippet for the day in both email and in my browser.

Interesting in using DailyMuse? It’s free for 30 days after which it becomes a budget friendly $2 per month to use.

Uses for DailyMuse

Great to see DailyMuse making a positive change.

Those are the two things I’m using it for so far but I can think of many others — daily exercise ideas, healthy snacks and recipes, writing prompts, study of scripture or philosophy, etc. Basically, anything that would be good to have a daily reminder for would be a good fit for this.

Interested in trying it out?

Fresh Ideas ...

… are everywhere. You just have to look.