Notability apologises to old users

In a recent blog post, Notability has apologised to their old users. In the upcoming version 11.0.2, they will make old users keep their previously purchased features. This was a cry for help from our developers and we should find it in our hearts to forgive them.

We would like to keep our developers working on the app because we need it. Notability is a great application. Our developers are not certain if they can support lifetime access to the app. Now is the perfect time to start a conversation about how developers can stay in business in an affordable way.

  • What subscriptions work?
  • Which ones don’t?
  • How can we make sure applications we need continue getting updated for as little costs as possible?
  • How can smaller developers survive such a competitive market?

We need a solution (asap) before we lose critical apps from the App Store. Paid updates and in-app purchases are viable options for this. Subscriptions too are great for businesses, professionals and organisations if properly implemented.


Comments · 4

  1. Well I rather pay a reasonable amount for an app to make sure the developers can sustain a living of their work vs. being unsure about what happens to my data or the work I produce with this app. Good work deserves good money (not exaggerating of course).

    1. That is true and commendable. However, it only works when there are many people that feel that about an app. We hope Notability has enough supporters to keep them working on the app 🙂

  2. I am such a big fan and user of Notability and I would happily support them in being SUSTAINABLE in their business model. What they have done is NOT sustainable as it honestly feels like a money-grab on the part of the developers.

    It isn’t the “Subscription itself” (Although I would much prefer everything be a one-time purchase) but the manner in which they implemented it. This is a ‘copy-paste’ of the though-out comment I left Ginger Labs on their latest YouTube video:

    I am a huge fan of Notability. I have used your platform for the past 4-5 years, and I have bought your sticker packs, math/text conversion feature, and every other feature to support your company.

    I have recommended your platform to my colleagues and students that I teach and I hoped to continue to inspire those around my workplace to use their technology as the tools they were designed to be. I’m sure many can empathise with the struggle teachers have in trying to get students to work as we battle against the ever growing struggle of the distraction tech can give.

    With this as a background, please reconsider your subscription service. It is an absolutely horrendous avenue to pursue as it will only turn away the very people your platform hoped to support.
    At the VERY MINIMUM keep the free-app to the absolute bare-bones needed for a note taking app:
    1. Create notes
    Have only 1 available colour paper style available; white and single lined perhaps, portrait mode only
    You can make it so that they can only have 20 notes at a time to encourage them to export their work frequently to make room for more

    2. Necessary writing pens
    2 colours available for pens and 1 highlighter colour given in the ‘favourites tab.’
    Make the size of the stroke reasonable, but it cannot be changed to anything else than what is provided.

    3. One eraser mode and size
    Slightly Larger than the given pen size

    Ginger Labs cannot be serious about limiting the number of edits?!?!

    4. Import/Export as a pdf only
    You cannot share or receive .note files or links

    5. No dividers; limited subjects (5 maybe?)
    (or not dividers/subjects entirely as I can imagine some students able to work around this)

    These five points listed I believe can get your regular student through one year of school if they are diligent in organising their work daily/weekly.

    To encourage students and professionals to actually buy your subscriptions you can different “Tiers” depending on the required features.
    You can imagine that different ages/levels of education or work would require different features right?

    {{High school Tier}}
    Unlimited notes dividers and paper styles (Not journal templates)
    Dividers and unlimited subjects
    Full range of DEFAULT writing tools and erasers available

    {{Senior Year Tier}}
    Everything listed PLUS
    Mass import/export of files as pdfs, or .note file, etc.
    Audio recording and writing replay

    {{University Tier}}
    Everything above PLUS
    Full iCloud support (or your backup drive of choice)
    Journal Templates
    Seamless working between multiple accounts on iPad, Macbook, iPhone etc.

    {{Professional Tier}}
    Everything above PLUS
    Gallery viewing where OTHER PROFESSIONALS (i.e. teachers) can share their work
    Custom paper styles for professionals (I really like your ‘music charts’, basketball outline, etc.)
    and any other features you come up with.


    I have ruminated about this since I got the update, and was planning to move to GoodNotes entirely. But your platform has such great features and I honestly think it is better.
    But Ginger labs you are seriously shooting yourselves if you don’t reconsider your subscription model.

    As it stands I honestly feels you have NOT considered your customer base AT ALL and just thought “Hm, we need money. Let’s make EVERYONE pay the same price!”
    What I have outlined is what I believe people NEED at different levels. If you price reasonably at each tier, I’m sure you will find it fulfils your financial needs (which I can whole heartedly support) without giving your customer base a big middle-finger.

    As you can tell I really believe in you guys and don’t want to see you fail. This comes sincerely from an educator and someone who believes that YOUR PLATFORM can actually make learning better.

    1. Your suggestions are well-thought-out. Let’s hope they consider them. We are happy that they changed their minds about the subscription model for old users and hope they have what it takes to sustain a subscription model.

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