In reaction to user outrage over its new pricing structure for the popular TextExpander software utility, Smile Software announced on Tuesday revised prices for TextExpander 6.
Smile will stick to an annual subscription model for TextExpander 6, but individual users who have an earlier version of the app will be able to subscribe to the new version at a rate that’s less than the previously announced price. Current users who sign up for the Life Hacker plan can now make a single payment of $20 per year, or make monthly payments of $2.08 per month. The original Life Hacker price was $47.50 per year or $5 per month.
Smile also reduced the price for new users. It’s a single payment of $40 per year, or a monthly payment of $4.16.
The company’s Team pricing plans for business have also changed. Companies currently using an older version of TextExpander and upgrade to version 6 pay $3.98 per user per month, billed annually. If a company wants to make monthly payments, the price is $4.98 per user per month. The discounted price applies only to the first year, however. Afterwards, the pricing is the same as for companies buying new licenses: $7.96 per user per month billed annually, or $9.95 per user per month billed monthly.
Smile also announced that the older TextExpander 5 for Mac ($45) and TextExpander 3 + Custom Keyboard ($5) for iOS will be made available for purchase “on a continuing basis.” Customers may prefer to use theses apps since they offer DropBox or iCloud syncing and TextExpander 6 offer syncing only though Smile’s servers.
Why this matters: The new pricing and continued sale of older versions of TextExpander come after many users and analysts voiced their displeasure over the new policy. Greg Scown, Smile’s cofounder, told Macworld’s Glenn Fleishman that subscriptions allow the company to push forward while having a consistent revenue stream. Smile should be commended for quickly reacting to user outrage, but it remains to be seen if the damage can’t be undone; some user can’t justify the annual cost for what’s perceived as a small software utility.