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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » APPealing or APPalling? » » The Stranger (iPhone App) by Jonathan Levit (66 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kaliix
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I kinda wanted it but missed the sale. It is what it is. If someone wanted it that bad, they shoulda pulled the trigger and ordered.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Mark_Chandaue
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I must admit that I kind of agree with Rasp. Whilst I have absolute faith in Jonathan’s integrity it’s not a great situation in the UK as we automatically pay a premium because Apple do not realise that the exchange rate is not 1.0 so currently it cost $194 in the U.K. Whilst the advice when released was buy it now and have the international features later. At the sale price it was $127 which is a lot to spend on something you can’t use and as it turned out wouldn’t be useable for 8 months based on release in June 19 and international version being ready late Feb 2020. I was ready to pull the trigger at the Blackpool price but as I couldn’t get to Blackpool I sent Jonathon a message to confirm that the International features were imminent. Unfortunately that message wasn’t answered before the sale ended which is fair as Jonathan had to travel there and back and was busy on the stand. However I just don’t see myself buying this whilst the international users are getting hammered on the price in pounds vs dollars and not being able to take advantage of a similar discount the US users got (on top of the fact that it’s cheaper in the US to begin with.

I appreciate Jonathon wants to be fair to the existing US users as well as new users but unfortunately fair is not a possibility with Apple’s 1-1 ratio between pounds euro’s and dollars.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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Mark_Chandaue
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Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, Kaliix wrote:
I kinda wanted it but missed the sale. It is what it is. If someone wanted it that bad, they shoulda pulled the trigger and ordered.

Pulling the trigger and ordering isn’t really an option for an expensive app that does not work in your country. A promise of future support is not good enough to spend £100 on. Let’s face it, Greg Rostami promised Apple Watch support for RA about 5 years ago and it’s still not there. Many other app developers have promised future support that has not materialised.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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jlevit
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Which country are you in?
jlevit
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, Kaliix wrote:
I kinda wanted it but missed the sale. It is what it is. If someone wanted it that bad, they shoulda pulled the trigger and ordered.

Pulling the trigger and ordering isn’t really an option for an expensive app that does not work in your country. A promise of future support is not good enough to spend £100 on. Let’s face it, Greg Rostami promised Apple Watch support for RA about 5 years ago and it’s still not there. Many other app developers have promised future support that has not materialised.

Mark


Which country are you in?
Mark_Chandaue
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I am in the UK Jonathon hence my point about Apple’s pricing policy which is $150 = £150 which of course it doesn’t outside of the App Store. In the real world £150 is around $193 at current exchange rates.

This of course isn’t your fault Jonathon but it does lead to U.K. users and probably other international IOS users feeling a bit let down that Americans got a pre sale discount, Android users get a pre sale discount but the international iOS users are told now that the Blackpool sale is over the version you guys can use is available but there will be no discounts for you guys EVER.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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jlevit
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
I am in the UK Jonathon hence my point about Apple’s pricing policy which is $150 = £150 which of course it doesn’t outside of the App Store. In the real world £150 is around $193 at current exchange rates.

This of course isn’t your fault Jonathon but it does lead to U.K. users and probably other international IOS users feeling a bit let down that Americans got a pre sale discount, Android users get a pre sale discount but the international iOS users are told now that the Blackpool sale is over the version you guys can use is available but there will be no discounts for you guys EVER.

Mark


Thanks, Mark. You mentioned that it does not yet work in your country. It does currently work for the UK. I do hope you will give it a go, as I think you'll have a great time with it.
Mark_Chandaue
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It does work in the UK now the discounts are no longer available but it didn’t prior to Blackpool. Unfortunately the international features were not available until it went up to nearly $200 and as a result I won’t get an opportunity to give it a go unless it is on offer again next Blackpool.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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jlevit
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
It does work in the UK now the discounts are no longer available but it didn’t prior to Blackpool. Unfortunately the international features were not available until it went up to nearly $200 and as a result I won’t get an opportunity to give it a go unless it is on offer again next Blackpool.

