4 questions about the troubling app subscription model

The news coming about the new App Store subscription model -that, by the way, will be applied to Google Play as well– are really interesting, but I find them troubling.

There is certainly content on which subscriptions make sense, but I’m not really sure apps and games can really benefit from this model. The questions arepretty obvious:

  1. Developers won’t probably give everything they have in mind in the first version to ensure they have something new to offer in future releases for their subscribers, right?
  2. Developers that offer the (near) perfect app -at first, or through several updates- will have a tough problem to justify new updates and the subscription model itself. What will users be paying then? New features they don’t need (that can spoil the original app)?
  3. Does this subscription model give the users more rights to ask for features? That’s not the case for video, music or “text” subscriptions, but again, the case is different.
  4. What about security patches? We took for granted that when we paid for an app we had some support associated to it. What will be the new terms of use on this cases? “Only critical updates are free“?

I’m sure developers like the idea, but hopefully this will be just an option for certain kind of apps that deserve that model.

Hopefully.

Raspberry Pi 3 and the curse of human expectations

The new Raspberry Pi 3 is out, and it is a new, impressive iteration of the device that conquered the maker movement. The spec sheet has been improved with a new, more powerful processor (1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53) but above all with native WiFi (802.11n) and Bluetooth 4.1 support .

The initial reception of the device has been pretty modest as seen on media coverage in the last few hours, something that speaks clearly about our human capability to get excited about something about several iterations.

When the first Raspberry Pi launched the first time, it was all bell and whistles. The world marveled at what it represented, but a few iterations later this thing isn’t apparently that impressive or remarkable. Or is it?

Of course it is. Being able to get a computer for $35 (well, you’ll still need a MicroSD card and some other peripherals) is absolutely impressive. The world needs to marvel again about this little device. It deserves everyone of us to marvel at this technological feat that gives anyone in the world an easy way to work, have fun and create incredible things.

Damn humans. We have the exceptional,  shameful capability of getting used to all kinds of marvelous things.

Source: Raspberry Pi 3 on sale now at $35 – Raspberry Pi

Follow up (I): The guys over Pimoroni have published a worthy first look at the performance and main features of the new RPi3 at their official blog. 

Follow up (II): There’s another good review at Make:, the article featured in Reddit. Welcome reddit users, btw!

The Windows 10 Mobile app debate

Tom Warren talks on The Verge about the lack of apps on Windows Phone and the gradual disappearing of several apps that are no longer available or that were available but weren’t updated.

Windows 10 Mobile will try to fix this with the technologies that allow iOS and Android developers to port their apps and games to this platform, and I recently asked one Microsoft exec if that wasn’t something that would stop native development.

He told to me that he believed it was not the case. They see that as “bridges” (and they call them that way), so those developers don’t have to start from scratch. The transition can be made softly this way, and that could lead to developers that really take advantage of the promising Windows 10 ecosystem. As Warren writes:

With constant Windows Phone change, the only thing that has remained persistent is a lack of apps. Windows 10 Mobile is rumored to arrive to existing handsets in December, but Microsoft still hasn’t officially revealed a launch date. A lot is changing in the new OS, with different built-in apps, a new design and navigation, and Microsoft’s expectation that developers will create universal apps. It’s unlikely to make any difference to the fate of Windows Phone overall. It’s another reset, and Microsoft can’t keep hitting the reboot button forever.

I doubt it will be the case: few announcements and lack of details don’t talk very well about the future, but we’ll see.

Source: Windows Phone has a new app problem | The Verge