Posts Tagged ‘Mac App Store’

Ulysses Mac App Store Permanent Price Drop

May 26th, 2012

Ulysses Mac App Store Ratings US

We’ve decided to permanently drop Ulysses’ Mac App Store price to 9,99 Euro, which makes a nice tag. Sadly, it transforms into an aesthetically less pleasing $11.99 in “the States”, but we’ll get over it.

Whatever though, that’s it, so please start spamming our inboxes with “how could you”s and “this is too cheap”s and so on. Also don’t forget to tell all of your friends what a great app this is, and how they can now get it for a bargain, and that it will change their lives forever.

Thanks for your ongoing support!
We love you.
Marcus

It’s been nine years! Pt. 2

February 8th, 2012

Ulysses 1.5
Ulysses 1.5 — look familiar?

Last time around, I wrote that Ulysses hasn’t changed much since its introduction. I’d like to elaborate on that, given the fact that we just shipped 2.1.1. :)

When we released version 1.0, we did so with a pretty precise concept of what the app should do, and what it could become. For example, there never was a question, whether RTF could eventually make the cut or not, even if a “vast majority” of users loudly demanded it — we wouldn’t do it, period.

We also had a very clear idea of how to handle updates, namely that we wanted to do as few as humanly possible. People should *write*, not update.

As a result, any feature request, as simple and precise as it may have been, has always been treated as a mere shell for “here’s something the users wants to accomplish”. We looked at the “why” instead of the “what” and made a decision based on the overall concept and direction.

We’re also pretty good at statistics and probability calculation, so we just knew, that he who cries loudest is not to be considered “the majority”, even if the cries are echoed by various sites and forum posts. We also fully understand how positive feedback is rare and mostly broad, while negative feedback is generally very detailed, and how this might get to you (and your product), if you don’t watch out.

So whenever we added features, changed behaviors or touched the interface, and even when we rewrote large chunks of the application, we did so with the greatest respect to the vast majority of silent users. We never (!) compromized on this. We never (!) went for “possible larger audience” at the expense of silent happy users.

We had this one line, to which we still commit:

If there’s just a single customer out there who likes what we do, we will not take the app and transform it into something else. *This here* is what they bought, and by all means, they should be allowed to keep it.

So today, after nine years, you can still make Ulysses look and work as it did on day one. Hide the collection browser, hide the toolbar, keep your mouse off the notes’ popup, and you’re pretty much there: Just a grown-up, mature version of Ulysses 1.0.

And that’s where we are.

Now, however grown-up Ulysses has become, it’s also starting to show its age. Not so much visually — I think we adapted rather nicely, if slowly –, but technically, conceptually and generally overall… ish…ly. He.

For one, a lot of functionality we provided in 2003 is now being offered by Mac OS X itself: Auto-save, resume on launch, fullscreen mode, auto-update. This is now common to all apps, it’s just built-in, nothing special anymore.

Then there’s all the new system stuff that we can’t implement easily, because of how things had to be done back in the days: Versions, iCloud, iOS syncing, to name a few. There’s just no sane way to implement iCloud sync and Versions, and we can’t make Ulysses’ documents accessible for e.g. Daedalus, because of how we implemented tabs, filters and collections and all of that.

And then there are the dead ends: features that cause some problems but can’t be cut, because users rely on them. Also new ideas and fully legit requests we can’t fulfill, because of the limits of our current implementation. Think Markers and RTF notes for the former. Think multiple open projects for the latter.

Plus… the market has changed. When we introduced Ulysses to the world, there wasn’t much in terms of similar apps, and as such there wasn’t much of user’s experience and expectation. I remember heated forum discussions about the usefulness of a “fullscreen mode” as well as “these tag-things — give me RTF or give me death”.

Today, there’s a whole category of fullscreen writing apps on the Mac App Store, and Markdown is used almost everywhere, give or take a flavor or offspring.

Ulysses was a niche product when it launched. Its concept, ideas and large parts of its functionality are mainstream now.

Then there’s us, Max and me. We also have evolved. We have evolved from two guys, working at seperate places in their spare time, communicating only via email, to a real, perfectly healthy company with paid employees.

We even got kids now. :)

We still share the same passion and love for our products and our users, but we, too, have different experiences and expectations than we had at the start of this fantastic journey.

