Today I am very happy to introduce iDB app version 1.2, which besides the usual round of bug fixes and stability improvements, lets you remove ads, receive push notifications, and save articles for offline reading. This version is now available in the App Store.
What do you get with an in-app purchase?
You will be able to enjoy the following features if you decide to buy an in-app purchase:
- Remove ads across the app
- Bookmark an unlimited amount of articles
- Get offline reading for bookmarked articles
How much is that going to cost you?
There are two types of in-app purchases available, and both unlock the same features, the only difference being the timeframe.
You can choose to pay $0.99 for one month, or you can choose to pay $2.99 for one year. No matter what timeframe you choose, your purchase will not automatically renew. Instead, you will have to manually subscribe again should you want to.
Obviously, the $2.99 per year price is much more advantageous to you, and not so much to us. However, we are hoping that those of you who want to support iDB the most will settle for the monthly rate.
Why not a one-time fee?
We sure could have agreed on a one-time fee to unlock the extra features, but unfortunately, publishing content on iDB is not a one-time thing. There is an ongoing cost of doing business, and regardless of how many people read the blog in a browser or within the app, editors must be compensated every month, servers must be maintained, and related expenses must paid.
Some people will be offended by this model, but those who care about their favorite sites and iDB in particular will agree this is the best solution for us to run a somewhat viable business. Regardless of what happens, we’re certainly not going to get rich with this app. The goal is really to be able to generate enough to maintain the app and keep adding features.
Speaking of features, let’s talk about them…
Push notifications are available for all users. After updating the app, or downloading it for the first time, you will be asked whether you want to receive notifications or not.
There is currently no way to choose what kind of notification you want to receive. This is a feature that may be added in the future but there is no plan for it at this time.
We will not push notifications for all articles published on iDB. Instead, we’ll handpick those we think are worthy of your immediate attention. For example, if Apple is releasing a new version of iOS, you’ll get a notification for that. If we write a post about the latest Tweetbot update, we won’t notify you about it because it’s just not that newsworthy.
Free users will be able to bookmark up to five articles. Paid users will be able to bookmark an unlimited amount.
The mechanism is still the same: double tap on a Card to bookmark, or tap on the bookmark icon when reading an article. It’s pretty straightforward.
On top of having access to unlimited bookmarks, paid users will be able to enjoy their bookmarked articles even if they don’t have an active Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
When you bookmark an article, that article will be saved to your iPhone, and so will images in that article. When you remove the article from your bookmarks, that saved content will be removed.
Note that offline reading won’t download animated Gifs or videos.
Better VoiceOver support
I’m very proud to say that the iDB app now features very solid support for VoiceOver. This has been made possible mainly thanks to David, a beta tester for the iDB app and avid VoiceOver user.
It took us a while to get it right but we think we finally got it. If you see inconsistencies or things that just don’t work right, please feel free to let us know.
Next: Apple Watch support
We have one final feature we want to bring to the app and it is Apple Watch support. If everything goes well, this should be available sometimes this summer.
We want to thank you for downloading the app and for the great feedback you have sent us. Quite frankly, I didn’t expect the app to be so popular so it is a very agreeable surprise to see that it was downloaded over 26,000 times, and that the overall rating in the App Store is overwhelmingly positive.
Thank you for your time. Thank you for your attention. And thank you for your ongoing support. It’s very rewarding for us to see our hard work is appreciated.