Forced Subscription Model Coming?

I read somewhere (don’t know if it’s accurate, so posting here) that DTGo would be a forced-subscription model (take it or leave it, no other pricing option) starting with version 3. Is that true?

What about DTP itself and forced subscription-only model?

I’ve ditched many programs due to forced subscriptions (Adobe, etc.) so I hope what I read is not true and that at a minimum, DT products will always have a perpetual license option.

Thanks in advance for the subscription worries clarification. :slight_smile:

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There won’t be a confirmation or denial before the pricing model is announced, I think.

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There will be multiple options, we will neither force someone to upgrade nor to subscribe.


Here you could read a discussion about this issue

Such adroit ambiguity.


Where do you find ambiguity in that statement? Multiple options, no forced subscription, no forced upgrade, that’s quite unambiguous and favourable, isn’t it?

No specific options and no specific prices yet, but without doubt there will be in due time. Which is when the guys at DEVONtechnologies think is right and not when somebody who heard from somebody wants to know if what they heard is true. (My wild guess: As soon as the product is ready we will learn all about the pricing model.)


It is ambiguous, and I realise at this stage it needs to be. The question wanted to know if a subscription was planned; we still don’t know. The answer is being tactfully kept under wraps - with a little ambiguity. No-one is forced to buy anything from any software company, or anywhere else. No-one is even forced to upgrade, but of course if you don’t, you won’t be following the development roadmap far down the road, if at all.

For my part I’d most probably subscribe to DT3 if the cost was reasonable, and most certainly if we got options for Scrivener-style scrolling split panes and a list view more like Keep It. Those are just my personal preferences, though I feel sure that if they were introduced they would appeal to many others.

As for DTTG, I’m not so sanguine: I don’t see it as worth any money right now, since you can’t even reliably edit RTF files, and the interface is poor (that peculiar little cloud icon…). But clearly development must be under way, and if these aspects are significantly improved then I’ll be subscribing at the drop of a hat.

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DTTG imho and for my needs does an awesome job of syncing my iPad with my macbook pro, bidirectionally of course. big bang for a $15 piece of software. i assume there will be both a subscription and upgrade option. i’ll probably go the upgrade option but keep an eye open to the other.


Devonthink has always been extremely fair with their approach to updates and reasonable in pricing considering the time span the software could be updated. I am quite optimistic as to what there is to expect in the future.

As for subscriptions, I think it is OK if the end of a subscription period does not stop the software working but rather just stops updating. It is perfectly OK if for some reason payment has stopped but the data can still be used. Otherwise I would prefer to pay a larger amount for a software I own and can use as long as I like and the underlying OS allows.


My question is whether an “upgrade” can still be perpetual? – upgrade but with no “forced-only” subscription “model” ($)

Your reply does not answer that question, or list the purchase (and possible subscription) options, say for DTPO 4 or for the next version of DTGO.

I want to stay with DT, but a forced-only subscription model would be the end.


Agreed, did not answer questions at all.

I had so many problems with DTTG where a search on DTTG didn’t find all the documents in DTPO I gave up and got a refund. That was about six months ago, but at the time, the developer was more concerned about implementing “dark mode” than looking into my report. He did later report that he couldn’t reproduce my issues even though I offered to send in documents and such. I have no idea, and don’t want to pay another $15 to “test”, if it’s been fixed since then.

The options will be announced when it’s ready. And there are definitely no plans to switch to subscriptions on the Mac right now.


Thank you.

The “sell-once and support forever” model just isn’t sustainable. This is especially a problem for small developers selling $5 and $10 utilities, but it affects Devon, too.

I’ve seen great apps disappear, because the developer (often a single coder) couldn’t support himself on the revenue his app generated. There’s a limited market for every app, and once everyone who wants it buys it, the revenue stream dries up.

(One of my favorite utilities is Spamsieve; I paid $30 for it in 2007; for 13 years I’ve been getting free updates, and I’ve actually asked the developer to move to a subscription model; he hasn’t yet, but I hope he will.)

I’d rather pay a modest annual fee and know the developers will have the financial resources needed to continue to offer support and updates going forward.


As discussed everywhere, not subscription is the solution, but payed upgrades for major new versions.

This allows the customer to choose wether to upgrade not and offers the developer a way to sell new ideas, options and features.

Best of both worlds for both sides!


Agreed, especially if it is deployed everywhere (macOS, iOS and iPad OS). Devon has a tracked record of support and adding features over time. I have always been amazed to pay so little (once considering the number of years - yes plural - between having to pay again) for such benefits.


As discussed everywhere, not subscription is the solution, but payed upgrades for major new versions.

Many small utilities will never have major new features. SpamSieve is a perfect example; I’ve been using it for 13 years, and the only new “features” have been updates to support new versions of macOS. SpamSieve already does everything it needs to do.

Actually, Devonthink 2 did everything I needed it to do, except run on my new Mac that came with Catalina. (Even then it mostly worked, though OCR was broken.)

New features can be nice, but are they as important as:

  • The continued existence of the app?
  • Bug fixes?
  • Updates to support new versions of macOS?
  • Good technical support?

All of those services come with ongoing costs to Devon, and to expect them to offer them for free is just silly.


Devonthink seem to have a small team which is very attentive to its users. I feel sorry for small developers who have to constantly update their software as Apple updates the OS. I don’t much like to pay a subscription, so I prefer to pay for an upgrade, but I depend on Devonthink so I’m happy to pay to see it thrive.


That comes as a relief after upgrade to DT3 just a couple of months after I bought DT2 and my recent update to DT3 Pro thanks for awesome black friday Promo. With the total price tag of 150+ eur, I would be happy to be able to enjoy this fantastic software for a couple of years until the major DT4 (or however it will be called) arrives without paying any subscriptions. I will be happy to pay for upgrade to DT4 once it comes with yet another additional awesome features/redesign/etc. I personally would not be paying subscription for DT3 which already costed my 150+ eur. It is probably the most expensive piece of software I own today.

On the IOS, I find Things3 has found a great approach. Cheap entrance price for iPhone and more expensive price for iPad. So you can try the iPhone version and if you like it buy the iPad one.