February 10, 2016
TL;DR: This is not a review of Day One 2.0, as I have only been using it for a day or two; this is a discussion of the needs of the developers on whom we as an Apple community depend.
Recently, my wife and I invested in a newer vehicle, a 2013 Mazda CX-9, in the attempt to prepare for a larger family come May. When we make big purchases like this, we try—however in vain—to tighten the belt a little, think through our finances, and be more frugal where possible. What it basically means is that we run any and all purchases by each other before making them. This includes everything from the $0.99 app purchase to the $50 clothing purchase to the “do we really need to buy that organic” food purchase.
So when I saw the blog post announcing Day One 2.0 as a paid upgrade, I was both excited and conflicted. More importantly, however, I needed to clear the new $25 expenditure with my wife; $25 covered upgrade pricing to purchase both Mac and iOS versions during the first week of sale. Day One, developed by Bloom Built, is hands-down my favorite iOS and Mac journaling app and rivals few others for the title of favorite overall. Interestingly enough, I have used the app on occasion for everything from note taking to blog drafting to picture documentation; the app is my coffee, beer, and wine log, as well.
Nevertheless, I was conflicted, somewhat childishly, due to the psychological hurdle of justifying a paid upgrade for an app that I had purchased previously and was working fine for me. I think that is the key: Day One Classic, as it is now referred, was working perfectly for my needs. Why would I need to purchase a new app if the original purchase was still producing dividends? I came up with two answers to this question that inevitably made my decision for me (and probably all previous purchases in this paid upgrade category): continued development and developer support.
By purchasing the app, I was literally putting my money where my mouth is. As a tech guy, I want to be on the forefront of any good software development occurring in a space in which I care deeply (namely iOS), meaning I like to own the most up-to-date products, as much as possible. In addition, I am constantly talking about and encouraging others to pay for apps they use every day. Is there a “lite” version that’s free to use? Who cares?! That version doesn’t support the work of the developers up to this point nor does it allow future development. People complain that Letterpress hadn’t received an update in awhile, but I would wager that the majority of people using the app never paid for the extra features, which are great I might add. No matter how a developer calculates it, a free app cannot make money if people don’t invest in it in some other monetary way.
Getting back to Day One 2.0: in this instance, especially at 50% off, it was hard to argue with the cost. The developers were gracious enough to their following not to say, “Tough Luck” and price the new apps at their full prices right off the bat. To be clear, the developers have every right to price the apps the way they want and owe nothing to me (nor anyone else) for the relatively tiny amount I spent so long ago on version 1.0. All of that being said, the upgrades are quite nice. In my short time with them, I have already appreciated the added simplicity in the preferences, the beautiful color choices, and the added benefits of things like maps view and photos view, among many others. I also added a number of custom reminders to ensure that I am keeping up with my journaling.
The bottom line is I really like Day One as an app and appreciate Bloom Built as a company. I appreciate the company’s candor when announcing a less than popular upgrade path. I appreciate the opportunity to understand their roadmap for the app and know that the future is bright in terms of the app’s continued development. But most importantly, I appreciate the opportunity to support another great developer in the iOS ecosystem and you should, too.