What’s coming to Informant 5.xx for iOS?
[Originally published: April 4th, 2017] [Last Updated: June 20, 2017]
This post is dedicated to letting you know what features, fixes, and improvement are coming to Informant 5 for iOS, and which ones have been recently completed.. The content of this post will be changing so come back and check it out often.
- Informant 5 for iOS( 5.11 June 12, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 for iOS (5.1 June 6, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.05 Now Available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.04 Now available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.03 Now available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.02 Now Available – Release Notes)
Next Up: What will be coming next in Informant for iOS 5.2x and beyond?
The next major release for Informant 5 for iOS will be 5.2 – We expect 5.2 release to be ready in late June or Early July and will include some improvements to the View Picker including one-click access between tasks & calendar views & some configuration options as well and some fixes/improvements to Triggers. (see video demonstrating view picker changes)
Informant 5 for iOS( 5.2 – Coming soon) – in beta now
- Improvements to new View Picker (see blog discussion on this topic)
- Several editor UX/UI improvements
- Left handed navigation (maybe)
- Improvements to new Trigger feature
- Improvements to I5 Triggers
- Add option for All Day
- Possibly add Alarms
- Create trigger from existing task/event.
Here are a few other ideas that have been suggested by users and will probably make a future release. You can add your vote to these suggestions:
To see what has been requested and to participate in voting for new features:
- Vote for: Smart Filter by Tag
- Vote for: Enhancements to Triggers
- Vote for: Drag & Drop Task Order
- Vote for: Left handed navigation menu
- Vote for: Startup Help Tips
For I5.04 we were told “Free for existing Informant 5 owners, this is a paid upgrade for Informant 4.94 users”. Since the App is “free” the so called “paid upgrade” was no different from the price for new users.
Can long-time users expect recognition for their support i.e. a discount, with I5.05 or I5.1?
Have you given further consideration to offering fewer features at a lower cost to retain/attract “non-power” users?
We are still having periodic discussions about ways to offer discounts. It is a bit tricky on iTunes.
Although, here is a coupon code you can use for 20% off on Informant Sync (must use on pocketinformant.com) if you purchase Informant Sync subscription.
So, if you have Informant Sync & you download Informant 5 for iOS and then setup your Informant Sync account, it will unlock the full features.
I paid $14.99 for the “premium” upgrade to PI4, a few months before you released I5. Now you want me to pay $19.99 (with 20% discount) to purchase a time-limited (unless I choose to fork out $24.99 a year) version of your “new” App.
Is that all loyalty is worth to you?
Of course loyalty is important. We love loyal customers who are willing to help us improve and promote our products in a positive encouraging way.
It appears that you are not impressed with my 20% coupon offer. What would you like instead?
I think that it would only be fair for you to allow me to apply the amount I paid for the premier version of PI4 towards the price of a fully functional version of I5.
I would be there!
15 € for the same functionality I own in PI4. Incl. weather, without sync, without subscription and (according to me) without e-mail. If I need sync or mail anyway, I could a subscription for approximately 10 to 15 € complete.
If I was to purchased a subscription with the promo code from the website and then linked the account in the app on my iPhone and iPad, would that entitle me to the ownership of the app as per the in-app option on iOS?
Unfortunately the purchases made through the app store are the only way to get the “own it” option. If you use the Informant sync subscription to unlock full version, it is tied to your subscription.
What a scam! Offer a discount, only to tie you down to an annual contract.
No. Not a scam. It is simply a limitation of dealing with the app store. We can give a coupon for our own store. We can not give a coupon for Apples store.
Unfortunately the “own it” option is only available on Apple’s store, and not from our own…. so… No scam, just a limitation of what we can do on Apple’s store.
It’s too bad really… I was going to go ahead… 33 $ plus taxes in Canada for the subscription is a a very steep price considering the bugs still remaining such as the today widget, notifications issues, date time picker, etc.
You were aware of the AppStore’s “limitation” when you decided on your business plan. What you have designed makes ALL users, including those who paid full price for the premium version of PI4, have to pay $24.99 to “own” I5. My sentiments are reflected not only in AppStore reviews of I5, but have spilt over to reviews of PI4 as well.
Being a PI user since PalmOS days, I was unhappily surprised with last years November release of PI5. Sure a complete app needs new features or interface but most disturbing was the subscription base.
I have been following this blog and found it partly hilarious.
5 months later it is time to make conclusions. PI5 is now on 5.0.4 and some positive changes have been made. So kudos for the developers who listened to those missing featured or wanting improvements. Still remains the subscription base policy.
Reading the global App Store reviews, most people who professionally use PI5, love the app, but the others (which probably are still in majority) give it a 1 star rating only. This mainly because they don’t like the subscription policy.
I am not writing this to convince the developers that they are wrong; it is their business and they are in charge.
Another developer, Smile, also came to the conclusion that a subscription model for TextExpander was the only option to keep the app sustainable. Read this article. http://tidbits.com/article/17157
So yes, a subscription model can work out well, but the problem is that it leaved many people unsatisfied and hungry for alternatives.
As I refuse to be part of the PI subscription model for features which can be found in alternative apps for free or paid once (Fantastical, BusyCal) it is time to move on and look not further back. My conclusion after 5 months is that makes no sense to wait and have wrong expectations.
My kind advice to the developers is to make clear to anyone that they wil not change the model. On long term, this sure will avoid unnecessary negative reviews etc. but make the app useable for pro users only. If TextExpander could, why not PI ?
Interesting to mention is that OmniGroup recently released OmniOutliner Essentials 5. An Mac app with just the basic features and a huge ‘discount’. Read this blog post how also OmniGroup have changed their minds and make software affordable for everyone https://www.omnigroup.com/blog/introducing-omnioutliner-essentials-an-outliner-for-everyone
I wish the developers good luck with all their decisions. Stop writing about 20% rebate promo codes on features most people are not waiting for.
For me it is a pity that my license for PI Mac (after all those months now in 0.99 beta and also with this new terrible app icon) never will be used and that both PI 4 and 5 have been deleted from my devices.
Why still argue over pricing ? It’s clear that the change was very deliberately designed to maximize revenue. Can’t blame the new owners for trying, either. It’s their app now. They did completely botch up the rollout of the new version + new pricing (you don’t release a severely degraded app while at the same time jacking up the price way, way above the competition – I wouldn’t upgrade to v5 even if it was free, the UI is too ugly and user-unfriendly, too many steps to do simple things, and too many bugs).
Either commit to it or find an alternative. There’s more than one way to do things & get the same results. This may be an opportunity to re-access your workflow and design a new one that is application independent. Personally, given the atrocious ratings in the App store, the sky high subscription price way above any competition, and all the problems with the new version, I’d be worried about the long term well being of Informant. Hopefully Keith has the will, the commitment, and the money required to keep it alive.
Count me as someone else who was almost ready to subscribe at the discounted rate to unlock the remaining features of PI5.
