Please, please, *please* don't charge for MultiMap!

Axiom: If you’re selling a product, and you have software that increases the value of your product for your customers, that software should be free for all users of your product.

Think about it. Apple doesn’t charge you to put their OS on their computers. Epson doesn’t charge extra for “enhanced” printer drivers. When I bought my DVD player, I didn’t have to pay to unlock the pause button. People who bought a Tesla years ago are finding that their car just keeps getting better, as the company adds exciting new software features and sends them out for free to existing users.

Intel ignored this axiom way back in 2010. They sold CPUs, and charged extra for software to “unlock” it, i.e. to take full advantage of it. They called it the “Intel Upgrade Service.” ZDNet called it “So monumentally bone-headed you have to wonder whether anyone is awake at the helm,” and raged against “artificial market segmentation.” Engadget wrote sarcastically, “Fans of creative nickel-and-dime schemes will love this.” Within a year, Intel gave up on the idea.

Even software developers can fall victim to this. Look up the game Evolve on Metacritic - critics love it, but users hate it, and most are complaining about all the “Day One DLC,” - i.e., that they have to pay more to unlock things in the game they’ve already purchased.

Now don’t get the wrong idea. I pre-ordered my TextBlade, so I’m getting MultiMap for free either way. This policy doesn’t affect me at all. But please, drop the $20 price tag for later adopters. Customers won’t see it as paying more for an exciting upgrade. They’ll see it as buying artificially crippled hardware, then paying extra to use it the way its creators intended all along. It’s going to make people mad, it’s going to make you look bad, and it’s going to hurt your reputation and ultimately, your sales. Which is why my #1 feature request is: Don’t charge anyone for MultiMap.


Excellently articulated and a sound suggestion!

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I’ll be happy to simply see MultiMap for Android someday. WayTools sister company used to have a “mobile apps” page for their laser scanner. Eventually it only pointed to some open source stuff that arguably had a mobile version, and today the page is gone completely.

New features and firmware updates will be available to all customers free of charge through the apps. Only if you want to customise/change your keyboard layout, then you’ll need the paid version.

By the way, it’s only been since 2013 that Apple stopped charging for OS X updates.