App costs

iConnectHue is available for iPhone and iPad

iConnectHue is available for iPhone and iPad, but development costs time and money

Developing apps is no easy task. You expect an app to be up to date, that it works, sometimes need support and at the same time, don’t want to pay much for it. iConnectHue is on a market where its baseline price of around 5 Dollars/Euros is already seen as expensive. At the same time it is being developed continuously for more than four years – this is only possible because some additions are being charged for.

Why pay extra for different devices? Because well, they are different. For example the iPad version: It’s a different device which requires additional testing, different layouts, multitasking support and partially different features. It is the reason why iCloud support was implemented. You’ll get a pair of apps that beautifully work together!

Why pay more for some features? The baseline functionality of iConnectHue is already huge (see Features), increases over time and adapts to new hardware you purchase. Apple doesn’t offer any real “update” scheme, and the app price alone, which is paid once, can’t keep an app running over its lifetime, if you expect it to be kept up to date. Making an app is daily work for programming, marketing, UI, support, hardware purchases, orders, and so on. The app store, as it is, disguises all this work. It makes it look like you pay once, and it runs forever. This is more than once criticised, for example this article by developer Matt Gemmel brings it to the point. Example: Apple makes you think that, when bringing out the iPad Pro, software developers “magically” adapt their software to this hardware, but well, that’s quite some work to do (and when finally some developers said they won’t support it). Suddenly when the Apple Watch came out – apps supported it. But there were people working hard for this! Now, is it the hardware or is it the software that makes your Apple device great? Of course it’s nice to touch, but maybe you need something to touch on it…

iConnectHue itself could be made more expensive (with these many features, 5 Dollars/Euros is pretty cheap – one purchase just about pays one answered support mail. Compare it to desktop software, which usually starts (!) at 20 to 30 Dollars/Euros – and usually gets yearly paid updates). But instead the “entrance fee” should still be reasonable, and everybody can choose what he or she needs. Hence there are separate versions for each platform and new in app purchases from time to time. Be fair at this point: It is still a reasonable price compared to other complex software or the money you spent for the light hardware, and do you really need every single in app purchase? The price of iConnectHue is more realistic than of most other apps and allows it to be more than just a hobbyist project – updates are frequent, problems are being solved and support is available. Do you want a cheap app or an app that is being taken care of?

Another comparison: Buying one full version of iConnectHue (for iPad or iPhone) with several in app purchases costs you less than a menu at a normal restaurant. After 30 minutes, your meal is gone, the support for it (waiter/waitress, cook, restaurant) is finished. And it’s not the last one of your day, and the next day you’ll need to buy another one. For less than this price you get an app and somehow expect to use and have it for the full lifetime of your product and probably also need support in that time. That’s not going to work without getting it paid. If you think the price is high, think again: I get only 56% of the price (not the 70% Apple says – subtract the VAT), then I pay taxes again on top of that. So one app is not even getting me food for half a day – but it may be useful to have an alive developer to get further updates ;).

If you like to support iConnectHue, consider buying the in app purchases and/or the iPad version. You’ll by that way lay a foundation for continued development and new features (and several of them are free!). You can bring yourself into the game by giving feedback what you like and what you don’t – and what you need.
Then again, compare the price of this app to the price of your iPhone, your iPad (there, you already paid twice for them!), and your Hue system. It’s the least price of them all, but makes them work together like a charm!