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  1.    #1  
    I have an idea to improve the situation with the closed market:

    Release paid apps for free to the areas where people can't buy them.

    It actually makes sense. The developers wouldn't get anything from these people anyway, because they just can't pay you. On the other hand devs won't lose anything either, because on payable markets the same software still has a price. The system takes care of that.

    In the end everybody wins! Developers get more userbase, users have better access to apps and nobody loses money! Who knows - some developers might even get new donations
    GreenHex likes this.
  2. #2  
    I whole heatedly welcome this idea.

    It makes no sense anymore to have restrictions when the whole product line is killed-off. Maybe there is something I'm missing.
    Game over!
  3. #3  
    I'd be fine with that if each developer made their own choice, not if the choice was made for them. My guess is that restrictions are in place so that the company can comply with and pay out the appropriate taxes for each country.

    I don't agree that devs definitely win with this though. Userbases come with a desire for user support, even ones that pirate their apps will occasionally be brazen enough to file support requests. The dev might win if they get good feedback, generating good ideas about how to make the app better, but you can't assume it'd be a win-win.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by appsotutely View Post
    I don't agree that devs definitely win with this though. Userbases come with a desire for user support, even ones that pirate their apps will occasionally be brazen enough to file support requests. The dev might win if they get good feedback, generating good ideas about how to make the app better, but you can't assume it'd be a win-win.
    Exactly. Developers will increase their userbase which also increases their support base.

    And there would be no benefit from good feedback because you'd have to create a separate app id to accomplish this. You can't make an app free in one country and not in others. If an app is marked free, it'll be free everywhere. So any good feedback you receive on the new app will only be visible in the catalogs of the unsupported countries.
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  5. #5  
    Perhaps each developer that would like to 'move in this direction' could offer one of their popular (maybe not THE most popular, but at least something folks would actually like and appreciate) apps for free in the App Catalog. Maybe they could just do it for a short period of time to give others access who didn't have it before?

    At least that is a way it could be done within the current App Catalog setup/situation.

    This would be a goodwill gesture and would enhance the userbase experience.
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockbeast View Post
    Maybe they could just do it for a short period of time to give others access who didn't have it before?
    HP doesn't provide a way to change a paid app to a free app or vice-versa.
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by naranek View Post

    In the end everybody wins! Developers get more userbase, users have better access to apps and nobody loses money! Who knows - some developers might even get new donations
    how does the developer win if they don't get paid but they have a dramatically larger base of users to support?
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    how does the developer win if they don't get paid but they have a dramatically larger base of users to support?
    Well, there is one advantage for the developer, more users means more use and therefore hidden bugs or other issues are more likely to come out. Of course this is a 'left-handed complement' since this means more work. I suppose I must be thinking of this in a 'glass half full' frame of mind. Easy for me, right?
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by appsotutely View Post
    I'd be fine with that if each developer made their own choice, not if the choice was made for them.
    This is exactly what I meant. They would have to make a free "international" version separate paid version.

    I didn't realize that apps need so much support. If it's a problem, wouldn't it be possible to release the free version without support? It would get even better if you could charge for support by using paypal or something. I might buy a year's support package for a good free application even if I didn't need the support
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by naranek View Post
    This is exactly what I meant. They would have to make a free "international" version separate paid version.

    I didn't realize that apps need so much support. If it's a problem, wouldn't it be possible to release the free version without support? It would get even better if you could charge for support by using paypal or something. I might buy a year's support package for a good free application even if I didn't need the support
    So I'm curious what you think a fair support price is? And what percentage of people you believe would be willing to pay it?

    Also, you say that this won't impact devs since they never would've made these sales anyway, but the reality is that just as people will cross physical borders to pay less for a physical product, there will be plenty of people who will happily jump across virtual borders to get some free apps if they could.
  11. #11  
    Or instead of putting the onus on the developer to make up for HP's shortcomings, perhaps HP should do what it takes to open up international app sales.
    "'Form follows function' — that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union."
    Frank Lloyd Wright
  12. #12  
    but then people would probably complain why it's free in "other" regions and not where they live
    :/
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  13. #13  
    If you wanted a way to work around HP's issues. A group of developers could develop a service that permitted users to purchase a token code that was specific to the user's MEID for applications that use this system. The system would then pay the developer a portion of the cost - the other portion would pay for development and maintainance of the system of payments. Distribution would be done by a "free"/trial app that worked for a limited time or had limited features and then required that a token activation code to be entered.

    The beauty of this would be that the users could buy a block of tokens for $ and the conversion rates and complications inherent in financial transactions could be a lower percentage based on the larger bulk amount. I'm not talking crazy $ here - let's say $10 USD increments... vs. $1-3 for an app.

    Maybe someone will launch a service like this as part of OpenWebOS.
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    how does the developer win if they don't get paid but they have a dramatically larger base of users to support?
    I'm willing to bet the number of people outside US and europe that have webOs devices is -vastly- smaller. So I seriously doubt that a person would see 'dramatic' upswing in support requirements.

    as it is, I feel sorry for people with webos devices in other countries. I mean, lets face it, the app catalog is small enough as it is in the US. I can't imagine how even more restricted it would be for others.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by appsotutely View Post
    So I'm curious what you think a fair support price is? And what percentage of people you believe would be willing to pay it?
    The price is up to the developers to decide. About the percentage - your guess is as good as mine.