Mark


I understand, Mark. No worries.
devaind
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HI can you tell me if this will work in INDIA
novasteeple
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If I understood Jonathan correctly, the only other choices Apple gave him were to discount the iOS app for everyone (including everyone in the US) once the international version was released, or to create a completely separate international app with different pricing. Instead, he kept a level playing field for everyone (except a Blackpool special, which is very common for vendors). I guess he could have let people on the international waiting list know that if they happened to be attending Blackpool they could get a lower price there, but I'd imagine most of those people stopped by his booth at some point anyway.

Now could we please refocus our sulking on the Android version? Smile
jlevit
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, devaind wrote:
HI can you tell me if this will work in INDIA


yes it does! Smile And I will have recordings for India uploaded soon (they have been recorded and are in the process of being edited.)
Mark_Chandaue
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Unfortunately I think this sentiment is felt by a lot of U.K. users and likely many other international users although the U.K. tends to get hit worse by the exchange rates. Even the discounted price is only slightly below the full US price. Unfortunately the U.K. version not being available until after the discount was finished means that International IOS users do not receive the same that was offered to US users and Android users. Hopefully some will still buy it. It would be a shame if the international features end up being redundant outside of the Android version.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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Mark_Chandaue
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Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, novasteeple wrote:
If I understood Jonathan correctly, the only other choices Apple gave him were to discount the iOS app for everyone (including everyone in the US) once the international version was released, or to create a completely separate international app with different pricing. Instead, he kept a level playing field for everyone (except a Blackpool special, which is very common for vendors). I guess he could have let people on the international waiting list know that if they happened to be attending Blackpool they could get a lower price there, but I'd imagine most of those people stopped by his booth at some point anyway.

Now could we please refocus our sulking on the Android version? Smile


A separate international version may have been the way to go to ensure that international IOS users got the same deal as the US users and Android users rather than paying just over double what US users paid when the app was released. It’s not a level playing field when international IOS users pay double what US users and Android users pay. Emailing those on the international waiting list would have certainly made a difference. I mailed Jonathon just prior to Blackpool asking about U.K. support but unfortunately I never received a reply and £100 is a lot to spend without confirmation it will actually work. Would you feel the same about a level playing field if the Android version was double the price of the the IOS version? It’s only a level playing field if the playing field is level.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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novasteeple
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
A separate international version may have been the way to go to ensure that international IOS users got the same deal as the US users and Android users rather than paying just over double what US users paid when the app was released.


Separate versions would have significantly increased development time and costs, which would have ultimately wound up hurting everyone. It seems like the bottom line is that international users didn't understand they should have bought the app in advance of being able to use it (like Android users have), which would have opened them to the discount. But if Jonathan were to extend a discount now to make up for that misunderstanding, he might lose as much in sales from US customers on the fence (who would also get the discount) as he'd gain from international customers on the fence who would jump at the discount.
Mark_Chandaue
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So international users should have purchased it 8 months in advance in the hope that it would indeed one day work? If it never worked you would be the first to say it’s your own fault for spending £100 on something you knew didn’t work in your country.

Having an international build and a US build does not significantly increase dev costs at all. I worked for Sony Computer Entertainment making games for the PlayStation we had a US version, EU version, Japanese version and several other regional versions each of which were vastly larger than any mobile phone app. Most came from a common build. The biggest cost factor was between Japanese language version and the English versions because different voice artists were needed and of course the manuals and menus needed to be in both languages and in some cases the names were different requiring different packaging and menu screens. Total NBA (the main series I worked on) was called NBA Shoot Out in the US. Likewise for Korean etc. Developing an international version is where the cost is, including it in a separate build should not significantly increase costs.

I guess it’s a balancing act, definite lost sales from international users who won’t buy it due to the additional cost (there are 8 of us in the U.K. that I know of and likely a fair few more in the uk and the rest of the international territories) vs a small loss of a few US users who might take advantage of the discount. Especially when you consider that the app has been available to US users since June where they were offered a pre sale discount and were also able to take full advantage of the Blackpool discount as the US version was fully supported at that point in time.

Were there to be a pre sale discount offered to allow international users to purchase it under similar conditions to US buyers and Android buyers it is highly unlikely that any US buyers that jumped on were likely to buy it at full price considering that unlike international users it has been available to US buyers since last June and the US users only recently had the opportunity to buy it at the Blackpool price knowing that the US was already supported.

