Ulysses Writing App Moves to Subscription Model – One Price for All Devices

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| Product News

Ulysses announced Thursday that its eponymous writing app is moving to a subscription model. Coinciding with the release of a new version of the Ulysses app, users will need to pay US$4.99 per month or $39.99 per year to use the software.

Ulysses for Mac and iOS (rent here)

Existing customers get a 50% lifetime discount (for a limited time). Customers who recently purchased get up to 12 months of free use on the Mac and up to 6 months free on iOS. Also, one subscription covers access on all your devices for macOS, iOS, and Windows.

Earlier versions will continue to work, and the company has issued updates for macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. They are no longer available for purchase, however.

Ulysses App for Mac and iOS

Ulysses is a popular writing app for Mac, and now iOS. Our own John Martellaro has reviewed it favorably for years (2009, 2009, 2013), while Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus took a shine to it in 2016. The move to subscriptions is just the most recent example of premium Mac and iOS apps that have done so.

Subscription Model for Software

The issue for developers is one of outright viability. It’s hard out there for a developer. And, top-tier developers are increasingly seeing the promise of recurring revenue as the only way to stay in business.

“Some of you may be surprised by this step,” wrote Marcus Fehn, cofounder of Ulysses, “but it’s the result of a long-lasting discussion about how to put Ulysses’ development, and the future of our company, on a sustainable foundation.”

It’s a shame Apple’s incredible success with Mac and iPhone/iPad hasn’t led to fame and fortune for more developers. The reality is that if moving to subscriptions is what it takes for software like Ulysses, TextExpander, and many others to exist, then so be it.

Of course, from a user standpoint, there is a practical limit to how many apps we can or are willing to pay for on a monthly basis. That was one of the topics discussed on Thursday’s Daily Observations.

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Hmmm. If I had family sharing what would happen to that? Do I need to have a subscription for every member in my family?


Of course, that only applies to the new app; the old one will remain working and developers have promised to keep updating it for High Sierra. So you have a couple of miles left.

Still, I‘m quite happy they took this step – I gladly spend 20 euros if that ensures a sustainable future for my go-to writing app.


Oh they already pulled the old app out of the app store…I don’t see how they’d keep updating something that’s not there anymore. For people who are switching to a new computer…there’d be no way to re-download anything…


Existing customers get a 50% lifetime discount (for a limited time). Customers who recently purchased get up to 12 months of free use on the Mac and up to 6 months free on iOS.

The existing customer discount expires October 31, so if a user has more than 3 months of free use, they have to choose between their free months or getting the lifetime discount. This seems like a rather user-hostile choice by the developer.