Tap Tap Send has been around since the early days of the App Store. The app, as released back then, and sold for 59p, is not the same app that you see today. New features aside, the original app just wouldn’t work without the constant love and attention that it’s had.
Someone who paid fifty-nine pence back in 2012 rightly expects the app to still work today. Unfortunately, the pint of milk I bought with that fifty-nine pence is long gone, and the supermarket doesn’t do unlimited refills. Joking apart, the pricing models of old have never made sense in the world of the App Store. In the past, before the App Store, it was common practice to charge for upgrades, which meant developers would hold features back until they had enough to justify an upgrade fee. This isn’t workable in the fast-paced world we live in today, and the App Store makes upgrade pricing difficult to implement. Keeping the app current also takes a lot of time and effort, as Apple regularly adds new features to their platform, and that requires constant attention just to stand still.
Tap Tap Send wasn’t created by a huge team. In fact, as an independent developer it is just me, myself and I, responsible for everything — app design, development, testing, graphic design, UI/UX, web design, marketing, promotion, copywriting & support — and in all honesty, I love it.
I am passionate about crafting something from scratch and moulding it with my own two hands, being responsible for every step from start to finish. But craft itself doesn’t put food on the family table, or keep a roof over our heads.
The truth is, the time it takes to find a constant stream of new customers, and the sheer numbers required to live on at such low rates, makes little sense — after more than 8 years trying it is time to stop and take stock
One of the deciding factor in switching pricing model is that app advertising has become so expensive. Even when selling the app at £2.99, as was recently the case, I can’t afford to advertise. With a cost-per-install well above the £1.70 I used to earn from each sale, the economics simply don’t work anymore.
Over the years, I have tried almost every pricing model available. Version 1 was freemium with ads and an in-app purchase, and version 2 was paid-up-front. Subscriptions is the only model I haven’t tried, but it is the only one that might address the imbalance between development and marketing, and the only one that makes sense for indie developers on the App Store these days.
There are two important aspects that must be addressed though — the price has to be right — and existing customers must not lose out. Let me explain …
The Right Price
Lots of apps these days are charging outrageous amounts for their use — £20-£30 per year is not uncommon, and some as much as £60-£120 every-single-year. This extortionate pricing does not sit well with me. As a consumer of subscription software myself, I simply can’t afford to pay this level of pricing over several apps. But a balance has to be struck. Software doesn’t write itself, new features don’t appear out of thin air, and there is the expectation that new devices get full support.
So, I have opted for a much lower annual price than most other subscription based apps. I’m not here to get rich quick, but I believe Tap Tap Send has a certain value, and I know that I’d happily pay around a fiver per year for the pain it saves me. So after much deliberating, I’ve settled on £3.99 per year (or equivalent in other regions) — I think this is a fair price.
I understand some people would rather pay monthly, so there is also a 99p per month plan. This can help you experiment cheaply for a month or two, but I fully expect most people to take the yearly plan, which is equivalent to just 34p per month.
However, in a recent survey I discovered that there are quite a few of you that use Tap Tap Send very occasionally, but when you do it is indispensable — during holidays, on road-trips and to manage sms-controlled devices like GPS trackers and security gates. There are others too that have been using Tap Tap Send since the beginning, for over 8 years, and subscriptions aren’t really for everyone. If the low regular price isn’t for you, then maybe a lifetime membership is more up your street.
The lifetime membership unlocks all the features permanently for a price that is equivalent to a few years of subscription. If you have already paid for an earlier version, there is a discounted price so you don’t end up paying more than a new customer (you will actually pay less). The current price for lifetime ownership is £23.99 (or £19.99 if you are upgrading from version 1 or 2).
Lastly on pricing, these purchases are part of Apple’s Family-Sharing, so you can share your subscription (or lifetime purchase) across your entire “Apple” family.
Existing Users Don’t Lose Out
Let me reassure everyone who has already paid for a previous version of Tap Tap Send. All the features that you paid for in v1 or v2 are available for you to continue using at no additional cost. This should happen automatically, but if it doesn’t, just tap the “Restore Purchase” button.
As a thank-you for supporting Tap Tap Send over the years, I have also included a few extra features for free (which include, multi-select, a better iPad experience, extra template variables and an enhanced URL scheme). And lastly, you can unlock all the new features (which includes, dark mode, groups, cloud sync and enhanced display options + more) with a subscription, or a discounted lifetime upgrade.
By choosing to subscribe, you are not simply choosing to use the features of Tap Tap Send today, but you are also choosing to support the app into the future. You are choosing to receive new features as soon as they are ready, no holding them back for a big bang. You are choosing to have support for the latest Apple devices and software. And you are choosing to have me at the end of an email, ready to support Tap Tap Send if you get stuck, and I usually respond pretty quickly.
With subscription pricing, Tap Tap Send has a bright future, which I am really excited about.
Tap Tap Send already has a very useful set of core features, but I want to make it even better, even more integrated with iOS and iPadOS (and eventually WatchOS). I don’t want to sell you on vapourware, so rest assured, there is a long list of features that will be integrated smoothly and considerately into the app that you know and love.
It is worth pointing out that over time, as new features are added, the price for new subscriptions may go up. But the intention is that existing subscribers will be locked in at the lower price — the price you subscribed at will be the price you pay (until you choose to cancel). This is my commitment to you for subscribing now.
Tap Tap Send 3 Is Here
So Tap Tap Send 3 is finally here — it has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and it is ready for the future roadmap. It has everything you had before — Global and personal template messages • Bookmarking of favourite contacts • Quick iMessage, SMS and email in just three taps. Now it also has Dark Mode • Multi-Select • Groups • Sync via iCloud • A better iPad experience • Enhanced display settings • Extra template variables, and a better URL scheme — Here are the release notes.
I know subscription pricing is a controversial subject, but I hope everyone who finds Tap Tap Send useful can see that this means the app will be well supported and that it has a bright future.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.