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$99 iPad app dinged by Wired, drops price 90% for the day

We love a good App Store pricing story, and this one has a happy ending (mostly). Yesterday Wired picked up the scent of Autriv's SignMyPad Pro, which has a rather breathtaking price tag of $99. Since the non-pro version of the PDF-signing app -- which shares almost all its features -- is only $4, why should the Pro version cost more than 20x as much? Not to mention that the PDF signing genre on the iPad, while not as crowded as some other sectors, still has a healthy suite of available apps ranging in price from $10 down to free.

Autriv's jefe, Justin Esgar, may be familiar to TUAW readers as the former face/voice of our Ask TUAW videos, so we checked in with him to get the developer's side of the story. It turns out that the key improvement between the $4 standard and $99 pro versions of SignMyPad is the ability to embed the iPad's GPS location and timestamp into the PDF metadata along with the signature; Autriv developed this feature specifically to support a request from a major financial industry client.

While in theory the custom version could have been delivered through enterprise distribution instead of the App Store, apparently it was easier and quicker simply to mark up the price of the GPS-aware version and let the corporate client buy the copies it needed. The app remained in the store at the $99 price point from then on.

Obviously, not everyone wants to geo-tag signed PDFs, but for those professionals that do need the capability (real estate brokers, lawyers, architects, etc.) it could be worth the investment. As far as we can tell, there isn't another tool, iPad or desktop, that includes this feature, so SignMyPad Pro has a case to make for its value in the market.

Value propositions aside, however, Autriv isn't taking the Wired story lying down. Justin has posted a rabble-rousing video on the company's site, and at the same time lowered the price of both SignMyPad versions for today. The standard version has dropped down to 99 cents, and the Pro C-note version will cost you just $9.99. If you're eager to sign your PDFs with the added power of geotagging, today would be the day to pick it up.

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