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Notability changes app subscription policy and promises existing users lifetime access to purchased features

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Following an outcry from its users, Notability says it is changing its controversial subscription policy to ensure that people who have already purchased the app retain lifetime access to all current features and content.

The course fix was announced by the company in a Medium blog post on Tuesday, after the popular note-taking app received significant feedback from users who were annoyed to learn that Notability’s switch to a model subscription meant that the features they purchased would stop working after a year.

Yesterday we made a big announcement regarding our transition to a free app with an optional subscription. We have heard the disappointment of our existing customers, and we want to correct our course.

Today we are making some changes (coming soon to Notability version 11.0.2). Anyone who purchased Notability prior to our subscription upgrade on November 1, 2021 will have lifetime access to all existing features and any content previously purchased in the app.

Lifetime access will include unlimited editing, iCloud sync, and any features or content purchased through in-app purchases, according to the developers, who added: “Future features that we are developing may also be included, depending on their availability. complexity and their maintenance cost. “

We’re a small business, so we designed the one-year access plan as a precautionary measure as we weren’t sure we could support lifelong access. We sincerely apologize for putting our current users in this position.

Notability’s course fix means the app no ​​longer appears to violate Apple’s App Store review guidelines, which prohibit apps that switch to a subscription model from removing core features that users want. existing ones have already paid.

It is not clear whether Apple forced its hand to comply with the guidelines or whether consumer pressure was the main influence. Either way, Notability’s change of course may make it unlikely that other app developers considering a subscription model will attempt a similar strategy of revoking features that existing users have already purchased.

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