I understand the dilemma the developers have in funding development and maintaining the ongoing cost for Informant Sync, but I would respectfully like to ask again, why not consider an in-app purchase to enable the on-device functionality without any of the Sync features to allow those of us who would like to use PI5 as a replacement of PI4 and rely on the OS for syncing functionality that option? I may be the only one, but Informant Sync is not very valuable to me, and $25 for the upgrade to PI5 doesn’t provide enough incremental improvements to consider PI5 vs the many other products out there.
” I may be the only one, but Informant Sync is not very valuable to me”
No, you’re in the majority. This is what manydevelopers seem unable to understand. (Not just Webis / Fanatic soft people). Most of them have never worked in a corporate environment outside of software companies so they have no idea what it looks like.
In a typical large corporate environment, you have one organization wide system to handle your emails, calendars and tasks. Typically something like MS Outlook, Groupwise, sometimes even Lotus Notes. It would take an effort of epic proportions to have an unapproved, privately purchased 3rd party syncing tool installed on your laptop. That’s if you even have a laptop and not a workstation that’s locked down tigther than Ft Knox. Even if your user account has permissions necessary to install software, the syncing conduit will most likely be locked out by the corporate firewall. This is why I can’t use gSyncit, for example.
The only way to sync your tasks and events from your laptop to your personal devices is via approved and installed methods. If your company uses MS Outlook, and did not block the ability to sync it with your personal Microsoft email accounts, then you can sync your personal tasks and calendars with Outlook.com – the functionality is embedded into Outlook already. For work related calendars and tasks, they may provide a company approved sync solution. Whatever it is, it will sync directly to the phone. It will not utilize any private sync conduit. No company I’ve ever worked for would allow me to sync directly to the corporate Exchange server from a private device without being able to control it.
So if I use iOS, I _have_ to use iOS Calendars and Reminders if I want to be able to access my work info. (and on Android, I am mostly screwed). Informant sync does absolutely nothing for me. And all of this information is already on my phone and tabled, I just need to be able to read it. Which is what Informant wants me to pay the subscription price for. Without adding any functionality like Start date for Reminders.
Keith and company keep saying that they are still reviewing/departing/considering different pricing structures. They have conducted surveys, asked for opinions and yet nothing seems to drastically change. So I suspect what is now in place will remain.
That being said, even though there have been improvements to PI5, I still don’t feel as productive with it as I have with 4.9. It still crashes a little too often, it still takes more time than necessary to manage the calendar properly. I renewed my PI Sync Subscription last August, so they have until this August to release 5.1 so I can see if there is a real improvement in the UI. I will not be renewing if PI continues to be as buggy and unproductive as it is now.
@Bob reading your first paragraph one thing popped into my mind…The Shell Game
… Funny how the human brain plays word association without trying
Really looking forward to have a usable trigger functionality to replace all my v4 templates 🙂
What’s the expected timeline for releasing 5.1?
We are working on 5.1 right now. It might be 4-6 weeks. (estimate only…)
What specifically is not working for you with Triggers/Templates?
I’m relaying upon a number of all day templates I often apply.
So I’m currently reverting back to V4 when I need to apply these and use V5 for the rest.
Besides this missing template (or trigger once it’s supports all day events) I’m HAPPY with V5 and for me it’s worth more than the subscription fee you charge.
Congratulations, Keith. Your efforts to make I5 a five star App have led to v5.05 sinking to an all time low AppStore rating – 7 of the 9 reviews give I5 a 1 star rating.
In case you have not noticed, your users are equally peeved by loss of functionality as they are with CXRM’s price gouging attitude.
Sad that a hostile take over has doomed what was a great App.
RIP Pocket Informat.
I am going to assume that your “Congratulations” was more sarcasm than anything and you do not actually want to see us “Rest in Peace”. While I am not happy about our app store rating at this particular time, I am not embarrassed about my desire to have Informant be a 5-star app. While it would be tempting for me to write off your comments as just negative and snarky, I realize (based on the volume of your interactions here in this blog) that you obviously are passionate and invested in the outcome of Informant so I will respectfully address them here. I also will assume that you really would actually rather see us figure out these remaining issues, and succeed.
I have commented in previous posts about our pricing thoughts. ( http://staging.pocketinformant.com/thoughts-on-pricing/ ). I have said that we hope to serve more market segments with a better fit. Right now we are focused on the product itself and fixing the date-picker, getting the watchOS done, and the other remaining items mentioned in the other recent post about 5.xx ( http://staging.pocketinformant.com/informant5-xx/ ) The problems we faced with google’s OAuth were not anticipated and forced us to shift to that priority, so it probably set us back 3-4 weeks on our more notable priorities as mentioned.
I’m not sure what your hostile takeover comment was about. Perhaps you are trying to add more conflict and drama than is appropriate for the situation.
Finally, I do appreciate your continued involvement on the blog and your willingness to share your critique. On the other side of things are there any good things or redeeming qualities that you see with Informant 5?
The Rest In Peace remark was not directed towards you, Fanatic Software or CXRM. It was to mourn the imminent loss of functionality of my beloved Pocket Informant 4.
Yes, I am passionate about PI. I have used it since its introduction to the iOS platform and have been instrumental for about a dozen colleagues and friends purchasing the “premium version” of the App.
As I have previously commented, while I am not a “power user”, I regularly use notes and templates. Unfortunately, when I availed of the “free trial” of I5 a month or so ago, the triggers failed to fire and the App crashed frequently. Using the “new and improved” date picker was an exercise in frustration. So, I cannot provide you with even a single redeeming feature of I5.
The comments you interpret as being “negative and snarky” are made in the hope that you will recognize that you are loosing loyal users not just to the unreliable, and inconvenient App that I5 is, in its present incarnation, but also because your pricing policy that has touched a raw nerve in many of your loyal users. I know that Chris is trying his hardest to address the former problem, but as the new owner of Fanatic Software, the ball for the latter is right in the middle of your court. As “Bob” has commented despite surveys and opinions which have clearly indicated that your pricing strategy will lead to loss of existing users (and probably not attract many new adopters) you are adamant that you do not want to address the cost issue until you have achieved your goal of I5 becoming a 5 star App. Perhaps, that is not procrastination, but your approach that problems must be addressed only one at a time.
No developer in a right frame of mind would release to the public an App identified by its beta testers to still be “buggy”. Left to themselves, I do not think that Alex and Chris would have allowed such a disaster to happen. I therefore believe that circumstances beyond their control, i.e. the wishes of a new owner, led to the release of a half-baked app.
You asked for my comments. You have them now. I have taken the time to respond since I still care about the App. I have invested in PI4, still use it, and have still not lost hope that better sense will prevail.
I do appreciate your explanation, and thank you for the referrals you have sent in the past.
Your comments about the bugs really peaks my interest. I would very much like to know specifically what you are running in to. You are right that Chris is OCD about knocking out bugs. The only reason that a bug would exist is that it slipped past our awareness… Or that we are unable to reproduce it consistently. There are times when bugs only happen in very unique situations and with an app as robust as Informant there are literally thousands of ways to use it, and thousands of ways to potentially break it.
Date picker: We missed the mark on that one. We took a chance on something that was different & innovative, and while some people really love it, the majority of people don’t. So, we are changing that out. (Which I’m sure will upset some people also).
