New Manoeuvres are here!

This morning Apple approved the release of the new Manoeuvres app.

The app now features the new Pull Up on the Right manoeuvre on the initial screen. The second screen has the Parallel Park manoeuvre, which is unchanged from the previous version of the app. The third screen contains a revised Bay Park section, which allows the option to switch between reversing into the bay and driving out, or driving in and reversing out. When driving in, there is an additional option to swing out on the approach, making it easier to enter the bay.

The final three screens feature the Turn in the Road, Reverse Left and Reverse Right manoeuvres. These are unchanged from the previous version.

As many of you will already know, my original plan was to make these changes to the existing app and release a free update at least a month before December 4th. However, as is so often the case in the world of software development, things got ridiculously complicated in a completely unforeseen way. Not only was the update delayed by a couple of months, I also found myself unable to release any updates to any of my existing apps. I lost a fair bit of time trying to work through the issue with Apple before I realised the process was not going anywhere, and I would have to just get on and release a new app containing the changes instead of persisting with trying to update the old one.

This process, and the insane amount of time it took, has made me realise that I cannot go on indefinitely doing free updates to my apps. It was fine back in the days when I was just having to do the odd tweak and fix the odd bug, but now I find that I'm in a constant battle against Apple and their constantly evolving software ecosystem. I will not be able to continue to modernise my apps and keep them updated throughout Apple's incessant software revisions without sometimes asking customers to pay again.

Of course, nobody is ever forced to pay again. But if you want the latest and greatest versions of the software, that is not always going to come for free.

I aim to write a more detailed post soon about the evolution of pricing models within the world of mobile app development. It's not just me that is currently having to handle this dilemma. Most professional software developers are facing similar issues.