Things got a little heated last week with the news that Smile was moving a beloved app, TextExpander, to a subscription model. Smile has been a longtime sponsor of Mac Power Users and I have been a user and fan of TextExpander long before Smile started sponsoring my podcast.
I personally had mixed reactions to the new TextExpander release. I wasn’t convinced of the value of sharing for many individual users and wasn’t thrilled about the pricing model. But on the other hand, for best in class software like TextExpander to continue to exist, developers have to make a sustainable living.
My inbox has been flooded with people expressing their opinions on the situation. The overwhelming majority of feedback I've received has been constructive and polite. Others, not so much. I can only imagine what my friends at Smile have been dealing with. I know this past week has been a very difficult one. Hopefully the tide can start to turn today with the announcement of some adjudgment to the TextExpander pricing.
Here are the main points from today’s announcements:
- If existing TextExpander customers choose to move to the new model, they will receive a 50% lifetime discount to the “Life Hacker” (individual) plan. This amounts to about $20 U.S. per year.
- Smile is going continue to sell and support TextExpander 5 and TextExpander touch 3 as they exist today.
I encourage you to read the full blog post from Smile founder Greg Scown on Smile's Web site. Here are a few snippets (you see what I did there) of note:
To some of you it may seem we don’t care about our individual customers any more and only care about business use. We care about both, and in the changing software world a single focus is not a viable long term strategy for TextExpander. We did not make these changes easily or lightly, but for the long term life of the product so we can all enjoy it and engage with it for many years to come.
We will apply a lifetime discount of 50% off the Life Hacker pricing to customers of any past version of TextExpander. That amounts to just US $20 per year. In our initial rollout, we offered the discount for the first year only, and that was a mistake. We value our long-term customers, and it’s important for us to demonstrate that in our actions. Thanks for bearing with us as we sorted this out.
We will continue to sell and support TextExpander 5 for OS X and TextExpander 3 + Custom Keyboard for iOS for those who need it. Some of you can only use Dropbox and/or iCloud at work. Some of you cannot or will not purchase subscription software. You’ve told us that it’s important to serve you in this way, and so we shall.
Discosure: Smile is a sponsor of Mac Power Users