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.
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.