DEVONthink To Go - price of new version?

I despise most subscription models because there are many of us out here that wind up paying a chunk of money up front and then with no guarantee of the software surviving the release of the latest, greatest machine we find we cannot afford the new machine. An example is the Mac Pro. I purchased a 2009 Mac Pro that was obsoleted by Apple after 3 years. If I were paying on a subscription, I would be paying for software that I could never run, being left behind in the supported machine and macOS realm. The faster Mac Pro cost $10000 to get the same number of cores and 1/4 the drive storage space. The Mac Pro for the 2% of us. To keep using the older release on the older machine and OS meant I was paying for nothing. No further development, nothing.
I would ask that after the next release of the app that use becomes free, except in apps that require authors to subscribe to services themselves. Examples would be access to resources that continue to cost like special weather info or offsite processing or storage. These should continue as a subscription minus the “new product development” costs and any other no longer relevant charges.
This way the subscription actually goes toward continuing developer costs but ceases any further reason to pay in advance for things that do not apply to the version you are using. This also encourages backward comparability and not jumping into the next OS release in order to add questionable bells and whistles alone.

I haven’t noticed the DT people here suggest anything like “a subscription service might be launched”. This thread (and other similar ones) is about rumours, expectations and strong opinions regarding something that might or might not come. Basically about hot air. It’s as productive as talking about the editor or programming language of choice.


Exactly. However I bet someone will start yet another thread.


Well, no, but it’s noticeable when a company explicitly denies that a subscription model is being considered for one of their products and doesn’t do the same on the other.

I was really just joining in the conversation though so I’m not entirely sure why you’ve picked my post to be the one to use as a reference to hot air. But okay, please feel free to read my post as if I’d put any reference to a subscription model in the conditional: if they were to introduce one, I’d think long and hard before signing up given that they are open about not having the resources to dedicate to the app.

This is GREAT to hear… can’t wait for the release. Good luck!

You would be right.

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I’ve been following this thread for a while and decided to chime in with my opinion.

First of all, I’m excited about the new version of Devonthink to go. Although it won’t offer the same functionalities of Devonthink for the Mac, I believe it will be a step forward.

Regarding the subscription model, I have some thoughts about it:

  1. It seems to me that software quality and continuous app development is independent of its pricing model. Some subscription-based apps offer great value (Drafts, by Greg Pierce, comes to mind), while others fall short (from the feedback I’ve read in other forums, Textexpander could be an example of an app that slowed down its development since it switched to a subscription model). On the other hand, one-time purchase apps display a similar pattern: some apps are continually developed and improved (iThoughts, for example) while others are not.

  2. Subscriptions seem to repel a lot of users. I’m one of them. For me, it’s not only that apps tend to become more expensive, but also the recurring aspect of it: there’s something aversive in having a monthly or yearly recurring cost.

  3. This current trend towards subscriptions could, in my (blatantly speculative) opinion, create a demand for more standard license apps. Some die-hard one-time purchasers simply won’t subscribe. Never. Ever. But would jump at the chance of buying their software. I would even dare to say that being a one-time purchase is a key feature for them and almost as important as the software features themselves.

Coming back to the next version of DEVONthink To Go, I would be very pleased if the company offers the possibility of buying it. If they decide to release it as a subscription-only I might still subscribe, but would become much more tempted to search for a different option.

Either way, I hope it goes well for the company, as I really enjoy their products. Here’s to a sucessful launch!


wernervp wrote:

I don’t mind subscriptions, but I would prefer the method of buying software with for example one year of updates. After the first year requesting a subscription model for receiving updates would be fair. I do not expect to pay once for software and get lifetime updates.

I agree! If subscription model is to be offered, then how about 2 models: one a standalone version in which you get, say, dot x version upgrades for free; or two, a subscription model in which you get any version upgrades included until the expiration of such subscription.

That’s basically the model for 1Password (of Agilebits).


I’ve only been following this thread for the last month since I started thinking about jumping back into the DT ecosphere, but you hit on something important.

I have exactly two software subscriptions (down from three).

  1. 1Password. I’ve used them for years–the very first app I install on any new device. Paid for every upgrade. When they offered the subscription, I appreciated that they left open the perpetual license. What finally got me to switch over was a combination of wanting to support good software development, AND that the subscription offered something the standalone license didn’t–I could use the latest version on EVERY device, across platforms. This is exactly the opposite of Evernote’s approach of continuously stripping features out of the free tier.

  2. Todoist. I was deeply invested in Things–still think it’s a gorgeous app–but I work at a Windows machine 4 days a week, and managing to-do items on a mobile device added friction. A project I was working on required me to use a free Todoist account–and once I started using it I was sold on the features, and frequent updates. The added options from a paid subscription made it worth the switch–again, cross-platform was a critical factor in that decision. Also, Todoist is insanely responsive to customer questions/complaints/feedback (though nowhere near what I’ve seen on these boards!).

