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App upgrades, downgrades and retrogrades

Pretend you're a developer. You've got a nice app out there. But now you want to take it to the next level. You want to add some terrific new features and expand the way the app works. How do you take your app forward while preserving your company's monetary integrity and providing a good transition experience for your user base?

What do you do?
Do you invest a lot of time improving the app and give it away free to your existing user base per the current App Store model?303 (53.0%)
Do you add those new features as in-app purchase, forcing users to pay to upgrade the app, and adding a layer of "nyah nyah you can't use this" to your current user base unless they fork over money?198 (34.6%)
Do you create an entirely new app and force everyone who knows and loves your app to buy it again, thereby losing all their current settings and data?71 (12.4%)

If you answered "(d) add a paid upgrade path for loyal users while allowing others to buy-in at the full new feature set, with no IAP nagging", well *bzzzt*.

We have some bad news for you.

At least a paid upgrade would be better than a recent trend some developers have been indulging in: pulling their popular products entirely from App Store and replacing them with new versions that monetize everything from touching the screen to clicking the Home button.

We read that Electronic Arts has pulled Tetris, replacing it with a version centered around IAP. It's what we call a "forced retrograde", where you have to pay hard to get back to the nice app you remembered.

At least there's a path back for Tetris. Here's how to revert to an older version of an app.

RIP Talking Carl.*

* Talking Carl is back on the store for $.99 and has returned to its owner and original glory.

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