Developers often compare buying an app to buying a cup of coffee, complaining that people are willing to drop $5 on a coffee but yet are hesitant to drop the same amount on an app.
The problem is that, even if the $5 cup of coffee is nothing more than a shot of bad espresso buried under a lake of sugary milk, you still have a beverage for your trouble at the end of it.
At the very least, you'll get a caffeine hit.
With apps, if you drop $5 on something and it doesn't do what you needed it to do—or does it so badly that it's essentially unusable—then you have received nothing (not even a sugar rush) from your purchase.
As well as the money you've spent, it has cost you time and effort. What's worse is that it will now cost you more time and effort as you now have to resume your search again.
This is frustrating. After a few experiences like this, we can see why people may be hesitant to pay for an app up front.
Judging from the reviews and emails we've received, we have been fortunate in that those who have taken a risk on our app have, on the whole, found it to be exactly what they were looking for.
But we want to reach those who, understandably, weren't willing to take that risk and so we're trying something new:
Trail Wallet is now free for up to 25 items.
If you've been hesitant to try it, now's your chance to do so with no up-front commitment.
After you reach your 25 item limit, you can choose to unlock unlimited items for the same price as the app used to be up front ($2.99 or equivalent).
You get to try it out for a week or so and, if it turns out it is useful, you can then pay us for our troubles.
Right now this is an experiment to try reach more people and, yes, hopefully bring in more income. We've worked almost non-stop for over a year on this app and we'd like to continue to work on it but at $3 a go, it takes a lot of people to make this a viable business.
We believe that our app is one of the best travel budget apps available, having been developed by two long term travellers and road tested by hundreds of others, and that it pays for itself through the insights it gives you into your spending.
We hope that after you've tried it out, you'll agree.
As well as a bunch of bug fixes, we've added some new stuff to Trail Wallet 2.1:
1. Spread amounts over multiple days.
This oft-requested addition allows you to spread those big expenses (like accommodation or new iPhones) over a number of days (up to 31) so that your daily budget doesn't get hosed on one day, then is unrealistically light on the next.
Simply tap the Date button on the Add Amount screen and reveal a world of expense-spreading within!
2. Improved Backup/Dropbox Support
The app will now keep track of which backup came from which device, which should make it easier to transfer data between devices (it's not fully automated sync—that's a ways off yet—but it'll work in a pinch).
It also now has the option to not use cellular data when using Dropbox. The backups can get a little big once you've been using the app for a year or more, so having this option will prevent the app from using your cellular data to transfer data, saving you money (which is precisely what a travel budget app should do!)
3. Motion Effects
OK, this one is just for fun, but open up the trips sidebar, move your device around and get a glimpse into the universe within.
2013 has been an exciting year for us and we appreciate all of the support that has made Trail Wallet the success that has been and we look forward to continue making it even bigger in 2014.
Have a great holiday season, and a wonderful New Year.
Simon and Erin
Voyage Travel Apps