Wink Begins Taking Hostages

The CNET headline is a bit less dramatic (Smart home hub maker Wink moves to a subscription plan), but there’s not too much incorrect in my own personal phrasing.

Bad ways to move to a subscription model:

  • Promise (on your product packaging!) there is no subscription fee
  • Add a subscription fee
  • Give current customers a little less than a week to move to your subscription model
  • Break existing functionality next week for those who don’t sign up for a subscription plan

Fantastical might have been a decent model for moving to a subscription plan from a pay-up-front model.

For users who only used Fantastical on iPhone, I can see the complaint about pricing — it went from a one-time purchase of $4-5 to a $40 annual subscription. That’s a big jump. But — and this is a huge “but” — Flexibits (Fantastical’s developer) went out of its way to let anyone who owned Fantastical 2 keep the features they already had access to when upgrading to Fantastical 3. If you owned Fantastical 2 you can use Fantastical 3 free of charge and keep the features you already had.

I continue to use Fantastical 2 features I paid $5 for a few years ago. I don’t need the stuff you get from the subscription, and in my professional life I can’t choose to use Fantastical anyway (but would if I could). Put between the subscription or not, I’d fall back to Apple’s calendar on iOS (which is what I use on my iPad and Mac).

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