Subscription Licensing Model?

I am fine with a subsription model, provided the following is true:

  1. DTTG is no longer “To Go” But rather a feature-complete DevonThink for iOS/iPadOS
  2. Background sync is available.
  3. DevonTechnologies uses the improved cashflow to hire more developers.
  4. DevonThink subscripttion for iOS/iPadOS has family sharing enabled without a fee.
  5. Improved Apple Pencil integration (give me great tools for creating handwritten notes on custom templates, similar to GoodNotes).
  6. iCloud Drive integration. (Let me index files within iCloud Drive across ALL versions of DevonThink)
  7. Shortcuts integration.

Under these conditions, I feel comfortable paying a monthly fee. It would give me a way to share databases with my family across our iOS devices, without having to resort to setting up a server. This is a big deal to me. Background sync would instantly be a massive boon to my workflow. I’d be able to replace a LOT of apps. I’d be able to automate a lot of functions.

If this is where DT for iOS/iPadOS is heading, then a reasonable monthly fee is fine by me.

Maybe DevonThink could get some ideas for their future pricing.

Not saying the same price, obviously DevonThink is worth more but something that will satisfy all users.

  1. Feature parity with DEVONthink on the Mac is not possible in the current state of iOS hardware and resource requirements.
  2. This is not under our control. It is controlled by iOS.
  3. Operational decisions like this are not for public discussion.
  4. There is no word on any of our pricing, family sharing or not.
  5. We’ll see what the future brings.
  6. Indexing is not supported in DEVONthink To Go.
  7. Ditto #5.
  1. I understand, and I’m not looking for perfection but rather a move in that direction. At the very least, greater similarity between the UI, particularly on iPad Pro.
  2. I understand that backgroud sync cannot work as you currently have DT set up. But background sync is available in other applications that have their own sync service. My hope was that perhaps you’d roll your own sync service for which I’d be willing to pay monthly, as I understand that this incurs a recurring cost for you.
  3. That’s fine. I’m not asking for your company to divulge these operational details, I’m merely expressing a hope.
  4. I know there’s no word yet on pricing or family sharing, again I’m just expressing a desire.
  5. Yeah, today it is not. But I was quite hopeful that there might be plans to make indexing possible if the folders in question live within iCloud Drive. Again, another one for the wishlist.

What a remarkably strange comment. My grandmother never worked as an Über driver in her life. Does that say anything about the gig economy, and her moral stance toward it? Or is it perhaps the case that working as an Über driver wasn’t an option ever available to my grandmother?

I am, of course, making the assumption that your profile photograph is of yourself, and the person in that photograph looks to be older than my father. Which would almost certainly make your grandmother older than my own, who is now dead. But I could certainly be mistaken, and your grandmother could be my age, very much alive, and deliberately avoiding software subscriptions.

I think we should just accept that subscription is a reality now. Just like mortgages, utilities, school fees. We can fight it ad nauseam but it’s futile imo. They are making a business decision and may offer interim transition options. I’ve been through much worse when developers changed their business models, and thankfully that is not the case here.

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I think the comment was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. If so, it reminds of this true story: in around 1970, a UK school economics exam had the following question:

“For any one year, state the number of cars exported from Britain to the United States.”

One candidate answered: “In 1660, there were none”


That wouldn’t surprise me, I cold have just missed the tone in the text. I’m also tired of seeing this topic discussed for weeks on end when there’s nothing new to say anymore, so I probably let that get the better of me when reading that comment. I’ll just assume my brain made a dumb mistake somewhere.

Nothing the internet does better than support endless speculation about things that haven’t happened and might not happen. Time to repost this relevant (IMO) Marx Brothers scene:

Yeah, sorry, you missed that we were playfully pointing out different positions to one another - it was pretty cordial banter :slight_smile: not to worry :+1:t2:

It was, as has been pointed out, just a joke. Neither of my grandmothers were troubled by software subscriptions, as far as I know.

My Great Aunt, on the other hand… Sheesh! She was 105 years old in March and is still furious that Adobe moved to a subscription model.

She does use Photoshop every day though so, you know, it’s probably worth it for her. It stops her from getting bored whilst her father is out of the house on his Uber shift.


You and @Blanc are doing a decent Abbott and Costello routine :wink: :heart:


Thank you.

I like DEVONthink very much. It’s reliable, extremely flexible and I’ve come to think of it as my “Happy Place”. And your prompt and helpful respones in the forum have been the icing on the cake.

I hope leaving a comment about subscription software wasn’t inappropriate and I look forward to learning the details when there’s an announcement. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep it light. Cheers! :grin:

Thanks for the nice comments!
And no, there’s no issue with expressing an opinion, as long as it doesn’t involve any ad hominem attacks or vulgar language.

And thanks for keeping things light. It’s the tone we like to try and maintain here. :slight_smile:

Please, do not succumb to the subscription virus. This is the first sign of impending quality decline and alienation of loyal customers. Please please please…


The whole WordPress eco system proves this statement to be wrong. Examples: Yoast Seo, WP Rocket, a bunch of themes and other plugins. In the Mac world, Ulysses and Drafts come to mind, too. It is simply not true that subscription generally leads to quality decline or customer alienation.


General speaking, most users are comfortable to pay for good quality and importantly constant improvement applications. Either perpetual or subscription. Like some of us, I’m happy to pay subscriptions of few applications that are worth the $, such as Drafts like a few of you mentioned. Amazingly Drafts (Mac) has 20 updates within 11 months, not even counting updates to their iPad/iOS version. That is worth subscribing to! Obsidian (not entirely subscription) and Agenda are 2 others that have amazing amount of updates & releases.

I’ve dropped some apps that went subscription model but quality degrades and/or not updated for a a long time.

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Shouldn‘t it be up to the customer to decide, if the amount of upgrades is worth his money for a new version. if not, he shouldn‘t be punished with a complete cessation of the softwares function. By all means, keep me on an old feature set but I don‘t agree with the fact that after i.e. 10€/month I should lose all usage to the software.

No “facts” in evidence about losing anything …

Hope you are right