My third subscription was Evernote. I started paying for it in 2010 right after I upgraded from a weird combination of Circus Ponies Notebook and DEVONnote to DEVONthink Personal. At the time I REALLY needed access to my notes and articles across platforms AND browser-based access while working on my dissertation and DT wasn’t cutting it for me. I kept using DTP to archive old emails and files I wasn’t accessing regularly. I paid for Evernote plus/premium for 10 years–until, well, we all know what v10 brought. So I started looking again.

All of my subscriptions (software or otherwise) get reviewed annually–actually have a project in Todoist just for this–I downloaded the DT3 trial last year when reviewing whether to re-up my Evernote subscription, before deciding to give it one more year. AND, one of the factors in the move back to DT was looking at what I had paid for DTP (receipts for both which were in both EN and DTP, but I could only find in DTP) and how long it had worked vs. what I had paid for EN over the same period (also a HUGE factor for leaving EN was the loss of AppleScript support with v10 [which is also an ongoing weakness of Todoist]).

All of this to say that I haven’t purchased DTTG yet, in part because I don’t want to pay for it, only to have v3 launch right after and have to pay for it again, and, I’ve actually using DT Server to give me remote access when at work. A subscription model for DTTG would not be attractive to me, in part because I don’t actually need mobile access to my databases very often–but a single purchase might actually make sense–even if I have to pay for DTTG2 and then shortly after also pay for DTTG 3 (but I can’t really evaluate how well it would work for me without actually trying it).


Maybe the subscription model would enable hiring of resources to invest in improving the app?


DT on Setapp would be great. There’s numerous apps that I can not justify buying one off just to get hit with an upgrade with every Mac OS upgrade. Setapp helps to address that issue.

It would likely expose more users to DT with a gentler cost of entry and hopefully provide a more stable stream to DT dev longer term.

Did anyone else notice that the most recent blog entry from DEVONtechnologies has been deleted? I think @BLUEFROG said we should keep an eye on the blog. I mean, that has to be a sign, right? RIGHT? :wink:


I’ve just asked my son’s stuffed electric blue lizard, and it was suspiciously quiet on the matter. So I think that confirms your suspicion.


I would also be upset by a subscription model. And it would be a reason to leave DT and search for another solution. With all the companies trying to do subscriptions the total amount of monthly’s costs are exploding and unreasonably high. Therefore I quit using those services and look for alternatives with one time payment. I AM HAPPY TO PAY AGAIN FOR AN NEW VERSION THOUGH, if I have the choice of still using the old version too. I do not need most of the new features of most of the apps.

Nothing at all has been announced, despite all the speculation. But I would be surprised if your current version will not work just fine for a long time (until something changes in technology/versions in their Desktop product which makes this impossible.

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Controversial opinion: I would prefer a subscription-based model. This is more sustainable in the long run, and gives me faith DT will still be around in 10 years.


Nothing being announced is great - it allows unrestricted scope for speculation and argument, without the inconvenience of actual data.

Sherlock Holmes (obviously an entirely factual person) frequently said that it was a capital offence to theorise without data. The poor soul would have stood no chance in the world of the interwebs.


Depending on the amount of subscription, it is another way to see a “paid version update” distributed across time. Instead of pay a reasonable big amount of money when passing from version x to version x+1 once y years, you pay x/z amount across months/year…

You (as a user) and they (as a company) need to produce numbers to match both situations.

However, sometimes, companies think that subscription is another thing, and for example Ulysses and Parallels makes you pay yearly the same as 3-year version upgrade. You pay, eg 3 times, the normal old 1 time payment for a version update.

I am more of that opinion as well. So at least we’re two. :sweat_smile:


I reject the software subscription model. It sets the wrong default for users. You’ll have to review subscriptions regularly to avoid unnecessary expenses. I’m not going to follow this model and the burden that developers place on users by requiring regular reviews.

I’ve spent a substantial amount on non-subscription software and I regularly buy updates. Sometimes I only use this software briefly or I buy multiple systems (e.g. omnifocus, 2do and now Things.) Unfortunately there are quite a few programs that have chosen the subscription model. Once the version doesn’t work anymore, I’ll abandon the software.

Ulysses → iA Writer
Mindnode → tbd (still works)
Textexpander → aText
1Password → tbd (still works with licence)
Linea → tbd, deleted
Day One → Plus Account. If that doesn’t work: expire
Evernote → deleted
Fantastical → deleted

There are more but you get the idea.

The change from Ulysses to iA writer was painful. I used Ulysses since version 1 but I felt locked in with the subscription model. Nowdays I only choose software that allows an easy export or saves in non-proprietary formats. That’s also a reason why I chose Devonthink.

Give users a reasonable choice: subscription or one-time payment for V1,2,3. There are ways to simulate upgrades on the appstore. Others have done it (omnifocus). I rather pay more as a one time payment than a subscription. It’s not the money, it’s the concept.