Today we’re announcing that the full version of Simplenote is available as a free download for iPhone and iPod touch users worldwide. We’re partnering with the great Fusion ad network to make this possible. (If you use the free version of Tweetie for Mac, then you know what Fusion is all about).
We’d like to tell you why we made this decision and what it means to you.
Simplenote is doing well. Quite well, actually! We’ve been getting some great reviews and a good number of new users lately. However, in the past couple of months, while ramping up our efforts to spread the word about Simplenote, we’ve started to reach the growth limits of what a simple, paid notes app can achieve.
Our goal is to be the best app for text notes in the world in terms of price, quality, and customer support. We’re already delivering great quality and support, but until now, we’ve been at a huge disadvantage in terms of price.
Some of you might disagree. We sometimes hear that we should be charging more for Simplenote. But this usually comes from people like John Gruber, who is very tech-aware, and more than happy to pay for an online service that measurably improves his life.
However, we view our main competitor to be Apple’s free, built-in Notes app, whose millions of users might only have a vague awareness of syncing and how it can help them. And it’s hard to compete with free! By making Simplenote free as well, we’re eliminating a huge barrier that stands between Simplenote and all the note-takers who might benefit from our fast and easy syncing.
The remaining barrier we need to overcome is one of awareness. Although syncing isn’t nearly as complicated as something like Google Wave, it suffers from a similar problem. “Why do I need that?” So if you know anyone who is still using Notes (and isn’t fanatical about its Marker Felt font) please join us in spreading the word about the benefits of syncing, and letting people know that they can now download and use the full version of Simplenote free of charge.
To celebrate the occasion, for a limited time we’re also offering premium subscriptions for only $4.99 per year (less than $0.50 per month), which is 50% off the usual price.
Please note that as an existing, paid user—even if you haven’t subscribed to premium—you’ll never see ads on your device unless you want to. You’ve already paid for the right to use the app ad-free. Of course, you have the option to enable ads if you want. They’re a great way to discover other quality apps that might interest you, and tapping them will help support our ongoing efforts. But the choice is yours.
Meanwhile, as of today, all new, unpaid users who create accounts will see an unobtrusive ad on their device. To disable it, these users will need to subscribe to a premium account.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy the ongoing improvements we’ve been making to the service.
Mike and Fred