Price: “We” believe that Informant truly delivers $25/year in value (for certain market segments). “We” also know that we are missing the mark for some other segments. I have outlined the 4 segments that we are looking at, ( http://staging.pocketinformant.com/thoughts-on-pricing/ ) and the fact is that we are still a small company and only have so many resources to chase after so many market segments. You are exactly right, that there are other competitors who offer less robust apps for less money. We are not really trying to be the low cost leader or a low quality product….We are trying to be “the best combined calendar and task app”. We DO want to continue to add value to the Informant Sync or Connect bundle value so that it is easier for people to justify (and feel good about) paying $25/year. We “might” consider separating the iOS app from the subscription bundle and offering “the app” for less than $25 but that is kind of tricky. We realize that folks don’t want to be “locked out” of the app if they decide to stop subscribing. Lets say we let you “keep the full version” of the app post-subscription and someone subscribes for one month then cancels– they effectively “bought” the app for $3 in that case. So, we came up with the $25 “own it” option as a compromise. It’s not perfect, but that is how we tried to accommodate an additional customer want.
Because all of these “pricing adjustments” require development resources, and we can’t do it all at the same time… we have put the “quality issues” as a higher priority and are addressing them first (date picker, triggers, bugs, etc). Creating alternative packages or reducing the price is something that we have had to put as a second priority for now. We feel that our obligation right now is to the people who DID pay $25 for the app and making it as good as we possibly can for them. We want people to know that if you pay $25 for the app, you will get a great app that is worth every penny and more.
We ARE working on ways to make it easier to get a “free trial” of the full version of the app, or to get it at a discount. We are going to experiment with giving a 2 week or 4 week trial of the full edition with an Informant sync offering. I would also LOVE to figure out a way to reward GREAT customers who help refer the app or can provide some sort of marketing value to us. It would absolutely be worth it for us to give people like you who send 10+ referrals to us, a free app. However, we have not figured out how to do that in a scalable way. Any ideas?
We are not perfect, we have made mistakes, but we do own up to them & we do fix them…Informant is in a good place. We are not at risk of going out of business and your comments and insinuations are (potentially) just creating a negative perception to people who may not realize that you are actually pulling for us to succeed and that you are really just trying to help.
So, please know that I do appreciate your candid feedback, we don’t want to hide from any of the feedback. I also want to make sure it is clear to anyone reading this blog casually, that much of the “harsh criticism” is from long time loyal customers who have developed very high expectations from the Pocket Informant products over the years and are (justifiably) upset when we fall short. However… don’t loose faith. We will come through. While some things have changed (ownership), some things have not. We still have a relentless pursuit of excellence and it will be apparent soon, if it is not already.
you are basically shoving down the throat of your customers one year of full app with sync and weather for 23gbp rather then selling the app for 15gbp, one year of sync for further 15gbp, one year of weather for 1gpb (or app+sync for 23gbp and weather for 1gbp). This way you get upfront 9 extra gbp even from people who don’t want sync or weather and would never pay for it.
You, Keith, write <>. Maybe this is as tricky as you say, but Fanatic Software has perfectly worked out how to do that because this is exactly what you are currently doing with PI 4.94. So choosing to “compromise” with “you own it” is a very convoluted way to reinvent the wheel while forcing everybody to pay more.
I am already paying 15 gbp/year for Informant sync. I won’t argue at all about your pricing decisions. If I find it convenient, I’ll spend the 10 extra gbp/year, if not I’ll change (as I’ve been planning) and too bad for you. I just ask you to be honest when outlining these pricing choices. What’s currently holding me back is not the extra money but the appalling new user interface in PI5, although the changes you are proposing for a re-newed (or should I say re-olded?) date picker are not bad). There are things still keeping me with PI (4.9!): implementation of time zones, advanced filtering, integration of tasks and calendar. But at some point I’ll really be fed up with the new Fanatic and I’m still working hard to find alternatives that work for me.
What I wanted to write above was:
Keith, you writ “We “might” consider separating the iOS app from the subscription bundle and offering “the app” for less than $25 but that is kind of tricky”. Maybe this is as tricky as you say [etc. etc.]
There certainly are some passionate people commenting here.
I have used PI for many, many years. It has been the most-used app that I have on my iPhone, iPad and Mac. Yes, I agree that there is scope for improvement, but I trust the development team to address them in future. I rate the app at 4 stars and will give 5 stars if speed improves, triggers (maybe allow me to use them more like the previous templates), and the dark mode.
Keep up the good work, PI Team!
It is nice to hear some encouraging comments 🙂
Change is always difficult, but often times it is necessary to make progress.
My entry of April 8th is still in “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. mode.
Never mind – It has ben fun here and using PI until version 5 – and good luck to you all 🙂
Sorry to wade in hear again. Keith – it’s clear the segments that you are trying to target, but you are foregoing several others.
Why not release a full functioned PI5 for say $15, the same as PI4 was at release, without access to PI Sync. For those of us that rely on native OS sync due to work or preference, we can use a tool we want to use, paying for the services we actually use, and not feeling like we are paying an unreasonable amount.
For people like me – you are competing both against free, and substantially cheaper paid alternatives, and PI5 just costs too much for the functionality I value. Adding more value to the Sync or Connect bundle doesn’t address that fundamental issue for people like me. Providing an alternate solution does.
That’s exactly the point!
Why is there no differentiated price model? The bundling in only one subscription gives the impression of greed!
I, for example, don’t need the sync. I use the Exchange connection of the company. This also works with any other calendar app. I like to pay for an app once, but the price must be appropriate to my use.
My suggestion: introduces a similar price model as that of PI4 and the dissatisfied users become immediately less. I am ready to pay my 15 € for the full functionality WITHOUT SYNC.
Thanks for your comments. We do appreciate your participation:
The primary reason(s) we have not released a 1x purchase option are as follows:
1) How long do you continue to support an app that you charge $5-$15 for? We release an app and then we continue to update it, maintain it, and support it. There is no way to stop customers who bought the app 5 years ago from getting your latest update. (Great right?) Imagine if you bought a car and every year that the manufacturer came out with a new model, they had to give you a new car. Sounds great for a customer, but tough on a vendor. If we release a 1x buy version then we have to figure out how to get upgrades when the time comes. One idea is to sell it based on iOS version, such as informant for IOS10. Then when you decide to upgrade to iOS11, you would pay again… This model is uber-complex and really just not possible…so, subscription seems to be the best route.
2) At what point do you force/encourage “old customers” to pay again for all the updates that you have built into the app. Lets say you have an app that you have been developing on for 5 years. So you have some that paid $5, 5 years ago, (and use the app every day)… When they buy a new device?
3) App store “catch 22”. If you do a good job with an app & you get good app store traffic, and good placement, and good seo, etc…If you decide to launch a “new version” of your app…You go back to zero. You start from scratch. That is what we have done with Informant 5. We started over from scratch. It is not ideal. The best solution to the above problems was to go with a subscription. It allows everyone to be on the same page.
