I just browsed the Mac AppStore and saw Growl on sale for $2. At first I wanted to give a 1-Star Review and call it a scam, selling free software for money. Then I went to the Growl Homepage and saw that this is true.
Now, I don’t have a problem with them charging now, it’s their right. And $2 really isn’t much, I bought it immediately since I use growlnotify a lot.
What is prompting me to write this blog posting: I wonder what this means for third party app developers?
When Growl was free (1.2.2 still is), it was a no-brainer to implement it in your App. You could tell your user to download it, or you just snuck it in with your apps (much to the dismay of the developers, who had to put up a notice on their web site). Now, your users have to make an additional $2 purchase regardless if your app is free or paid. And due to the way the Mac AppStore works, you can’t just decide to pay the $2 for your users and bundle Growl with your app – even if you include a $2 git certificate, your users now need an iTunes account.
Now, in an ideal world where every user has an iTunes/App Store account this isn’t an issue, but I still wonder if this decision will lead to everyone reinventing the wheel and adding their own notification system again? (Or forking/distributing Growl 1.2.2 for all of eternity or until a Mac OS X version that doesn’t support it comes up).
Again, I don’t want to speak ill of developers who created an amazing piece of software and now charge a minimal amount for it. I just wonder if this may cause issues for us Third Party app developers?
In an ideal world, Tim Cook will announce that Mac OS X 10.8 comes bundled with Growl, that all Apple Apps support it, that GNTP becomes an integral part for distributed notifications, that it integrates into iOS’ notifications system etc. pp. Your move, Apple.