I subscribe to apps. I don’t like it, but I do it because some very good and highly useful applications are available via subscription only. One example at the high end is Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Photoshop. Both are available only through subscription pricing.*
Most of Apple’s built-in apps for iPhone, Mac, and iPad are free, of course, but I have adopted subscriptions for third party apps for two reasons. #1, stated above, is a growing number of apps that require a subscription, and, #2, begrudgingly, app subscriptions force me to set and adhere to a software budget.
Oddly, both perspectives have created something of a seductive power over me. How so?
First, with a budget set for a specific group of application subscriptions, I feel I’ve gained a degree of control over how many apps I can afford to use, and how many apps– Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, or Apple TV– I should even try in the first place.
That consideration saves me time that would otherwise be devoted to trying out all kinds of third party applications.
Second, since time has become a factor when dealing with apps, I’m not trying as many apps as I once did, but also I’m not using as many apps as I did just a year ago, and that means productivity on the applications I use– built-in, free, single price, or subscription– has improved notably.
It took an hour or so of digging around old receipts to determine a valid justification for application subscriptions.
I spend less money now that I did a year ago because now– thanks to higher app prices and the growing subscription model trend– I don’t try apps on a whim, or try apps based on a third party review recommendation.
That kind of power over time and effort can be seductive, and seems almost opposite what I first expected the subscription app trend to bring. I though I would spend less on third party apps, and while that’s true, the added benefit is fewer applications to try; that saves time and money, and helps to improve what I know and can use from the apps I have already.
I paid for it. I’m paying for it. I damn well better figure out how to get the most from every application I use.
Now, if I could just find a really good replacement for Adobe’s Fireworks.
The much beloved and cherished app will die with the next version of macOS, due late this summer, and though I’ve tried a dozen replacements, none fill the bill.
Fireworks was never part of Adobe’s subscription model with Creative Cloud, but it will be missed.