4) There are not as many “new” devices being sold, and “new” apps being downloaded. ( https://www.recode.net/2016/6/8/11883518/app-boom-over-snapchat-uber ) Years ago, people were downloading many times more apps than they are now. Most people now download less than 1 app per month. The economics of the app store & apps is changing. Apple is making more money on subscriptions, and encouraging more people do go that route. see Apple Music, etc. What used to be a marketplace for $0.99 music is now $14.99/month (makes PI seem cheap at $2/mo right?)
5) How do you offer discounts to your “loyal customers”? (Some people are mad at us for not doing more for “loyal customers”. Because customers actually “buy” from apple, and Apple does not share customer data with the developers, we do not really “know” who our customers are. So, we have to come up with other means to actually discover who they are. (newsletter signups, Informant sync registrations, product registrations, etc) It’s a problem that any manufacturer who sells through a channel deals with. Apple “owns” the customer relationship when you buy through them.
I’m sure there are better solutions to some of these problems than we have come up with. But as of right now, we have what we have. If you are aware of any better solutions, please let us know. This is a HUGE problem that is facing many, many, many developers.
I hope this comes across the way I intend it. I don’t mean this to sound like excuses, but just to sincerely answer the question that you asked.
Keith – thank you for further outlining your PoV.
I have been a PI customer for a long time, and I am used to paying for new releases from the old WM days forward. If there is a significant new release, I do expect to pay. I don’t though expect these changes to be tied to iOS releases, that’s just another annual payment structure given a different name. I want the right to decide as I do with other software I pay for (Quicken, Photoshop Express to name two) of when I will stay with my current software and when I will upgrade. I expect security fixes once the new version comes out, but nothing more. You encourage us to upgrade when you update the application enough to justify a new purchase. You solve the reward issue by offering a bundle of the two paid versions to effectively discount the new purchase.
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want to subscribe to my productivity software – I want to use it on device as designed, nothing more. The subscription provides me features I don’t use and don’t need – bundling it with the product provides me no value and no incentive to subscribe.
I sympathize with your challenges with App Store economics, but you succeed when your value proposition intersects mine – which today it doesn’t.
I think you are missing the “own it” option. We have given an option to “own it” for $25. If you buy that option (only available in iTunes), you own the app for every. If you want to try to use it with iOS 25,(whenever it comes out), you can.
After 1 year, the app will not work with Informant Sync Services. How long would you expect us to maintain a cloud server & data & sync to 3rd parties for $25? (we think 1 year is fair). 3rd parties change APIs all the time. if we don’t maintain them, they break.
What can you do with the app after 1 year? You can use the full functionality. You can use the app to access all of your Apple data. That means if you have a google account & you set it up on your iOS devices it becomes “apple data” at that point. So, if you do that, you can still use Informant to modify an appointment in your Apple Data (ie, google calendar), then your edit could also show up on your Google calendar account (or iCloud, or Exchange account if you were using that account).
What can you NOT do after 1 year. You can’t use Informant sync or the other sync services, unless you have a subscription to it. The weather data may not work either. It might, it might not. But we won’t be obligated to support it for you after 1 year if you don’t renew the subscription.
Yeah, I know, it is not a perfect answer, but it is the best we can do right now with the limitations. But, it is just not correct to say that you can not OWN the app with us anymore. IT IS possible. You just need to pay the $25 option in iTunes.
No. I recognize that you are offering a version of own it. I’m saying that you are coaching it in the value of sync. And I’m telling you that for me PI5 isn’t worth $25 compared to what else is in the market for my needs and I suspect the same is trur for many other PI4 customers.
How are you using Informant? One device or multiple devices? Are you using any of the sync services? (Google sync, toodledo, evernote, Informant sync) or are you just using it to access Native Apple Data.
What do you think IS the right price for someone like you?
Agree & so do many long-time PI users. This is reflected by their comments in this blog & in their App Store reviews (both for PI4 & for I5).
This is my setup:
My primary calendar and source of truth is Outlook on the desktop. My calendar skews heavily towards work related appointments and my company uses MDM solutions on mobile platforms to manage access. Most calendar and to do entries start on the desktop.
I sync that calendar to Google via gsyncit (guess what company first made me aware of that product). I largely use that for two reasons: (1) my clients can not see my free/busy time since my company does not expose that via Exchange and I schedule and participate in a lot of cross-company meetings, (2) it allows my personal devices to see my calendar without being under MDM control.
My work mobile device is a Samsung phone – I paid for and was using PI-A until recently on that phone, but after PI-A5 was delayed (a shame since the UI was moving in some very nice directions) and given that it has not been updated in 16 months, I have moved to another product which provides both calendar and task management. That device syncs natively via Exchange ActiveSync – that is the only way I can get to my work calendar.
I have a personal iPhone. I use PI4 for iOS (paid when it first came out and before it went to in-app purchases) on that, primarily to see my calendar and get appointment reminders. I used to use PI to sync Google Tasks and Calendars, but have switched to iOS managing that. On occasion I will enter appointments or tasks on this device, but that is less often.
I also have an iPad with PI4 on it – again largely used to view upcoming appointments, especially at nights or on weekends when I am in a hotel room or not at my laptop. It also uses iOS to sync the Google calendar to it.
I would have been comfortable paying for PI5 what I paid for PI4 – which was $15. Even at that price, it is at the high end of your peer group even when accounting for products that require separate purchases for both iPhone and iPad devices. Of course, your competition doesn’t have a native sync component, but at least for me, I don’t need or use an app specific sync solution. And there are several good, and getting better free solutions out there.
As I have said before, I recognize App Store economics are skewed towards subscriptions and in app purchases for new functionality/ad removal/what have you and coming up with a viable business model on either the iOS or Android sides is tough and maybe this is the right answer for Fanatic, but for me as a long time user and supporter all the way back when I moved to WM from PalmOS, it isn’t the right model for me. I hope you can find a second model on both iOS and Android that will encourage me and others like me to continue supporting these products’ growth and evolution. Especially since for me, the sync solutions built into the operating systems are in some cases sufficient and in other cases required for me to use.
I really, really appreciate your detailed description of your use case. All to often we assume too much, or miss a small detail when thinking about customers use cases. You have done a great job of expressing your specific situation & I will make sure we review this with the product team.
It really seems like you are using Informant as a “client” for managing your many different calendars etc.
Let me ask you a question… We have gone with a “One price for multiple devices (iphone/pad)”… would you find it more appealing to pay per device at a lower price?
It seems to me less about the amount of devices, than about the individual functionalities. I also don’t need the sync (Calendar and Notes via Exchange, for the tasks a separate app). Why should I “rent” the whole package?
Do not misunderstand, please. I5 is certainly worth the $ 25 (and more) if you need all of these features. However, those who don’t want to use the functions or only partially, still pay the full price. I personally am not ready for it.
I have tested a different calendar during the last few weeks. The is far less detailed than PI and cannot so much (other small things for a little better), but cost me only once 6 €. If PI4 doesn’t work any longer, I have a very good working alternative for me.
My primary use for PI on both iOS and formerly on Android is as a client. I do some new appointment entries, but that is a low percentage.
And no, I would not prefer a cost per device or separate pricing of iPhone vs iPad, nor a cost to unlock individual devices for full local functionality.
