Archive for March, 2010
HippoRemote Pro 2.1 is now available in the App Store! We’ve fixed some bugs and made some performance improvements, but the big new feature in this release is the GesturePad Plugin!
The GesturePad Plugin offers the same flicking & swiping control as the Boxee Plugin except that it can be configured to work with apps other than Boxee! The first GesturePad-enabled profile we are releasing is for Hulu Desktop. You can download it directly to Hippo Pro by tapping on the “+” button in the profiles screen. We’ll be releasing more over time as it takes quite a bit of tweaking to get these gesture-enabled profiles just right. Also, not every app is suited to gesture-based control. Some programs just work better with buttons.
In the meantime, let us know what you think! We’d love to have some feedback.
The story behind LITE
Last week, we released HippoRemote LITE, a free (ad-supported) version of HippoRemote. The story behind LITE is that it was totally unplanned. LITE was not on our “product roadmap”, so to speak. In fact, we didn’t think we would ever do free apps. Call us crazy, but we still believe in the concept of charging a (non-zero) price for our products. Ridiculous, right?
So then why did we create LITE? We were heads down, thick in development, trying to get our updates to Hippo Pro and Hippo Basic out the door when we started hearing about this Touch Mouse app on Twitter. It was by Logitech and it was free and people were tweeting about it left and right. So we took a look…
As indie developers, we know how tough it is to create an app of any kind, especially with limited resources. We have great respect for the work of our fellow devs. But a global multi-billion dollar company should be held to a higher standard in terms of polish and attention to detail. And Touch Mouse, well, even for free it still left a bad taste.
We thought we could do better and more importantly, we believe customers deserve better. And so LITE was born. It has the same ultra-smooth trackpad and smart keyboard as Basic and Pro, with two-finger scrolling, pinching and international language support, as well as Wake-on-LAN, Split-Screen Mode, and Shake-to-Toggle keyboard access. And it’s easy to add more functionality via the built-in Hippo Store.
This is our first foray into free apps and we really don’t know anything about how this half of the App Store works. We might be doing everything wrong. If so, let us know! (Some of you already have. ☺) We want to hear your thoughts on the matter.
What does this have to do with Basic?
Even after we decided to create LITE, we were so focused on finishing development and getting our apps out the door that we never stopped to consider its impact on Basic. We just forged ahead with the original plan. Now that we have a moment to step back and survey things, it’s apparent to us that we need to make some changes…
Basic originally was intended as a low-cost way for people to get to know us. The way App Store pricing has gone, $5 (for HippoRemote Pro) is considered expensive and people understandably don’t want to get taken by an unknown developer. So it was important to keep the price low. But we wanted to offer the new plugins we created. So we decided to make them available as in-app purchases.
Now that we have LITE, the original pricing motivation for Basic is moot. In fact, Basic as a whole seems a bit redundant. So the question is: What should we do with it? Should we even keep it around? One possible option is to drop Basic entirely. But that would strand all our existing customers, which we won’t do.
When do we get to the part about FREE PLUGINS?
So this is what we’ve decided to do. With our next update to Basic, we will include all the plugins — Browser, Twitter, & Boxee — as standard components. No more in-app purchases. We will also raise the price of Basic from $1 to $3 — a 25% “bulk discount” over upgrading LITE piecemeal.
In the meantime, we will continue to keep Basic at $1. This means you can buy Basic now for $1 and get the Boxee, Browser, and Twitter plugins for FREE when Basic is updated. You can still buy the plugins now if you really need them right away. But if you just sit tight and wait for us to finish coding and testing, and for Apple to approve the update, you’ll get all that functionality. For FREE.
Hmm…maybe we’re starting to get this “free” thing after all.