As you might already know, Ulysses has switched to a subscription model. Here’s also their post on Medium.

In the comments section on Medium you can see what a “great” idea it was. But people there are talking mostly about switching to some other similar application that doesn’t have a subscription model (which would be a tough task as Ulysses is truly a one-of-its-kind application). And I want to talk about piracy aspect in this context.

Since the moment I got into the world of computers, I was using a lot of cracked/warez software (including games). I would say, everything I had on my computer for years was warez. There is a simple reason for that - everything was impossibly expensive to me. My family was way too far from being wealthy, and no-one could afford to spend money for anything beside food and clothes (after all, it’s Russia we’re talking about). Aside from being quite a financially poor kid (and a student later), there were not much opportunities to actually get a licensed software - I lived in a small town without a single software store, and back then (1990x) we didn’t have a proper internet connection really.

So, up to my first actual job that I got just before graduating from the university, I simply had no means to pay for the software applications and games. But then things got better. Being employed as a software developer in Moscow, I started to earn quite decent money, and only then I could afford to spend something on software. Internet connection got better as well, so it wasn’t a problem any more to get a licensed content.

I started with purchasing a Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and Total Commander license - this one I feel ashamed about the most, because I was using a cracked version of this beautiful software for 15 years (or even more). Eventually I purchased licenses for the rest of commercial applications that I used.

Speaking about the games - using Steam I bought some old games like Wolfenstein, Doom and others, even though I finished them years ago. But again, back then they were “stolen”, and now I’m paying back, because I finally can.

But that was a prehistory, and now back to Ulysses. A year ago I got a MacBook, and started to fill it with applications. Eventually, I discovered the Ulysses. I liked it, but even being a software developer with quite a decent salary, it was really hard for me to pay $45 (desktop) + $25 (mobile) for a text editor. So again, I used a cracked version. But after a couple of months I finally decided to purchase it, because the app is truly awesome and really helps me at work. So I bought it in June 2017.

And now, in August 2017 (two months later) they switched to a subscription model.

I understand, more and more companies decide to go this way. For them it makes total sense. “Effective managers” rub their sweaty hands, drawing fancy charts and looking forward to get a rain of money. But hello! This model doesn’t work for every software company. Ulysses is just an application - it is not a development framework, it is not an app with some service attached - it is just an application, what are you charging your users for?! You don’t want to make new updates “for free”? Heeeelloooooo, isn’t this already included in its quite a high price?

So, bottom line. Yes, I did pay a subscription fee. Yes, that is in addition to $45 + $25 that I’ve already paid. So now in total I spent $45 (desktop) + $25 (mobile) + $30 (one year subscription, although nicely discounted) = $100. But. First occasion I get - I will switch to a cracked version of the app and will not pay a single cent more to the Ulysses.

I’m fine to pay once (even if the price is high - if it’s worth it, I’ll pay), but I will not be drained for every single motherfucking app’s subscription fee on a regular basis. I mean, what’s next? Web-browsers with subscription model? Calculators? Wallpapers? And then in total I get billed for several hundreds of dollars every month in total? Well, screw you.

And that’s what I wanted to say in this article - you guys are promoting piracy yourselves.

[12.08.2017] Update: Free use period and a subscription refund

Turned out that if you (like me) purchased “full” version of the Ulysses before it switched to the subscription model, then you get not only a lifetime discount offer, but also a free use period depending on the date of your purchase of the “full” version - mine was 2 months ago, so I got 17 month of free use, and the lifetime discount offer won’t expire for me on the 31st of October 2017 but actually in the end of my free period.

Meaning, I shouldn’t have purchased a subscription right away (I thought it’s either free use period or lifetime discount). So I got in touch with Ulysses support, and they advised me to perform a refund at iTunes Store, which I did.

That’s pretty nice of Ulysses. Okay, I chilled a bit then.

But still I believe that subscriptions are an evil thing, especially for such kind of applications.

[10.02.2019] Update: iA Writer

I switched to iA Writer:

  • one-time payment, no subscription;
  • plain-text .md files;
  • fantastic font.