Software subscriptions

I just spent $30 on an annual subscription to Ulysses, my favorite writing app (it is not quite a "text editor") on macOS and iOS. It was a relatively expensive macOS and iOS app for years, and I thought of it as the best buy I ever made on the platform, because I always bought it on steep discount the day it was released, and upgrades have been free ever since. As much as I love it, I have never used it enough, mostly because I spend time programming rather than writing. That may change now, however, because I am paying now a lot more for the privilege to use it. Overall, I decided it is worth my money to continually support the software I love. That said, the much higher cost of Ulysses and other apps I rely on probably means I will be trying and buying far fewer alternatives.

There is a limit on how much I want to pay each year, total, for software. I am not sure what that limit is, however. It is over $100, I guess, based on my spending history. But it's not that much higher than that—and I am a person who loves software. I will have to choose my apps with way more discipline and effort now that many will be an ongoing cost to me. I will be choosing just one text editor for $30 per year, rather than buying the top six of them for $5 apiece and maybe upgrading one or two of them to new versions, for another $5 apiece, after a couple of years.

I hope this arrangement will lead to better software, and more well-supported software, overall. It looks like it will have the side effect of reducing the number of apps on my home screen to an essential, more costly, more sophisticated few. That's not necessarily a bad thing. But it further raises the bar for new indie developers—those without venture backing—who are working on the next new thing.