Tweetie 2

Earlier today Loren Brichter announced the imminent release of Tweetie 2 for the iPhone. Tweetie is the Twitter client that sort of set the standard back when it was first released. The new version will be a substantial revision; Brichter plans to release it as a separate app, not as an update to the existing Tweetie. Current Tweetie users who want Version 2 will have to pay the same $2.99 as first-time buyers.

This is, as far as I know, something new on the iPhone. Certainly every upgrade I’ve gotten so far has been free. I don’t believe the App Store even has a mechanism for non-free upgrades, which I guess is why Brichter chose to treat Tweetie 2 as an entirely new app. (There’s in-app purchasing, but as I understand it, that’s intended more for additional content, not for version upgrades.)

Which raises the issue of discounts for owners of earlier versions. Certainly most Tweetie users will be happy to pay the $3 for the many new features Brichter describes. But I wonder what will happen when developers of more expensive apps want to do a paid upgrade. OmniFocus is $20. When it goes to version 2, will its current users have to pay that much a second time? And what about those new turn-by-turn navigation apps? They’re priced like desktop applications: $50–100. Updated maps can be handled through in-app purchasing, but what will happen when the app itself is given a significant upgrade? Maybe there is some sort of provision for discounts on upgrades, but I haven’t heard of it.

I’m one of the current Tweetie owners that will not hesitate to put up another $3 for Tweetie 2. I will say, though, that I’m a bit disappointed that Tweetie 1 was abandoned before it was made fully compliant with the iPhone 3 copy-and-paste system. You can copy an entire tweet, and you can copy a single word, but you can’t move the selection handles to copy anything in between. Would have been nice if a small slice of Brichter’s time over the past few months had been devoted to fixing that bug.