Yes, Mac OS X is up to version 10.12, numerically, but the name remains both California and common with everything else Apple makes; iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and now macOS. While I’ve had the preview version of macOS Sierra a few weeks, the actual release always brings the surprises because that’s the installation that goes on a Mac I use everyday, and, sure enough, the expected surprises arrived right on time.
There is much to like about Sierra. It’s flat, straightforward, familiar, but with enough newness to be worth playing around before putting it on your most treasured Mac.
What’s the surprise?
Unfortunately, life in the 21st century still requires email, and Mail on my Macs has been tweaked and tuned to do my bidding rather than the other way around. I use SpamSieve to segregate spam messages better that Mail’s built-in Junk Mail Filter. I use SendLater to schedule email to be sent at a later time because my time zone is about as far away from everyone else in the country as a time zone can get, and Herald because it’s easier to deal with email than Mail itself.
As is usually the case whenever Apple releases a Mac update or more massive upgrade, all the Mail plugins stop working for a few days. That’s been the case since forever and it remains the case today.
Mail has a number of nifty new features you may like, but the problem here is feature bloat. I’m less inclined to pack on features I don’t use, than to add functionality I do use, so I’m not impressed with the updates on Mail this year.
The aforementioned Send Later functionality isn’t easy to find unless you’re willing to pay more money, which brings me to another new app functionality. Subscriptions. I bought Send Later a few years ago and promoted it often because it’s a function Mail does have. Instead of sending an email after you write, set the send to a timed schedule and as long as the Mac is on, off it goes, right on time.
That’s gone. But it is available in a different subscription package called MailButler, and also in the new subscription email app that once was an app entitled CloudMagic but now called Newton. The former is an add-on to enhance Apple’s Mac Mail, while the latter is an actual email app for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Both have a Send Later-like feature built in, and both are subscription based.
Therein lies the rub.
I paid for Send Later and it is no longer available and does not work on macOS Sierra. The functionality is available in the monthly subscription to MailButler. I paid for CloudMagic on the Mac, and that app is no more, having been changed to Newton and the Send Later functionality is part of the annual subscription.
I’ve tried out both of the new versions, MailButler (which contains a few extra features I like, and a few I don’t) and the Newton email app. Both work well so I won’t complain about functionality. If you need those features and others, check them out as they’re deserving of a look.
What bothers me most isn’t the subscription model or the change from apps I paid for already.
It’s the sticker shock.
In one case, an app that was priced at about $9 is now $9 a month (but bundled with other functionality). In the other case, an app that was priced at about $20 is now $50 a year.
That’s sticker shock.
App developers who create quality, worthy apps should get paid for their effort. That’s one reason why I promote Mac apps on McSolo with various reviews of what I use, or what I would recommend to others (knowing that there are support issues involved in a recommendation to friend or neighbor).
What bothers me is not a price increase as much as the sticker shock that comes from a required upgrade to a different payment model.
Subscriptions are here to stay, but developers would do well to advance into that new world with less shock to the customer base.