Is the Simpletext promise just another wishful thinking by a naive app developer? Or is it an attempt to manipulate potential users with promises that cannot be kept?
I can understand the doubts. After all, I’m just an individual developer working from home, not some tech startup backed by venture capitalist. How can I stay true to the promises, 10 years down the road?
Before I attempt to answer the question, please allow me to share a little backstory…
How My Own Requirements Resulted in the Simpletext Promise
When I got my very first iPhone back in 2013, I immediately went in search for the perfect writing app. I was excited at the thought of having a writing tool I can bring around wherever I go. I tried all sorts of writing apps over the next few years, from distraction-free to full-featured, and everything in between. But alas, I just couldn’t find one to settle on.
At the beginning I wasn’t sure what I wanted exactly, but I do know what I don’t want. Firstly, I can’t stand clutter, so apps that were bloated with features everywhere didn’t last long with me. Secondly, I avoided subscription-based apps, simply because I have enough monthly bills already. And besides, any apps with subscription probably have way too many features that I’ll never use. Thirdly, I’m cautious of new developers without a proven track record, because I’m not sure if they’re committed for the long haul. The last thing I wanted is for the app to be abandoned.
While these “requirements” made sense from my perspective, it turns out they’re not so practical for developers when taken together. What I’m essentially saying is, I want a simple writing app I can use for the rest of my life, and I expect the developer to continuously improve it without adding any more complexity. Oh, and don’t ask me to pay ever again!
That’s a tall order for any developers. Yet knowingly or unknowingly, I kept returning to these criteria when selecting an app. So when I decided to build Simpletext, I knew I had to meet my own requirements. That’s why I made three promises with Simpletext — that it will always remain simple, always be a one-time paid app, and always be supported. Together, I called them the Simpletext promise.
What I’m Doing to Keep the Promises
I use the Simpletext promise as a guiding principle for every decision I make about the app. Below are some notable ones.
Simpletext will support only plain text, period. It will never have rich text formatting, images, tables, etc. — the focus is solely on writing, not formatting.
Simpletext will always provide a blank canvas for you to write. Other useful but optional features will be tucked inside a menu so they don’t clutter the user interface. This means you will always have a quiet space to write with absolutely nothing to distract you from writing.
I will use only Apple’s framework and UI components, the way they’re designed to be used. I will never do custom workarounds. This means less code, less bugs and better overall performance.
Simpletext will always be a one-time paid app. The price may increase in the future, but if you have already purchased the app, I will never ask you to pay again.
Simpletext comes with professional fonts from renowned type foundries, and they require app embedding licenses. I select only those that offer a one-time payment for perpetual license. This means I don’t have to pay any annual subscription fees to continue using them in the app. Which in turn means I don’t have to ask you to pay again.
Simpletext doesn’t have its own custom syncing service. Instead, it utilizes existing cloud services like iCloud or Dropbox. This means there are no servers to maintain just to keep the lights on. Which, again, means I can afford not asking you to pay again.
Last but not least, I’d like to reiterate that I am and will always be a user of Simpletext. Even if no one buys the app, I will continue to update it for my own, personal use.
So, is the Simpletext promise for real? I shall let time be the judge.