It’s 2012, and the world will come to an end is a very different place than it was nine years ago. That’s how it goes: Things change, others may come to an end. We need to adopt. You need to adopt.

So, yeah, it’s been nine years, alright.
Time for a change.
And change it will.
Ulysses… it will change.

To be continued.

It’s been 9 years! Pt. 1

January 27th, 2012

Ulysses Mockup 2002
The mockup that started it all, summer 2002

Nine years ago, early 2003, I posted on the macnn forums, asking for beta testers for a new kind of writing application for Mac OS X. On June 1st of that year, we released Ulysses 1.0.

Let’s try and put that in context, shall we? :)

(more…)

Ulysses 2.1 App Store version released almost two weeks ago!

October 12th, 2011

Ulysses 2.1 Mac App Store

Ha, can you believe this? We totally missed to announce the immediate availability of Ulysses 2.1 on the App Store.

We were so excited and thrilled and everything – appearing in New & Noteworthy, getting an App Store feature and great reviews, dancing, partying –, we just didn’t… manage.

And once the initial dust settled, we dove head-in to create Daedalus 1.2, which is in final stages of development right now, with some great enhancements and additions, which is lots of… work, actually.

So: We missed the announcement!

Good thing these are the interwebs, and we can fix this terrible slip-up in no time and real time. Yeah! Just imagine this being a print publication, and we had forgotten to announce the October release back in July (’cause that’s how this works in print, you know), and we just *now* realized and… HOW COULD PEOPLE EVEN LIVE BACK THEN?!?

Pfhew. And whatever.

Ulysses 2.1, available now at the Mac App Store, for the insanely low price of only $19.99 or whatever that translates to in your local currency. Wobster’s dictionary lists it under “a steal, really”.

Have fun.
We do.

Cheers,
Marcus

Ulysses AppDate 60% off [UPDATE]

February 19th, 2011

UPDATE: Our AppDate Sale is now over. Thanks everybody, and “Hi” to all the newcomers. :)

We usually don’t do this, and if you’re a long-time customer, you know we don’t: Super-bargain-hardcore-dump-style-pricing to sell volume. And we still don’t. Still don’t.

Even though today we’re offering Ulysses 2 at the super-bargain-hardcore-dump-style-price of $11.99 aka 9,99 € aka £6.99. That’s right: February 19th, AppDate, 24 hour SUPER SALE on the Mac App Store.

And why, you ask? Because we love you.

That’s right. We love you. And because we do, we want to give you the chance to switch your current, non-App Store installation, over to the App Store variant. At a bargain price. And why would you do that? Because the App Store rocks. It’s good for you. No more house keeping of registration data, no more bookmarks checking for .dmg downloads upon new system installs, no more update-panel nagging upon application launch.

Just one place for all your apps.

So, 11.99, 9,99, 6.99, depending on where you’re at, for a full-fledged, no strings attached standard App Store license of Ulysses 2. If you’re a user of 1.6 (you rare beast, you), or if you’re a core user or educational licensee — this is your chance to update to Ulysses standard at a fraction of the former update fee.

If you’re a new user, consider yourself lucky, and go’n'grab that app already and have some fun typing your fingers bloody.

Current 2.0 standard licensees: We’ll still support 2.x, of course, regardless of variant, App Store or not. As a matter of fact, we’ve just released 2.0.5 (you noticed, right?), and 2.1 is just around the corner, so you might as well stay with your standard install and lose nothing, nothing at all. It’s just a chance to migrate cheaply, if you so wish.

This offer will end sometime during the course of sunday, so it’s no STRICT 24-hour-sale either, you should have plenty of time to make up your mind. Just don’t get too careless, because we won’t help with “5 minutes late” requests as we can’t help with “just bought for 23,99!!! REFUND!!!” rants.

Also, this is a one-time offer. Today only. No replays.

Now go and tell your neighbours.

Some more in-depth info about Ulysses and the Mac App Store

January 28th, 2011

Yesterday, Ulysses was released to the Mac App Store. We’ve set up a quick Q&A over here, which should address the most basic questions and concerns regarding this event.

In *this* post, I’ll go a bit more in-depth on some of our decisions.

1) App Store Exclusive? Really?
Yeah. We thought long and hard about this, and decided to commit ourselves fully to the App Store. There are some rough edges here and there, but we see this move as highly beneficial for both us and our users.

