Timer 2.0 removes in-app ad, apologizes to customers

Timer 2.0 removes in-app ad

App Cubby, the company behind Timer 2.0, will be removing the in-app ad -- an icon advertising another app -- and has issued an apology to their users for inserting it in the first place. It's a classy and extremely customer-centric move. App Cubby's David Barnard said:

Given all the mistakes and bad assumptions, it’s clear that the best choice here is to immediately change course. For now I’m going to replace the ads with an apology, and later today I’ll be submitting an update to Timer that removes the ad completely.

Please accept my sincere apologies for making a mess of a great app.

Barnard considers the mistakes to be a) underestimating how many Timer users had bought the app in the couple of months before it went free, b) forcing the update on those past users, c) making the ad too clever (so much so that users don't realize it's an ad).

I understand the ambiguity argument when it comes to the ad. An app icon on a grid amid many other icons could easily be mistaken for an action item instead. Personally, however, I have no problem with the core idea of ads being added to apps. I'd much prefer that than the app being discontinued because the developer can no longer afford to keep it going. Business realities change. The App Store economy changes. Developers have to respond to those changes or go out of business.

Some people think users don't care about developers having sustainable businesses, but if users stop being able to find the apps they want, or even really good apps of the type they want, they'll start to care. Developers, just like all of us, are trying to figure out how to make enough money to feed their families. They'll try things, they'll stumble, they'll get up, they'll adjust, and hopefully they'll hit it big.

Kudos to David for recognizing a faulty tactic in what looks to still be a sound strategy, and hopefully he hits it big with the next revision, or the next app. In the meantime, go download Timer 2.0, still for free, on the App Store. Ad or no add, it's a terrific app.

Source: App Cubby

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Timer 2.0 removes in-app ad, apologizes to customers


Good move, David! I'm all for supporting developers, and I love David to death, but I did feel like my interests as a loyal customer weren't considered. The loyal early adopters were the ones to get "screwed" in the end. As a customer who loves supporting developers, I'm more inclined to make an in-app purchase now, probably the $9.99 one. Before, my annoyance with the ads kinda turned me off from making an in-app purchase. But since I know David personally, I would've probably still made a small in-app purchase because he really is a great guy just trying to support his family. But thinking from an average user's perspective who doesn't know or care who the Dev is, I completely understand the outrage. The "think about the dev" mentality goes both ways -- developers need to think about their customers. And this is precisely what David has done. He realized he made a bad move and is fixing it. Love that guy.

You may know David better than most, and I only know him from his apps. He has proven he is a class act. I am very inclined to purchase his addons, and I don't even need them. And Timer is IMHO the best quick timer app out there.

Muy Bueno Señor Barnard. Those ads just weren't App Cubby style. I'll now gladly support you with an iAP purchase of a theme.

Kudo's to the developer. I have a lot more respect for this developer now especially after reading the post on his site. This type of service is unfortunately very rare today. With this I have no issue making an in app purchase to support the dev.

Boohoo, you got a small ad in your 99 cent iPhone app. And surprise! The developer isn't working for free! *shock* Seriously, is this what we've all come to? Simmer down, redirect your anger toward something that matters.

Got a lot of respect for David for doing this, for most of us it wasn't about the money just the ad suddenly invading app originally paid for. And realistically what other developer would backtrack like this?

Picked up the ultimate bundle today because its more than worth it and want to support one of the store's top devs.

Great post, David! I understand both sides... I will make one of the in-app purchases for support!
oh, and its a great app!

Ask Siri to set a 5 and a half minute timer, when you have a bad connection. Or when Siri just doesn't feel like working. If Siri had 100% uptime, could understand all accents, was 100% accurate, was much faster and could do half minute increments, it would be a great timer. Sadly it's none of these things. And in certain circumstances, you can't talk to your device for a timer, or just don't feel like it. To each his own.