The following link is to an article that is very critical of the new subscription approach to TextExpander. However, it contains some very positive comments on 1PW for Families, even indicating that it may be of value to individuals with no family.
1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided
I was incensed with what TextExpander did with version 6 and find the assumption we all want to work multi-platform arrogant and presumptuous. I did try TextExpander on iOS but found it useless because it required its own dedicated keyboard - meaning that I couldn't use the other third party keyboard I very much prefer (with superb text prediction and usability).
Frankly, I don't care that Smile Software has said they'll continue supporting version 5 through El Capitan and the next OS X version. I don't wish to deal with people like that and am in the process of ditching TextExpander on the Mac (which I bought a long time ago) and moving to another app which is as versatile but does not force on me a subscription model.
(I'm usually rather more measured than this in my comments but, as you'll probably note, this has really infuriated me!)
A great article, and I agree with a fair number of his points. I haven't come to any sort of conclusion on Smile's move here, as I simply haven't had time to fully digest it, but admittedly I did have some sticker shock when pricing was announced.
One thing I'm not a huge fan of is compairing the cost of completely dissimilar services. He makes the comparison between Office 365 and TextExpander. They are worlds apart. Smile is a tiny company compaired to Microsoft and their customer base for TE has got to be much smaller. As such I wouldn't expect pricing to be comparable. You're always going to pay more for something that only applies to a niche market than something that can be marketed to the masses. They are in totally different market spaces. Okay, yes, I suppose they are both productivity tools. But beyond that... ?
Similar, but not as egregious, to folks comparing 1Password's subscription costs to the costs of Netflix. Really can't even be compared. Even 1Password to TextExpander...
I understand folks want to take a look at relative value / opportunity cost. If I only have $10 in my budget each month for subscription services, I may have to make that sort of comparison. Which service is going to be most critical for me to have? Again, beyond that, any sort of direct comparison seems unreasonable to me.
I just ditched TextExpander also. I got aText ($4.99).
So far, aText is amazing. It read all my TE snippets automatically, the first time I opened it without me doing anything (it seems to have made copies as changes I made in aText didn't affect the TE snippets).
I went in and modified a few snippets and was pleased how more intuitively aText handles things like dates. I was also able to easily convert my "fill-in" snippets.
When I complained to Smile about their "Forced" (Take-It-Or-Leave-It) subscription model, I got a (drum roll please....) "TE Snippet" reply telling me how great everything they were doing was (no one is an island and other crap like that). Seriously? (Yawn)
Unfortunately, their canned reply totally ignored that:
Some folks don't want to RENT software (drip, drip, drip $, $, $)
Some folks don't want their snippets "in the cloud"
Some folks want complete control over their data
Some folks don't want to have a Mandatory online account
Having played with aText, I'm actually (in this case) fine with what happened since, to me, aText looks just as good, if not better, for my needs. There's even a LifeHacker article that rates aText #1 over TE (and the others).
In fairness to Smile, I did get support replies, but in at least one glaring case they didn't address a long-standing bug (> 1.5 years) I reported. I've yet to ever get a reply from the aText author, but the good news is that the product really doesn't need any support after I played with it awhile. :)
So long Smile!
(If Smile pulls this "Forced" (Like it Or Not) model switch with PDF Pen Pro too, I'll need to replace that product as well.)
I've seen this term used a few places, and I just want to share my personal opinion on it:
Some folks want new features added, bugs fixed, and customer service / technical support indefinitely for a one time payment. In no other industry, that I can think of, does that happen. And I think that is why many developers are going to a model that generates more reliable recurring revenue to support all of those things that people want. There are recurring costs to the developer, so it makes sense that there would be an associated recurring cost to the customer.
This is especially true when you get into hosted services. It costs money to keep services running. A one time payment just simply doesn't make sense in many cases. Now I realize you mentioned that you don't necessarily want an online account / snippets in the cloud, @Mork, but those promptly CS replies cost money as well. :)
TNSTAAFL / you can't have it both ways.
The way it has worked for 20 years+ is fine: pay for new releases. Bug fixes expected. No Forced Cloud. No Forced monthly payments --> Essentially a Software Rental. It's only the new "business models" ($) that are changing that.
Most folks I know (I'm a software dev myself) don't want endless subscription fees on everything. I think it's a serious question of perspective or at least customer flexibility.
For me, I'll pick when I want to upgrade. If I want to use the same software for 5 years without a penny to anyone, so what? I paid for it. It's only the "new business models" ($) which seek to, among positive things you mentioned, help improve cash flow to the company.
*** A workaround would be that if you stopped paying in the yucky subscription model ($), the software would keep working at least at some version. Intellij IDEA (a Java IDE, also now subscription based) works that way.
If 1Password removes the ability in the future for a non-subscription model system, I'd (sadly) ditch it in a heartbeat. As much as I love 1P, no software is irreplaceable.