For one, we can close our own shop and cut all connections with third-party payment services. Everything will be handled in one place, so there’s a whole lot less to worry about, a lot less maintenance.

We won’t need to worry about distribution, installing, licensing, copy protection anymore. We can now send users to the App Store, and it’s all handled from there, so there’re less chances of messing things up on our side, and less hassle on the user’s side.

The App Store review process, painful and slow as it may be, actually injects another layer of quality management to our already rather high standard. It’s not that we won’t beta-test anymore, but it’s nice to have an independent entity (*g*) double-check for us.

In the future (long-term, really) we can fully focus on one version — the App Store version. We have not announced nor are we planning to release it anytime soon, but IF Ulysses 3.0 sees the light of day, we won’t keep two seperate builds alive. This mostly concerns update- and licensing-systems, but still.

Also, we can’t shake the feeling that the App Store will be the only way to distribute apps on Mac OS X in the long run. This has been on the horizon for some time, and whether you or we like it or not, it’s going to happen. So we might as well jump on the bandwaggon early, roll with it, and gain experience in the process.

(more…)

Ulysses on the Mac App Store (now live and in living color)

January 27th, 2011

Ulysses Mac App Store

Ok, it’s gone live about an hour ago. HURRAH! :)

Here’s a quick Q&A session which should cover all the basics; questions, fears, dunno. It will be updated once we get more feedback. A more thorough post regarding overall direction (with strong focus on all things Ulysses) will be up sometime tomorrow.

Will the Mac App Store be the only way to purchase Ulysses from now on? Yes, we’re going App Store exclusive.

Woah! Yeah.

I see Ulysses Core is gone. What gives? Will you put this on the App Store also? No. Starting today, Ulysses Core is no longer available for purchase, nor will it be made available on the App Store. The main reason Core existed was to offer a cheaper alternative for those who wouldn’t use some of Ulysses’ advanced features. However, we’ve now priced Ulysses so that this reason has become obsolete.

Darn, i just wanted to upgrade my license form Ulysses 1.x/Core/Edu to Ulysses 2.0 Standard!!! We’ve set the pricing of Ulysses on the Mac App Store to allow just that. In fact, it’s pretty much the same price you would’ve paid for an update before. And it’s the full version now. So… go grab it, already!

If I purchased Ulysses pre-App Store… will I still get updates? Yes. Auto-update will take care of any installed version 2.x, be it Standard, Edu or Core. (And no, that’s not a hint at 3.0 coming anytime soon, please don’t worry.)

Do I need to switch to the App Store version? Am I missing out on something if I don’t, will I be 2nd class citizen, help… No, no, no and no. No need to switch to the App Store version, especially if you’re fine with your current install (and who isn’t, he).

Let’s say I own a standard licence of Ulysses 2.0 and just want to switch to the App Store version. Do you offer any cross-grade pricing options, promotional rebates, anything? Not yet.

Re: Ulysses@MacAppStore

January 5th, 2011

Ulysses Mac App Store NOT

Find the mistake… (apart from the 5-star rating, haha)

Just a quick heads up regarding Ulysses and the Mac App Store: Tomorrow, Apple will introduce its new online store for Mac apps. As of today, Ulysses is still “in review”.

We’re “in review” for well over 6 weeks now, and it seems as if we’re going to miss the grand opening.

The worst case happened here, and I just can’t tell you how I feel right now. It’s a mixture of sadness and anger and, yes — despair. We lost two months of work on Daedalus because of Ulysses’ App Store preparations; making it conform with the guidelines, switching the license scheme, update mechanism… and it cost us quite a bit of money, too (e.g. localization of app store description/new web pages).

That stuff’s not lost, of course, but right now I’d rather have a Daedalus beta ready than everything in place for the vague possibility of a soon-to-be-allowed place in the Mac App Store.

We also had a lot of stuff planned for tomorrow. News regarding pricing, distribution, update politics and product portfolio — but now it’s the 5th of January, 9:35 PM already, and we haven’t heard a single word from Apple.

So I doubt we’ll make it.

Needless to say, as of today we can’t estimate the implications this development will have for us, for Ulysses, for you, our customers. It’s just a very, very sad day over here, and I stop here before I get carried away.

Have fun.
Marcus

PS: The guys over at Realmac have a nice blog post up that pretty much resembles a draft I have on my machine. Go read it, as I won’t publish mine for quite some time it seems…


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