I am looking for a mobile client that leverages the operating system’s sync functionality at a fair price. I can’t say it any more plainly. For my use case, I don’t get $25 worth of value from PI5 and one year of Sync (acknowledging that I would have it for one year and would then drop it once I had to re-up). At a more appropriate price level, I’d gladly continue to support this company’s products on both iOS and Android.
I feel like a bit of an outlier here. I am—more or less—ok with $25/year. The big change for me is that my exceptions are significantly higher because of the drastic price increase. First, it has to be absolutely rock solid (99% bug free experience) and have fast performance. Second, it has to really meet my needs for calendar and task management.
The second point is pretty good for me but regarding the first point—right now—I am paying for an app that is still a non-starter for me (I cannot reliably sync tasks between Mac Informant and iOS Informant via gtasks). With that problem, plus miscellaneous other cons, and non-so-great support (which is especially relevant these days), I can only rate it very low in the app store—because that is where it is at for me. The low rating is not a backlash because of the price change (like some ratings seem to be). Rather, it is a rating representative of how the app is still terrible for me (and I’m paying for it).
I should point out that, since I am paying for Informant Sync, I view Mac Informant and iOS Informant as a suite. So one app affects the other with regards to ratings.
Anyway, I am very anxious for more fixes and better performance! And I really want to rate Informant highly. Looking forward to both!
I’m curious to understand your full setup. You are using Informant 5 for iOS(for mobile) , and Informant for macOS (for mac desktop access), What is your use case with gTasks? (online) Are you using Informant Sync? (Yes, right?) Informant Sync should be the best way to get I5 & Informant macOS to sync.
Google Tasks have some limitations because they have fewer attributes. What specifically is the problem you are having with it?
>This is a HUGE problem that is facing many, many, many developers
And the subscription is not an answer. If every paid app goes subscription, people will just stop buying them. How many people will pay $300 per year to use their $700 iPhone on top of $800 per year cellular plan ? On top of all other necessary expenses ? At some point you just stop and change the way you do things. I am neither poor nor cheap, but I will drastically change my workflow before I start subscribing to software. Look at all the people cutting their cable… the subscription model will backfire.
And so far, Informant is the only major app of all I use that went subscription. The vast majority of your competitors did not. The problem may be with your business model as much as with market conditions.
The following may sound as harsh criticism, and I apologize. I just want to be honest.
The app that I switched over to is maintained by one single developer.
That one developer is far more responsive – both in the speed of his replies and in the quality of customer service provided – than the entire Informant team has been for the past couple of years.
It’s task management is not nearly as developed as Informant, but has most all basics covered.
It’s calendar module is IMHO at least as good, perhaps better than Informant’s in some ways. It doesn’t have Toodledo or Evernote or Notes or Contacts integration, but does have some bells and whistles. It’s better at handling meeting invites.
It’s very very stable.
It’s been around for a long time.
And it’s maintained by _one_ person as a side project, who also has a day job. If he decides to make the next upgrade a paid one to help continue development, I’ll gladly pay.. but I will not go subscription.
Honestly, I think you have too much overhead.
Yes: iOS Informant 5, MacOS Informant, both syncing with gTasks via the Inf sync service (not “Informant Sync” though because that has it’s own proprietary tasks, calendar, etc.) With migrating between tasks apps over the last few years, I have become accustomed to using the minimal viable task attributes, so gTasks may work fine. Though, gTasks ONLY works because of the custom filter/sorting that Informant provides. Without Informant, gTasks would not be even close to an option. The big upside of gTasks for me is I can see my tasks on google calendar on Windows and, using a second iOS app called “gTasks”, can manually sort my Saturday list of tasks on my phone—which is huge.
The problem: I could not even get thru the very first day of using iOS Inf and macOS Inf without a sync error. I completed a task in macOS Inf, it synced properly to google tasks, but iOS Inf would not sync it. (This was with the most current versions of both as of today.) I cannot deal with that. I have to have absolute confidence that my tools are just working for me.
By the way, I did not report it to support because I recently reported sporadic misbehavior—the moment I clarified that it was difficult to reproduce, they simply ended the support conversation. I am tired of having not-so-great support experiences like that. Especially now that I am paying for “a lot” it!
Please could you let tell me the name of the App you have switched to. I know that it is not appropriate to post that information on Fanatic’s blog, so please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I too will need to switch, sooner the better.
Thank you very much, zegroy. I have purchased the App you have switched to and after trying it out, agree with your observations. As a “non-power user”, it allows me to do all that I use PI4 for, at a one time cost. I will miss PI’s templates function, but that alone is not worth paying $24.99 a year.
I note that the developer has been updating his App for the last 5 years without any additional charge. I too, will not have a problem paying a non-recurring amount for the next version (as I have, until now, with PI).
I will share this information with all the folks who at my recommendation started to use PI4 and allow them to decide what to do when PI4 is consigned to the happy hunting grounds.
I am really not sure why you continue to beat a dead horse…If you want to buy Informant 1x, you can.
There is nothing tying you to the subscription.
After 1 year, you won’t be able to use Informant sync, but you can continue to use the app & it will work with all your Native Data. So, you still have the app. You have most of the functionality. You may not have weather. But if you aren’t using the app like a “power user” then you probably wouldn’t mind.
Can I ask that you please stop making references to us dying? It is just rude.
If you carefully read my post, you will note that my reference was to Pocket Informant 4 (PI4) and not Informant 5 (I5).
PI4 is not yet, to quote you, “a dead horse”. It remains a very functional App and one that is beloved by many, like I, who have used it and its predecessors, long before you acquired the company. However, since you will no longer be supporting it, the App will cease to function with future iOS upgrades. That is the message I was trying to convey.
We ARE “supporting” Informant 4 from a technical support perspective. We are NOT developing any further on that platform. Chris has explained the reasons why a few times, but suffice it to say that we have “retooled, the factory” to build Informant 5. (What that means is that Informant 4 was built with a previous version of XCode that no longer runs on our developer computers. It is just not efficient any longer for us to try to do active development on Informant 4. We are still selling Informant for for a while longer.
Informant 4 was sold as a 1x buy software product. And just like all 1x buy products, it will have a life span that comes to an end at some point. If you are comfortable with that, then it might still be a good product for you. But Informant 5 is the “new” model, and the one that will get active development.
Both Informant 4 AND Informant 5 are supported by “tech support”.
Looks like censorship has been implemented. For the first time my post has a comment that it is “awaiting moderation”.
This is what I wrote in the post that continues to await moderation:
“Thank you very much, zegroy. I have purchased the App you have switched to and after trying it out, agree with your observations. As a “non-power user”, it allows me to do all that I use PI4 for, at a one time cost. I will miss PI’s templates function, but that alone is not worth paying $24.99 a year.
I note that the developer has been updating his App for the last 5 years without any additional charge. I too, will not have a problem paying a non-recurring amount for the next version (as I have, until now, with PI).
I will share this information with all the folks who at my recommendation started to use PI4 and allow them to decide what to do when PI4 is consigned to the happy hunting grounds”.
