Marcus Fehn, writing on Ulysses’ weblog:
We have always tried to be backwards compatible as best we could. Sometimes, this meant supporting four years worth of old systems, for the very small number of users still on one of these systems. While it didn‘t hurt much, it still hurt, because with every new device, every branch of every OS, we had to come up with (and maintain) explicit solutions for the old systems. At present, Ulysses runs on iOS 10 or later, as well as OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later. Some stuff was tricky.
Going forward, we will switch our policy to a simple rule of thumb: Support the current system, as well as the one that shipped before. It’s much more efficient, and it helps us move a bit faster. So once the new systems are live this fall, any new version of Ulysses will require either iOS 12 or macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
Marcus goes on to explain a bit more about why they’ll be supporting High Sierra after Catalina releases this fall — mostly because some of their users still use 32-bit apps. But I absolutely love how open and honest the folks behind Ulysses are about this. As we move further into an era where subscription-based apps are the norm, more developers should be making these sorts of policies public.
The important point is that, if you’re able to readily switch to a different app when your current one changes its payment model, then… do it. Just vote with your wallet, and don’t worry about it. To write a pissy review of an app you liked yesterday, in an attempt to vengefully damage their business, is pretty reprehensible, right? It’s like giving one star on Amazon because the delivery was late. Don’t be a child. Move on.
Ulysses made it very easy, either subscribe or don’t. And if you aren’t interested in paying for a subscription, it doesn’t mean you have to quit using the app entirely. The version you had before the subscription announcement will continue to work until a future operating system update breaks something. And that isn’t likely to happen until iOS 12 is released next year.
Eddie Smith, in response to the “why do I have to pay (again) for software I’ve already purchased?” arguments, in the wake of Ulysses’ move to subscription pricing:
The software you paid for is still “yours” in the sense that it is fully functional (as you paid for it) and will continue working indefinitely. You “own” it, and it’s not going away.
Will it work forever? Hell no. Software isn’t the same as a cast iron skillet. Software isn’t going to work the same 100 years from now. It’s probably not even going to work 100 weeks from now without being nursed through the vagaries of operating system updates, security patches, and user-expected support. When the developer of a cast iron skillet is done, they’re done. When the developer of a piece of software is done, they’re out of business—because if a developer quits, so does their product.
I love this analogy.
Max Seelemann, writing on Medium about the thought process behind their new business model:
I am not exaggerating in saying that this was the hardest decision in our whole time as professional software developers. After all, we have a system which currently works — after 14 years we are still around, Ulysses is still “a thing”, it’s even going better than ever before, and there are no immediate signs which hint at a change coming soon.
So why bother at all then? Well, we need a good way forward before we run into trouble. We want to make sure the app will be around for years and years to come. We want to heavily invest in its development, and this requires the right setting for our team, our families and our users. Writers want to rely on a professional tool that is constantly evolving, and we want to keep delivering just that.
I’m not a huge fan of subscription pricing, but Ulysses is the best writing app I’ve ever used and I don’t plan on switching anytime soon. The pricing is about as fair as one could expect when compared to what other companies are charging. I would have preferred it be $20-25 a year, but they didn’t come to these price points flippantly. And I can certainly appreciate that they’re offering the yearly subscription at a reduced rate for a limited time.
From the Simplenote weblog:
Today we’re excited to announce that Markdown support has been added to the latest update of Simplenote for iOS.
To enable Markdown for a note, just tap on the ‘Markdown’ button in the note info panel. You can then swipe on the note editor to view the Markdown preview. Once you’ve enabled Markdown for a note, all new notes you create in the future will have it enabled by default. We hope you enjoy this handy new feature!
I’ve been using Simplenote ever since I moved away from Vesper last year. It’s a great app, but unfortunately, this new Markdown support is far from robust. There’s no inline previews or shortcuts to help with the syntax, which I would consider to be essential features. I’ll continue using Simplenote as my notes app of choice, but I’ll keep my Markdown writing in Ulysses.
Mike Bates, on Ulysses 2.6:
I’ve been part of the TestFlight group that’s been using the beta throughout it’s development cycle, and it’s a terrific update to what I’d call my favorite app. […]
The app is what I consider to be the best writing environment for the most people. It’s well-designed, well-equipped with features, is customizable to fit your liking, is developed by an attentive & small(er) team, and all gets out of the way when you need to get down to writing.
I’ve been in the Ulysses beta group for several months, as well, and couldn’t have been happier with this update. I still use my own workflow for publishing to WordPress, but I’m excited about trying Ulysses’ native solution soon. From the sounds of things, it’s incredibly well thought out and offers all of the features I need for my own unique setup.
Ulysses handles backups automatically. (My iPhone asked if I wanted to correct that to automagically. I was tempted.) The default setting is for Ulysses to keep hourly backups for the past 12 hours, daily backups for the past 7 days, and weekly backups for the past 6 months. You can also make a backup yourself at any time.
I’ve used Ulysses everyday for months and had no idea it was keeping Time Machine-like backups of my work. But I’m not surprised to hear that this feature exists — this type of attention to detail is the reason I chose it as my primary writing app.