There are currently three levels of pricing for the app.
This structure and pricing is correct at 7 May 2020, but will probably change over time as more features are added.
The app will show a portfolio in read only mode so that any material created during a free trial for a paid subscription may continue to be used after a free trial has been completed. Currently any older Foliobook portfolio may be restored free of charge for a second read only copy for no cost. This ability to read the old file format may not be supported indefinitely.
In addition the free level allows creation of a three gallery portfolio with no customisation of background/logo etc just so that there is some basic utility in the free app.
b) Pro subscription currently $24.99 annually for new users or discounted to $19.99 for existing users of the app who are upgrading.
This provides all app features needed for professional use including the following new or major updated features
- NEW support for drag and drop
- NEW support for inter-app sharing (eg: import from Lightroom and Affinity products)
-NEW support for multiple file types on import including multi-page pdf, png, tiff, psd and gif as well as jpg
- UPDATED rewrite of video support so that videos are supported in backup and restore
- NEW cosmetic improvement of UX to bring it up to date
Coming soon is a major new feature - PDF document output that I’m close to releasing in the next week to be followed by stability rewrites of the main home page and slideshow features to enable richer customisation.
c) Sponsor (Platinum)
This subscription level will probably be removed from sale and sold through a different channel in future. And is currently priced around $250 per annum.
Its purpose is to provide those who want to preserve the product the chance to sponsor it. This is mostly intended for agencies or people who don’t mind paying for the maximum level of customisation possible.
There are two benefits that sponsors currently get
- The ability to select a custom app icon so that when showing the iPad their own icon or logo appears on the iPad screen alongside the other app icons, making the app look more like a custom application rather than a purchased product.
- 2 x telephone support calls per annum free of charge. This is because often agencies operate under time pressure and employ interns to construct/modify portfolios and these people often need rapid support and to be talked through setting up. In future I’ll require these outfits to become sponsors.
New business model
The new app, Foliobook 4 has moved to a subscription pricing model. The goal of this is to enable me to finance future app development and updates to keep the app working reliably. There are some parts of the app that I have never had the time to make rock solid, and I'd like to rebuild those, but it takes investment to do that.
The reasons for a subscription model are as follows
a) Subscriptions are the mechanism Apple provides.
Apple does not provide a means of upgrade pricing which is the older model for software sales that is now beginning to fade from the industry. Because of the way apps have to be sold through the Apple App Store, developers can only use a method Apple provides to make sales.
It is true that Apple continues to provide the ability to pay a one off fee for an app, but this is no longer viable for smaller apps like Folibook. See b)
b) Subscriptions provide a way to support app maintenance.
This is the main reason I have struggled to support the app over the last few years. A customer who bought the app in 2010 when it came out has had free updates for 10 years for a cost of around $12. That is great for the customer, but unsustainable for a business, even a 'non-profit' which is what Foliobook has been for about the last 7 years.
In reality it takes between 2-3 months of work each year to update the app just to keep it working with the changes to iOS and to third party software such as Dropbox which also change their 'api's' from time to time. This maintenance cost is not paid for in the conventional business model.
c) A subscription income stream allows for new feature development and pays for support costs
In addition, subscriptions because they involve regular repeating fees, mean that a developer can fund future versions of the app by borrowing money to invest (because they know they can pay it back) or investing in more staff.
This makes it easier to add new larger features. In the past 5 years I have built many additional or replacement features for Foliobook but often this code has not been included in the app because I have not had time to complete these projects due to the need to work an office job to generate income to live on.
What happens to the old version of Foliobook (v3)?
Nothing, it will work exactly the same so long as it is running on iOS 13. However I will not be making future maintenance updates and it may no longer be on sale after the release of iOS 14.
I have put in considerable effort to make it easy for customers to move their work from Foliobook 3 to 4 very easily, however video content cannot be transferred over, all other content and design elements are copied exactly.
If a customer updates their iPad to iOS 14 or iOS 14 beta, it is possible that some parts of Foliobook may not work at all, or may have serious bugs. For this reason I do not advise professional use of Foliobook 3 on iOS 14, and this is the reason I will most likely remove Foliobook 3 from sale later in the year.