Why is the app free? What's the catch?
No catch! That's it.
The constant up-sell in SaaS and apps is getting a bit ... much. To be perfectly frank: we're part of the problem, and we'll continue to be part of the problem (to some extent). We offer SaaS tools that will ask you to upgrade, we offer products that are long overdue a refresher. We have experienced it first-hand — maintaining software is hard. With the advent of recurring subscriptions, things have gotten a little bit easier, the ongoing inflow of revenue helps to stay on track. It helps, but there's always a new competitor, a new market or another opportunity just around the corner. So, sooner or later, things get left behind.
So this is a pure and honest attempt to do our part in contributing to a better software landscape. We're not out (or even remotely capable) to change the world. People will always want to make a quick buck, and every once in a while, a quick buck turns into a million bucks, and more. Fair enough. We love money, we're a business after all. But there was a time when it wasn't as hardcore as it is now. We used to buy print-magazines, just to get a hold of the various freeware and shareware tools that were on the CD coming with the magazine. It was amazing to see the quality some of those freeware apps had. Especially as kids, where spending money on software was not a very common thing to do, freeware was essential. Today, to a regular internet user, the idea behind freeware has mostly transformed into "ad-supported" offers, perhaps it can be found to some extend in the realm of GitHub, if one is savvy enough to use it. And, SaaS (despite the free trials) is more or less synonymous to what we once knew as Shareware. It's everywhere, and just because it has a price tag, doesn't mean it's worth the money it costs to buy it.
We want to keep this app free, updated, and most importantly: ad and tracking-free. It takes a lot of time to make apps, especially for the App Store, and we are not making any of the money back we're investing. But it's worth an experiment. A bit like having a small garden. We want to nourish it, we want to dedicate time to it, and we'll keep an eye on it so it continues to stay alive. It may not have ALL of the latest and greatest features (though we'll try our best!), but we want to keep the core functionality and features working and available for as long as we can support it.
So, why don't you make it open source? We love open-source software, but we feel this would add quite a lot of unnecessary work on top of the project. Even though the idea of sharing the workload with others, and others being able to implement or maintain their own features is a great thing, the only "protection" we have are license files. Say, someone copies the project and decides to release it under their own name (and price-tag) — what are we going to do about it? Lawyer-up? No. This is a free project, we don't have the budget to play war-games, quite frankly. And while it is a neat concept, we've seen how severely it can and will be abused. If you throw a quick glance into any popular open-source project on GitHub, you'll quickly notice a massive amount of arbitrary feature-requests (and even quite a bit of rage) in the issues tab, or, once it's gotten too much to handle — a project looking for a new maintainer. If we ever need to turn off live-support for this project, we'll release the sources for free. Absolutely.
We need you! We depend on your help to make the app continue to work reliably, with as many accessories and scenarios as possible. If something doesn't work, we are always listening and will try to fix it. Simply reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to get back to you very soon.
So how do you make money then? We're not a charity, and we don't want to be constantly asking for donations. We have other tools and services we are selling, but for this app, if you'd like us to work a bit faster (or better?), we're of course always happy to see the coffee tip-jar fill up, or receive a nice review for the app. That's all, thanks!