How many subscription apps do you use?

Flexibits Fantastical iOS

Despite the fact apps and mobile games have been around for years now, it’s safe to say that there isn’t a safe bet on how much they should cost. Some games ask for a high (or small) up-front cost that unlocks most of the content therein right out of the gate, while others keep things behind in-app purchases and loot boxes. And apps can range in price drastically, with no real consensus on what one should cost.

It’s been a sore spot for developers for years now, and one that won’t go away anytime soon. Even if the transition to subscription apps is certainly starting to become the norm these days.

Take, for example, the brand new Fantastical. This is easily one of the best productivity apps out there, and it has been for years. But it’s also not been cheap, even if you ignore having to buy the app for multiple platforms. (The Mac app was definitely expensive.) But for some that high cost was worth it thanks to the features that developer Flexibits packed into the app(s).

I’m certainly one of them. I bought a previous version of Fantastical for Mac and iOS and have been hanging onto them for as long as I could. But just this week Flexibits announced and released its newest version of Fantastical that makes it free right out of the gate, but there’s a premium version that throws in a ton of features.

The new version of Fantastical comes with a new UI, brings in built-in weather forecasts, a task manager, support for time zones, “interesting calendars,” and the ability to work with others using the app. There’s a lot in there, and it’s available across platforms, from the Apple Watch to the Mac, with iOS in between.

But some folks don’t like the pricing. Which isn’t surprising by itself. There’s a 14-day free trial, and then you can pay $3.33 per month (billed yearly) or $4.99 per month (billed monthly). The free version has a lot going for it, sure, but you obviously get a lot more if you fork over the money.

But all of this got me thinking, especially as I signed up for yet another app that will charge me per month: just how many subscription apps are you paying for these days? I’m just curious about apps — not so much services, but if you want to include those in the list you certainly can. Do you think subscription apps are the way to go? Let me know!

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