    Also, you say that this won't impact devs since they never would've made these sales anyway, but the reality is that just as people will cross physical borders to pay less for a physical product, there will be plenty of people who will happily jump across virtual borders to get some free apps if they could.
    Actually the reality is that the virtual borders are so damn tough, that people can't get over them. The only way to go around it is possible only once when you're first registering your device. If it were easy to cross the virtual border, the closed paid catalog wouldn't be a problem!
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Kessler View Post
    Or instead of putting the onus on the developer to make up for HP's shortcomings, perhaps HP should do what it takes to open up international app sales.
    This would indeed be the best solution, and it's great that the community is putting pressure on HP. What I'm suggesting is kind of a plan B that doesn't require HP's assistance.
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    If you wanted a way to work around HP's issues. A group of developers could develop a service that permitted users to purchase a token code that was specific to the user's MEID for applications that use this system. The system would then pay the developer a portion of the cost - the other portion would pay for development and maintainance of the system of payments. Distribution would be done by a "free"/trial app that worked for a limited time or had limited features and then required that a token activation code to be entered.
    I think it would by more easy to create sort of a promo-code-generator, but users would have to pay for the promo code (e.g. via PayPal). Unfortunately this would not help if the user selected an app catalog with free apps only (because paid apps would not be shown). But it would help at least users who can't enter a valid credit card number (e.g. users from switzerland using the german app catalog etc.).

    But I'm quite sure that this is against HP's rules, too.
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  18.    #18  
    OK, so if I understand you all correctly, the biggest problem would be that the developers would need to support a lot more people and wouldn't get paid for it? Is this correct?

    I guess in the end it comes down to good will of the developers. As I understand it, it isn't allowed to have a "free" application that required outside activation, and adding that functionality to an app would anyway cost more than you'd get in return.

    I think that the reaction from the developers in this thread has been surprisingly hostile. I'd like to remind you that this isn't some sort of ploy to get your apps without paying. We are just people who can't get your apps otherwise.

    BTW I just got wTerm from Preware and there was a donate-button in the description, which made donating very easy. I still think releasing for free and asking for donations would be a good alternative, and you'd get at least some money from the non-paid-apps market. That's more than you're getting now.

  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by naranek View Post
    I think that the reaction from the developers in this thread has been surprisingly hostile.
    There have been 2 developers that responded in this thread, me and appsotutely. You indicated "developers" (plural) have been hostile which implies I have been hostile. Please point out which of my statements are hostile, because I can't find any. And I don't see anything that appsolutely said that could be considered hostile.

    It's good to have a discussion like this since the HP geo-restrictions are a real issue, but you have to realize that there will be alternate points of view to your own. Labeling people with alternate viewpoints as "hostile" only serves to stifle discussion.

    The reason we're disagreeing (in an unhostile way BTW) is because this provides no benefit for us and will cause us more work. We now have to maintain a new app id on the developer portal and there's the potential for more support calls. I offered the original version of Music Player (Remix) with a donate link. Compared to the number of users, the number of donations was minuscule. The fact is most people will not donate.

    I already maintain 3 different versions of Music Player (Remix) in the catalog (paid catalog, paid web feed, and trial version). And it's a pain when you issue updates. I'd prefer to have only 1 version and surely wouldn't want to add a 4th version.
    Last edited by DanPLC; 02/12/2012 at 08:45 AM. Reason: fixed typo
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
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  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by naranek View Post
    OK, so if I understand you all correctly, the biggest problem would be that the developers would need to support a lot more people and wouldn't get paid for it? Is this correct?
    Essentially yes. I have a feeling you have more of an issue with developers who would never bother to respond to you in this thread or even to some direct emails, than to the developers who have actually responded in this thread. As my signature attests, I have several completely free apps, some of which might naturally lead a user to the paid version, such Pane Free to Multi Pane, and yet Pane Free has 100 times the number of users that Multi Pane does. My apps haven't become as popular as Free Music Ringtones, but that's an example of a particularly popular free app which generated so many support requests that the developer was overwhelmed to the detriment of his paying customers and wound up having to halt the free app. My belief is that you've underestimated the cost of support (the kind that takes time to appropriately answer a customer's questions, as opposed to one that simply points to a poorly written user manual) while overestimating the generosity of your fellow webOS users to make donations.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    There have been 2 developers that responded in this thread, me and appsotutely. You indicated "developers" (plural) have been hostile which implies I have been hostile. Please point out which of my statements are hostile, because I can't find any. And I don't see anything that appsolutely said that could be considered hostile.

    It's good to have a discussion like this since the HP geo-restrictions are a real issue, but you have to realize that there will be alternate points of view to your own. Labeling people with alternate viewpoints as "hostile" only serves to stifle discussion.

    The reason we're disagreeing (in an unhostile way BTW) is because this provides no benefit for us and will cause us more work. We now have to maintain a new app id on the developer portal and there's the potential for more support calls. I offered the original version of Music Player (Remix) with a donate link. Compared to the number of users, the number of donations was minuscule. The fact is most people will not donate.

    I already maintain 3 different versions of Music Player (Remix) in the catalog (paid catalog, paid web feed, and trial version). And it's a pain when you issue updates. I'd prefer to have only 1 version and surely wouldn't want to add a 4th version.
    As DanPLC notes, we're happy to have a reasoned discussion and would be thrilled to have HP open up the catalog to more countries, but the reality is that webOS has a small and dwindling base of users, pumped up briefly by the firesale, but shrinking visibly by the day. I hope to continue to be able to develop apps for webOS, but going forward, it'll have to fit into a framework that will allow me to develop once and deploy to all of the major platforms.
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