Darkroom on iPhoneSource: Bergen Co.

What you need to know

  • Darkroom 4.4 is now available in the App Store.
  • The app now includes watermarking and an expanded icon picker.
  • The app also introduces a new subscription model.

Darkroom, a popular photo editor for iPhone and iPad, has been updated to version 4.4. It brings with it an expanded app icon picker and support for watermarking, but neither are the biggest change. With version 4.4, Darkroom is now available as a subscription.

Darkroom isn't the first app to go the subscription route and it won't be the last. And the company outlined the reasons for the switch in a blog post today.

Since we launched Darkroom 5 years ago, we have been committed to building a photo editing and management tool that rivals any market leader in features, experience, and design. We have also committed to working on Darkroom for the very long term. That's why we never took any outside funding from investors, and why we opted to go slow and steady, rather than fast and furious. This work will only grow in scope and volume as the team grows and the platform we're building grows with it.

The Darkroom team hopes that the additional revenue brought in by a subscription model will allow it to expand and, as a result, improve the app. It's a story we've heard time and again from developers looking to find a sustainable approach, and the Darkroom team things it has found it here.

So what does that mean for users? Firstly, if you previously bought any Darkroom filters – or paid for anything at all – you'll get all of the premium features for free. So don't worry about losing functionality as part of this move.

Everyone else will be able to subscribe for $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year. But importantly, there's the option to pay a one-time $49.99 fee.

For new users, a $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year subscription will unlock access to every filter and tool in Darkroom, on iPad and iPhones, now and in the future. As we grow and our product offerings expand, all new features and services will be included in this single subscription. For those who prefer to pay once and not have to reaffirm their commitments, we offer a one-time $49.99 purchase option.

Hopefully, that single $49.99 option will prevent users from piling on, as always happens when a company switches to offering subscriptions. Unfortunately, I fear that won't be the case.

You can download Darkroom from the App Store now.

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