I wrote to the developer of the App that zegroy mentioned & received a reply within a couple of hours.
I am sharing snippets of his response in the hope that Fanatic/CXRM will take his attitude towards customers to heart & not lose more users.
‘”So far there was never a paid update, all updates were free from the beginning.
Instead I will try to offer new additional products, e.g. I am currently working on a desktop version, and I try to find new customers instead of charging the existing customers again. This way I will try to keep the updates free as long as possible.
And there are still a lot of improvements planned for future (free) update”.
What a refreshing change!
I know that you have commented quite a bit in the blog here so I’ll take the perspective that you are trying to help, rather than trying to point readers to some other offering. I am happy to address the things you mentioned. Also, I am a big fan of “the little guy”. In fact I consider our own company a very small business as well.
You quoted the other developer as saying ” So far there was never a paid update, all updates were free from the beginning.
Instead I will try to offer new additional products, e.g. I am currently working on a desktop version, and I try to find new customers instead of charging the existing customers again. This way I will try to keep the updates free as long as possible.” I will point out a few things in that…
#1- He said he will “try” to offer new products like a desktop offering. That sounds a lot like us about 4 years ago. We “tried” to build a business just off new customers & we realized that you can’t charge $5-$10 for a product and then support it for life… it just doesn’t work. What kind of work do you do? How long does your “work” last before you expect another paycheck? Most employers pay their employees every 2 weeks. I pay for my car insurance every 6 months. I put new tires on my car every couple of years. Yet, you are acting like we should build an app & support it for ever… That is just not realistic.
#2- You said he is “trying” to build a desktop app. We already have one. We have been building one for over a year & it is still not 100% done. So if he hasn’t started yet… it will be a long time.
Look, I’m not trying to talk negative about some other developer. I really am an advocate for anyone who is building apps. It is a tough business and customers rarely cut you any slack.
#3-You said that you went and bought this other app, basically on a whim. So I am assuming that you spent “some money” on it. I’m assuming it was less than $25?… But how much time did you spend researching it, testing it, validating it, determining if it would work for what you need? Informant is ONLY $25 per year. And for that you get: a) a great calendar & task app that you KNOW you can count on. b) a developer that you KNOW will be in business a year from now.
In a previous post you said that you like us, or at least you like Informant. So, why is it that you are willing to pay a random developer for an unproven app, rather than buying from us?
Let’s face it… $25 is not that much money… It really isn’t. If you drink coffee you probably spend $25 on coffee in 1-2 weeks. If anyone reading this is saying…”Keith, you are wrong I can’t afford $25″. I will say this. Contact me directly either in this blog or on Facebook. I will give you a job for $25 for 1 hour of work marketing Informant. If you will do that I will give you a free app. Charging $25 for Informant is not about gouging customers. It is not about being greedy. It is about pricing a product based on what it is worth, and what it costs to keep it alive. If we stop doing what we are doing, Informant will be totally irrelevant in 12-24 months… We don’t want that to happen. I have no doubt that Informant is worth $25 for a large number of people. I also know that there is another group of people that are a bit uncomfortable with that. I’m not trying to alienate anyone. I just made an offer on this blog for people to get the app for free.
Also, we have made it so that anyone can OWN informant for $25 with the “own it” option in iTunes. That means you DON’T have to pay for a subscription. That option was not an easy one to make happen and it is not perfect, but I hope that you see it is our attempt for us to keep people happy who really hate subscriptions or don’t want to be chained to a subscription. If you take the $25 “own it” option, the app is yours. You can continue to use it with native data as long as you like.
#3- You made a comment about censorship in a passive aggressive sort of way like we are censoring your posts. I don’t think we are censoring any content, but I will say that since this is our blog, we will reserve the right to remove comments or posts that are seen as hurtful to our business, or inappropriate, etc. So, I will 100% take accountability for answering for our competitiveness with other apps. (Which I think we do very well by the way). But I will not allow posts to competitors apps to stay in the blog. I’m really not trying to offend you or make you mad. I am just assertively and respectfully asking you to treat us with respect also.
If your intent is to try to make us better, or to make us see something in a way that we may not see… then I thank you for that (and I apologize if I seem like a jerk sometimes, I’m really a pretty nice guy). If you are trying to beat us up by pointing out some weakness that we have and comparing it against some other developers strength then I would say that is not fair. If you want to compare the completeness of our offering, our vision for what we are trying to do (improve personal productivity across the world) then lets do that. But lets realize… We are just one small company competing in a world with Billion dollar competitors. If your opinion is that there can be only ONE winner in the calendar & task app space, then I hope we have what it takes to beat apple & google & microsoft (haha). The reality is that there are hundreds of apps that could probably do a pretty good job of managing your tasks, and if your son/daughter/mom/dad worked at one of the companies or built the app, you would probably buy it from them.
I know that Informant is a great app. I already gave you my “pitch” for the price and my offer if you can’t afford it. Now, I simply ask you to support us. If not based on the product alone, do it based on your past relationship with us, or your future relationship with us, or do it because you like our mission, or because you like Alex, or Chris, or Wes, or Tabetha…or just because you like to support “the little guy”, or the David who is competing against Goliath. (Yes, Microsoft, Apple, and Google are all Goliath’s, and we are all just a squirrel trying to find a nut in their forests). We are good people, who want to make a living doing this. This is not a side-job for us. This is our life…
Are you going to support us, are you going to find some other little guy to support, or are you going to continue to give your money to the Goliath’s?
I hope you choose us.
It was interesting to read the spirited defense business plan. Unfortunately, in this non-biblical situation, the Goliaths are here to stay, and will remain standing. It is a survival of the fittest among the Davids. I will support a David, but unfortunately, unless your “one price will need to fit all” attitude does not change very soon, it will not be you.
First, I want to assure you that I am not trying to promote competing products on your site. m_g58 asked me what new setup was I using and I privately let him know.
Second, your statement “Let’s face it… $25 is not that much money… It really isn’t. ” is profoundly incorrect. “A lot of money” is a relative and subjective concept, and you need to look at the market for a given product. The market is currently priced WAY below that point, making Informant the most expensive product by a large margin. People don’t like overpaying even when it’s not “a lot of money” per se. Sorry, but you sound like you’re trying to persuade yourself.
“Also, we have made it so that anyone can OWN informant for $25 with the “own it” option in iTunes. That means you DON’T have to pay for a subscription.”
Again, not a true statement, unless I completely misunderstand the way new pricing works. Even if the user pays $25 one time, the Informant subscription features will stop working after a year, which means it’s just a different way to pay for subscription… but still a subscription. No matter how you look at it, if you decide to keep using Informant for 3 more years, and have the iOS Calendar *and* iOS Reminders, that’s $75.
Over the years, Informant grew into that jack-of-all-trades thingy that is trying to do calendar, tasks, contacts, Notes, weather, Evernote sync, Toodledo sync, proprietary sync, all in one app. I’m sure you know how the rest of that saying goes… This contributes to the heavy overhead, cluttered interface, and all the bugs, the biggest problems.
