Paid features in opensource apps

The thank you app that unlocks simple mobile apps can also be downloaded for free from F-droid.

They’re is also a fork of fairmail called simpleemail.

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I have never seen FairEmail promote non-free software. Buying a license doesn’t replace the app, it just makes some of the code paths that check if you have a license return true instead of false. It’s still the exact same GPLv3+ code.

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And that stopped updating because develoment is soo easy or just the opposite?

Yes, Marcel is a robot, he churns commits after commits daily, incredible.

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Sorry if it wasn’t clear but I meant my comment to show how accomodating the Dev is that even the ‘pro’ version is available for free. :sweat_smile:

Philosophical considerations aside, as a user I want:

  • very clear indication which features are payfeatures
  • a rule that free features won’t become payfeatures by a simple upgrade. This is very important because unfortunately in Android once you upgrade you have not usually the option to revert to a an earlier version or different fork without loosing all your app data, so in theory an app author could lock you out of your data.

And - I think “payfeatures” would be a suitable neutral label.

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I would argue FairEmail has that in the metadata they provide, see “Pro Features”: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/eu.faircode.email/

In theory this makes sense, in practice this is very hard to enforce. Some issues I see is that it would require thorough review of every app update (which we simply don’t have enough people for) and the fact that sometimes features disappear in apps in general because of refactoring or because almost nobody uses a feature and the developer decides to remove it to keep the codebase easier to maintain.

Fair enough. I assumed the pay-app was non-free. So that alleviates 50% of my concern. The other 50%, though, still exists. The nag screen is still a literal anti-feature and as such deserves the tag.

I have no problem with an app charging up front. Pay or you can’t download it. I have no problem with an app asking for donations when you install it on the first-run “About this app” popup a lot of apps have. I have a lot of problems when an app refuses to honor my decision.

I’m not suggesting the they be delisted from F-Droid. Or, maybe I should be. Maybe that’s what is takes is demanding that these apps be delisted so that they can get tagged with anti-features as a compromise. I don’t like taking extreme views in order for reasonable and moderate actions to get taken. But what does it take, when philosophical anti-features are tagged, and literal ones aren’t?

Which app has a nagscreen? Surely you don’t mean Fairemail which has a small text on top and allows you to even hide that small text.

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I’ve used fairemail for several months and even in the gratis version it works perfectly (to tell the truth, I don’t even remember which functions require payment).

I didn’t mean to imply anything about fair email which I never used, just general considerations.

In theory this makes sense, in practice this is very hard to enforce. Some issues I see is that it would require thorough review of every app update (which we simply don’t have enough people for) and the fact that sometimes features disappear in apps in general because of refactoring or because almost nobody uses a feature and the developer decides to remove it to keep the codebase easier to maintain.
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I see the technical difficulty but at least a rule that developers know they should not do something like that would be good.

Since they usually publish in Play too, they have that rule there too, for paid apps, so they’re kinda kept in check. Also, being open source as said above, these can be unlocked anyway. It’s a matter of politeness from F-Droid to not “crack the app”.

The app can be unlocked by modifying the source but the user can’t do it with a compatible signature and hence may never be able to access his data again.

Of course this problem can happen with no-pay apps too.

As long as it’s not to remove ads/trackers, I have no issues with devs charging for extra features.

Sometimes, yeah, it may be a bit disappointing if your broke af. Lol Have patience.

But just think of some of these apps/software & what big tech would charge.
If it’s something I really like or rely on a lot, I continue contributing(Doesn’t have to be much at all at once)

Most of the time the paid features are not needed at all but some devs have told me that the contributions are what motivates them most to continue working on a project as they can see people are really enjoying/depending on it.

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Sadly Marcel stopped developing both FairEmail and Netguard, last Google action really pushed him over the edge. :frowning:

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That’s really bad.

https://faircode.eu/faq.html