So lose a big chunk of international sales whilst not necessarily adding any US sales, or gain a bunch of international sales and possibly pick up a few US sales that you might not have got. Alienating a big chunk of your market does not reduce development costs or increase profits.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
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Harpacrown Too is available from
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Ophiuchus is available from
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Totally Free Will is available from
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makulit974
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I totally feel the same as you Mark. Being in France, the euro price is 170€ which at today’s rate amounts to 188$...
tomd
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A separate international version would have been a bit a of a calamity in my opinion. It would have slowed development further, and there would be no guarantee Apple would have approved the international version. The stranger copy’s and fakes certain apple functions, and getting apple approval on faking a real apple function/app is notoriously hit and miss. Just because the stranger got approved, it doesn’t mean an almost identical app (with international function) would also get approved in the same fashion. It can sometimes depend entirely on which apple employee reviews the approval, and how they define the rules... it would eventually get approved if tweaks were made, but again, that adds more time/money to the equation.

And if you have performers who purchase this app and travel the world with it, they’d have to buy it twice if they perform in and out of America? No thank you.

Jonathan is in a lose-lose situation when it comes to this discount dilemma. He either upsets certain people who already own the app, or upset potential owners of the app. He has to make a stance one way or the other.

Personally, this is the type of app that is either going to work really well for you and the extra cost won’t matter in the long run (so purchase it at full price), or it isn’t going to work that well for you and even the discount price is too much... right now I’m in the latter camp. I got it at the discount price (From the Irish App Store 109€, during Blackpool weekend), and I’m not entirely sure whether the app is for me. That may change in time.
ash2arani
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Interestingly enough, when the international version was announced (with ongoing Blackpool Discount), it was removed from the appstore of the country I am in. I am an Android user but thought to jump onboard on the iOS version until Android was released, suffice it to say that I could not (and discount is gone now) and so now I am back to waiting for Android.
GusGarcia
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
So international users should have purchased it 8 months in advance in the hope that it would indeed one day work? If it never worked you would be the first to say it’s your own fault for spending £100 on something you knew didn’t work in your country.

Having an international build and a US build does not significantly increase dev costs at all. I worked for Sony Computer Entertainment making games for the PlayStation we had a US version, EU version, Japanese version and several other regional versions each of which were vastly larger than any mobile phone app. Most came from a common build. The biggest cost factor was between Japanese language version and the English versions because different voice artists were needed and of course the manuals and menus needed to be in both languages and in some cases the names were different requiring different packaging and menu screens. Total NBA (the main series I worked on) was called NBA Shoot Out in the US. Likewise for Korean etc. Developing an international version is where the cost is, including it in a separate build should not significantly increase costs.

I guess it’s a balancing act, definite lost sales from international users who won’t buy it due to the additional cost (there are 8 of us in the U.K. that I know of and likely a fair few more in the uk and the rest of the international territories) vs a small loss of a few US users who might take advantage of the discount. Especially when you consider that the app has been available to US users since June where they were offered a pre sale discount and were also able to take full advantage of the Blackpool discount as the US version was fully supported at that point in time.

Were there to be a pre sale discount offered to allow international users to purchase it under similar conditions to US buyers and Android buyers it is highly unlikely that any US buyers that jumped on were likely to buy it at full price considering that unlike international users it has been available to US buyers since last June and the US users only recently had the opportunity to buy it at the Blackpool price knowing that the US was already supported.

So lose a big chunk of international sales whilst not necessarily adding any US sales, or gain a bunch of international sales and possibly pick up a few US sales that you might not have got. Alienating a big chunk of your market does not reduce development costs or increase profits.

Mark


Mark, you’re just wrong. If the “international” version was just simple language changes in code you may have a point, but clearly you don’t have a clue what went into producing this version (how could you as you don’t own it?)

Furthermore, you’re acting as if purchasing it sooner somehow didn’t allow you perform it? It worked all along, many magicians in the UK have been doing it for months and just calling US numbers.

Since you seem to have the pulse of all the magicians in UK, I guess Jonathan Levit will just have to deal with the spectacular failure you seem to think this app will be at the current price. I get that you missed out on the discount, and now it makes it more than you’re willing to pay but maybe let the market decide what it’s worth and move on with your life?
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