From my personal point of view, Informant has one and only one major advantage over the competition. Advanced task filtering combined with Toodledo sync. And ever since you dropped the Start Date support for Apple Reminders, you really need Toodledo to take advantage of Informant best features, which means a lot of hoop-jumping for those of us working with company’s Exchange servers. Informant also has some disadvantages – it’s buggy, v4 has somewhat cluttered interface, v5 has a terrible interface, the handling of the meeting invites is poor, so even while I was still using Informant I often had to switch to the native Calendar.
So I can’t see the objective justification for such a major price difference vs the competition. Basically, you’re saying that even though your competitors can still continue developing their products under the old model, you can’t, because of the overhead you have. It’s understandable, but doesn’t look good in the long run.
I am hesitant to respond to your comment in such a contradictory way, because I really do appreciate your participation… but you are wrong.
If you want to use Informant for 3 years and just access native calendar & apple reminders data, you could do that for a one time payment of $25. We are not restricting access to “native data” for people who pay for the full app.
As for pricing, you might say we are making a prediction about what is going to happen… We think that more vendors ARE going to switch to subscriptions. Sure, there might be a few that offer something else. But in the long term, for a high quality app that does all the things that the majority of users want, the prices are going to go up, either for 1x buy, or in the form of subscription, or in the form of selling your data to advertisers. (Informant is not going that route, but someone else might or already is).
If you want the BEST calendar & Task then Informant is that app, and most people would expect to pay “a little bit more for the best”.
Now, your comments about quality & bugs are issues that we want and need to hear. We are relentless about making it the best it can be.
Here is the comment from Chris (Informant dev) about start date support:[
Apple doesn’t officially support the “start date” property for Reminders (you’ll notice there is no way to set the start date in the Apple Reminders app). Apple’s API does actually let you set the start date – so initially, we let you set a start date on Reminders within Informant. *However* it was highly problematic and there were numerous bugs (especially when dealing with repeating reminders or going back and forth between Apple Reminders and Informant or when dealing with Exchange and different time zones). We had filed numerous bugs with Apple but none of them got addressed.At WWDC a few years back, we were able to talk to one of the Apple engineers that works on Apple Reminders and he basically said that while the start date property is exposed to developers, the reality is that since Apple Reminders doesn’t support it, they don’t do much testing on it and it’s not a very high priority for them to fix those bugs. So we decided it was just too much of a liability for us to keep supporting it (we got a bunch of support cases on it and there wasn’t any good way to work around Apple’s bugs)so we pulled start date from Reminders a long time ago ]
Zegroy, I sincerely do appreciate your participation on this blog. And I do appreciate your comments because I truly do think that you want to see Informant succeed and I think you believe your comments and suggestions will help us get there. Please know that if I disagree with your position, I am doing it out of a simple difference of opinion and not a lack of respect FOR your opinion.
Will Informant be sold for a lower price in the future? maybe.
Will it be this month? Probably not.
Can you have it today for $25. Yes.
I didn’t realize the single $25 purchase unlocked all of the local sync features, I think the last time I looked at the pricing page, it may have been worded differently… or I just mis-read.
As to the Reminders’ start dates – I’ve raised the issue with Informant support way back, when they removed it. I received the same explanation. However, I have not just one but *two* calendar programs on my iPad (I’ve accumulated a few over the years..) that successfully apply start dates to Reminders and sync them to Outlook via Outlook.com. So I’ve got to believe that issue is specific to the way that Informant handles tasks.
And this was one of the main reasons I was contemplating moving away from Informant even before the new pricing. Copying an email into a task in Outlook is far quicker and more efficient than copying the text from email into a web dialog or emailing it to Toodledo, and this is one core functionality where tbh Informant is lacking.
Anyway, I really want Informant to succeed… but I am not sure that this is the way forward. I am still visiting your webpage, just to stay informed (pun intended).
I’ll bring up the start dates thing again with Chris.
As for quick task entry, have you tried the Hot Keys feature in Informant for mac? (are you on a mac?)
It is a quick keystroke, copy/paste to create a new task (on your mac)….
No, I am not on Mac.
The vast majority of your potential customers are going to be on Outlook / Exchange (I think it’s market share is about 70% or close). And the vast majority of them are going to be on Windows. I work for a major corporation in a major industry and am dealing with people from other large companies and in over 20 years of work I’ve seen exactly ONE Mac, and even that was a personal device used by a sales person.
That’s what is so puzzling – if you look at both the iOS and Android markets for Calendar and Task applications, there seems to be very little thought given to the single most used ecosystem. Very few apps that can directly sync to Exchange or support even the basic functionality like task start date. Surprisingly few apps that support direct sync to Outlook.com, even though it’s the only web based email and calendar system that seamlessly syncs to desktop Outlook. There’s more apps that support Toodledo (a rather obscure task management system with a relatively small user base compared to Exchange).
I think part of the problem is that MS is terrible in promoting it’s own offerings. Most people don’t realize that an Outlook.com account will sync calendar, tasks and contacts to desktop Outlook directly without any 3rd party tools required. (And yes it supports start dates… 😉 )
Anyway… from my subjective and perhaps not accurate point of view, one of the biggest reasons why the market for calendar apps is so limited is because they keep ignoring that biggest elephant in the room. You can only sell so many calendars to the people who want to do their personal task management or want to jump through hoops to get their work tasks into an unsupported alternative system. You can only sell so many expensive Outlook add-ins to the corporations, most of which don’t need anything above what Outlook already offers (it does have a very powerful filtering system). There’s however a huge gray area of people who would like an app that helps them to use their work Outlook calendar and tasks on their personal devices, they are not going to mess with maintaining their own different work tasks system in Google tasks or Toodledo, and at the present they have precious few choices.
I sincerely appreciate your valuable insights to the market. Your comments help me see a niche that we need to pay closer attention to:
Quoting: [There’s however a huge gray area of people who would like an app that helps them to use their work Outlook calendar and tasks on their personal devices]
Your comments are very helpful. Thank you for sharing.
I pine for the days when I had WinMo 6/5 with exchange sync and Outlook. Calendar, tasks, and contacts synced beautifully. Of course, WinMo built-in apps were terrible and that is where PI came in. I only had to go to Outlook and PI for everything I needed. Now, I have to hodge podge solutions together to get the same functionality.
Btw, Microsoft just introduced To-do which, amazingly, syncs Outlook tasks via Outlook.com to iOS. That might open doors for Informant to sync with Outlook tasks.
@boydston01 – you don’t need Microsoft ToDo to sync Outlook tasks to iOS. As of about a year or so ago, all you need is an Outlook.com account. MS changed Outlook.com from the old ActiveSync to the proper Exchange server, so now it will sync tasks from the desktop Outlook to iOS Reminders – or any device / program that supports Exchange – without any 3rd party tool required. And the built-in tasks in Outlook.com are way better than ToDo anyway, at least for now. They support categories and start dates, and preserve all data entered in Outlook.
This is why I stopped using Toodledo once Microsoft moved all Outlook.com accounts to Exchange.
The problem of course is that the iOS Reminders are very basic. They support 3 Priority levels and a due date (via “Remind me on…”) but that’s it. No start date, or category, or a “Today” feature (the ability to show a particular task on today’s date without changing the due date).