@Mork: I guess I don't get the whole "forced" thing. No one is forced to use TextExpander, much less pay a subscription for it. I don't feel any more compelled to pay a subscription for one thing than I do a license for another. I just decide on a case-by-case basis if the value I get from something is worth the price of admission to me personally, whether it's software or a sound system.
My guess is that they're kind of targeting businesses with the subscription, and with their stance that the current standalone version will be supported on the next OS X release as well, that gives them plenty of time if they want to adjust their pricing or licensing in the next 18 months or so. It will be interesting to see what develops over time.
The "Forced" thing is the "take-it-or-leave-it" subscription model if you want to use their current products. I usually upgraded to the current version, but to do that now, I would be "forced" into a drip, drip, drip, subscription model.
Well, I wouldn't put it that way, but now that you mention it, when you get right down to it, all commerce is "take-it-or-leave-it": something either is worth the asking price to you or it isn't.
I'm not sure what this "drip, drip, drip" is, but it reminds me that for a long time there was a great deal of money to be made in importing ice into the southern United States from the north...and of course when things didn't go according to plan there was a whole lotta drippin' goin' on. :lol:
Anyway, I think it's the same with any upgrade: we have to decide if the cost justifies the value we'd get from it. It's never an easy decision for me either! :)
I'm a long-time TextExpander user and love it. Support from Smile has always been brilliant too. However, I'm not in favour of the path they've chosen for v. 6. I don't like being compelled to use their cloud service or the subscription model. I'm not angry about it. Just disappointed that I will eventually need to find an alternative product.
@Penelope Pitstop: Indeed, any time there's money involved it can be a tough call. And finding that something you've relied on no longer fits your needs is never fun. Change isn't easy.
I think perhaps the thing that makes subscriptions more difficult compared to licenses is that the decision points increase exponentially: with a monthly subscription, you're effectively having to make a choice every 28-31 days.
It's not the same thing, but in that sense, it puts the old Apple limited choice business model (which has exploded in recent years) in stark contrast. When Steve Jobs came back and instituted that, people had to make two choices when buying a new Mac: laptop or desktop, pro or consumer. Then they used it for years.
It's also part of what I used to really hate about purchasing domains. There were so many different little add-ons and extra charges for little things, and each of them required additional decision making on my part. Just thinking about that stresses me out.
So for me, as you can imagine, if I do decide to pay a subscription for something, I'll take the annual plan if I can. Then I can put off revisiting the whole thing for a year, and when there's a discount for a long-term subscription, that's even better. :lol:
There is another point, of course. Every company that introduces a subscription service likes to point out what a bargain $5 per month is (or whatever price they may choose). That may be so, but once you have four or five apps that have all gone to the subscription model some of us consider the overall annual cost very far from a "bargain". In the past I have immediately stopped using any app which goes exclusively for subscription pricing and that's what I shall do in future. That is, of course, a purely personal view.
@Stephen_C: While I don't think it's fair to hold it against one bill that the others in aggregate are adding up, I see your point. This really is a very personal matter in the end, since it's up to each of us to decide how we spend our hard-earned money!
Just FYI, and hopefully AgileBits will care about this and take it under serious consideration when thinking about the future direction of 1Password. I specifically chose 1Password because it did NOT require a subscription, when I switched to Version 3, from LastPass, several years ago. I was increasingly uncomfortable with all of my sensitive information being on THEIR servers and a subscription was required to sync between devices. I really prefer to have full control over my own data, especially if it contains sensitive information.
I also am vehemently opposed to subscription services, I look for place to CUT them every month and do a major sweep annually, every service that has survived the cuts throughout the year is first evaluated to determine whether the service is something I can live without and, therefore, cut completely. If the service is one I decide to keep then its competition is fully evaluated for a possible switch. Most time the prime consideration is to save money on the subscription but it is also to be sure that I am getting best in class service for my money, so I am not totally opposed to paying a higher subscription, if the new service warrants it. If there is ever a one-time cost alternative, the subscription service has to be WAY better.
As an example, not software related, I looked a cable tv several years ago and determined that I could BUY the shows that we actually watch on iTunes for significantly less, per year, than the cable bill. Cable was cut and we have saved over $1,000 per year, ever since.
I LOVE and constantly evangelize 1Password to all of my friends and clients and love being able to tell them that subscription is available, if needed, but completely optional.
@4yw: Indeed. I think there are a lot of people with similar experiences. That's a big part of why standalone 1Password licenses are still available for folks who want to sync it themselves, without a subscription or using AgileBits to store their encrypted data.
That's a great point, and one that hits home for me personally. I hope to do the same too someday, but I am weak, and I can't get everything I want from iTunes (or other services), even for more money...and I'm not quite ready to give anything up. :lol:
I agree that it's important to have options (though not too many), and we want to continue to offer them. We absolutely do care, and it's always great to hear specific examples and opinions from folks like you. Thank you so much for your support, and sharing your thoughts with us! :chuffed: