Is trial software about to go the way of the Dodo bird, dinosaurs, and hopes for a World Series win for the Chicago Cubs?
My Mac, iPhone, and iPad are home to a number of notes apps; the kind that store and sync notes between each device. Apple’s Notes app, though severely limited in features, does exactly that and it’s free on Macs, iPhone, and iPad.
All of these notes apps have a few things in common. They’re easy to setup and use; great to capture notes, lists, todo items, snippets and ideas. They sync notes between devices. Importantly, you can try them out before you commit to a purchase.
That brings me to Mindown for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It’s a notes app, good for lists, todos, ideas, snippets of text. Mindown syncs between devices. Mindown is attractive and simple enough to use. The iPhone and iPad version is free but requires a subscription for $2.99 for three months if you want all the features. The Mac version has a nominal price tag but at $5.99 is a few dollars above my personal threshold of throwaway money.
Mindown for Mac does not have a trial version.
That’s not an issue caused by the Mac App Store. Many Mac app developers create limited versions of Mac apps for MAS which are free, and a good way to trial an app before purchase. Mindown is an example of a growing trend– no trial software.
Apple’s Pro apps have trial versions. Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps have trial versions. Microsoft’s Office has a trial version. In fact, shareware, the ultimate trial version, was once the standard of the software industry. Trial apps may be short a few features, or run full featured for a limited time, but a trial is a trial. The idea is to try the app first. If you like it, pay for it.
Mindown does not have a trial version for Mac users to try before they plunk down $5.99. I don’t know about you, but I have limits. I’ll spend 99-cents to try an app without a trial. For highly rated apps I’ll spend $1.99 or even $2.99. But $5.99 crosses a threshold I’m not willing to cross.
Of the two MAS reviews on Mindown, one was a glowing five star review from a Mac user who only gives glowing reviews. The other was from a Mac user with obvious buyer’s remorse. I decided to follow his lead and not bother with Mindown. It might be a great app, but without buying it first, there’s just no way to know. The app developer’s website gives pretty screen shots, but is devoid of any details about how Mindown works, how it synchronizes between devices, or what you get with the paid three month subscription.
Mac, iPhone, or iPads that are sold this way should be avoided.