I can live without category support, but I need a start date and a “Today” feature. Anyone who has a large number of tasks that take more than a few hours to complete, and have concrete deadlines, needs a way to be alerted about these tasks early enough before the deadline, while still keeping track of that deadline. So Informant became a less than ideal solution for me even before they jacked up the price. I asked them about Reminders start date and the answer was, in essence, “we can’t make it work reliably so we deleted that feature”. Given that there are at least two calendar apps that do make it work reliably, this was not the answer I hoped for.
So, you don’t need to “hodge podge” anything other than an Outlook.com account. Once you set it up in Outlook, creating a task from an email becomes a breeze.
As a LONG-time user, I would like the opportunity to see and use the beta instead of having to wait another month. I have always paid for upgrades and don’t complain about the full price, as long as it works and makes my life easier. I have been toying with other options while waiting and I getting tired of running two systems. If I could see a light at the end of the tunnel…
For the Date/Time Picker, could you please make the “Start” and “End” labels/section break more visually standout, such as using different color or different font size or color highlight etc. By looking at the screenshot, it seems to be back on the right track. Thank you for your effort. It would be even better to change the PI5 app icon starting this version 5.1, make it more vibrant again please.
Hi Keith would love to be part of the beta program – do you require any more testers at all ???
Andy, you should have received an email response.
An excerpt from a notification I received from the developer of an App that I have used on my iPad for many years:
“We’re very excited to report that our App for iPhone is ready for release! After many internal testing rounds, we’ve just submitted the build today. We expect the iPhone version will be approved soon.
Indeed! If you’ve been following our efforts, you’ll know that getting here has taken us longer than we originally thought (more than one year since our initial update on Facebook).
……. will be released as a universal App. The great news is we’ll make our iPhone version free for all existing users even we’ve been spending countless hours on coding/testing for a long time. We hope you’ll enjoy our iPhone version and continue to support our product!”
This is the attitude that retains loyal users & attracts new customers.
Sure, but will that business model last 5, 10, 20 years? Anytime you provide goods/services without compensation, you impact your ability to sustain your provision of good/services. (Unless, of course, you have a business model where you acquire resources separately—like most charities.) Maybe they will be able to continue like this indefinitely—great for them! And great for anyone who likes their product!
I completely agree that Fanatic may have gone so far in the OTHER direction (especially with how drastic and sudden the change has been) that it MAY impact their future. But if they provide a fantastic product at a price people are happy with, they will keep and get loyal customers. It is as simple as that.
Obviously you think the product is no longer worth the price or that the price increase was egregious to their old customers—or both. But other people think differently. Take myself. I have also been a long time, loyal user. I have found the whole situation terrible (a new, very buggy product with a hug price increase!). Personally, though—because of PI’s history—I am expecting Informant to be great again. In fact I am expecting Informant to be greater (because it costs a lot more). And when that happens I will be ok with the price. If it doesn’t, I will find another solution. (Also, I have “forgiven” them for the very real—and significant—mistakes that I think they have made that have affected me.)
People simply have different opinions about the product and the price. So what is the point of “arguing” about it so much?
The point is simple. Having supported WebIS since they introduced PI to the iOS platform, purchasing all updates/in-App purchases (until I5), and recommended it to nearly a dozen colleagues (who were using it until the I5 debacle), we feel let down by the attitude of the new management.
Well—while I may not feel the same—I do get where you are coming from. I hope that you, and others, get “satisfaction” somehow with regards to the whole situation—however that might look in practical terms.
I feel terrible that I have led you to question “the attitude” of the new management. Because of that, I would like to clarify a few of “our” attitudes:
Passion: We CARE deeply about our work, about delivering great solutions, and about our customers. We want to build great software that people LOVE to use. (It is because of this passion we sometimes have to “try” not to take it personally when people are critical. )
Innovation: We will always take initiative to make things better. (Sometime taking initiative means taking risks. )
Productivity: We like to make things more organized and more efficient.
Teamwork: We can all achieve more together than alone. Assertive / Respectful communication is a key to our success together.
If I have led you to believe something different then I have probably made an error in my communication. Please forgive me.
Until you get 5.2 out (yes 5.2!), please: no one goes home and they only get enough sleep to keep working well! 😀
I am only MOSTLY kidding. 🙂 5.1—and beyond—cannot come too soon! The wait is so painful…
As a user since the days of Window CE on Dell axis device, and having purchased a new version for blackberry, android and iOS and actually bought it for both iPad and iPhone before it was Universal i have been fan for a long time. It has always been the first app I got when I had new device.
I have expressed my disappointed on the “subscription” model and price hike in survey, on Facebook and other blog posts. I came hear to read whats new when I got an email and read through the post and comments and see nothing that helps me has really changed. The one thing I noticed though, Keith, is that you go back to the argument that $25 will buy you the app and you can end the subscription if you don’t need it before renew it. I get it. But what I am not sure you are hearing, that a few people have expressed, is that part of the point in saying “I don’t want to pay for a service I don’t need” is that I don’t want to pay for it AT ALL. Not “for a year”, not at all. I am hoping for an option in the future where I don’t need to subsidize others option for sync when its not something I need or want. I am currently content with PI4. But I hope other options are available in the future. I do have to agree with some others that the “tone” or direction seems different than it once was and it saddens me that I think I may be in the demographic that gets left behind the progress you are striving for because what you perceive as important to the app and what justifies the cost to you, I see as me paying for something I don’t need. For example, When I bought I new car I choose the “mid-level” edition because I didn’t want to pay for the features I didn’t need i.e. automatic trunk opening. As pretty as the higher end car was, it wasn’t worth the cost for a feature I didn’t plan to use. Or need. I like the visual pieces of the app. I always loved being able to view icons for events and had asked about it before you released and THOUGHT it would be in the basic version but its not. I would miss that but its not worth $25 for it to me. That is the piece I think you miss from your answers to many posts-its not that there isn’t an option to “buy” the app, its that what I would need to buy is more than I need and I feel its not worth it because with the dialogue that comes off that the price is the way it is because of the sync feature and if I don’t want/need that feature you are saying its ok I can still pay for it then not use it. I don’t mean disrespect by saying this-I am just trying to demonstrate the customer you are not reaching who at one time would leave an excellent review but won’t now because it doesn’t work for me any more. And you may be ok with losing that market of customers but I wanted to try and explain this point of view because I feel the standard answer you have given is “you can own it-just buy it once” and not realize we are trying to say we are willing to buy it and we are willing to pay more than $5 and most of us HAVE invested multiple purchases but we don’t want to pay for a service we don’t need. Thanks.
swcolleen: to clarify, their intention is that the $25 purchase option is a one-time charge and you own the app (sans built-in sync features), then you can use your device’s built-in sync services for data syncing. So you are not paying for the sync features—you are “only” paying for everything else. I believe Informant’s built-in sync does happen to work for 1 year, with this purchase option, but that should be considered a “bonus”—cause you are not paying for sync, you are paying to own the app without sync. The whole thing has been very confusing!
Still, it sounds like you do not like the $25 price?