Introducing Voluntary Upgrades

| in depth, news

Last year Apple announced that they were making subscription pricing available to all apps, not just those that provide access to content like magazines or streaming media. It was a big policy shift that provided a new potential path to sustainability for more complex “pro” apps: those that require intensive, long-term development that one-time purchases can’t fund forever (especially in niche markets). forScore is perhaps one of the best examples of an app that could stand to benefit from a business model like this, but for us it’s seven years too late.

Since its introduction, forScore’s price has been fairly consistent, increasing only a handful of times as forScore’s feature set has grown. We don’t do sales, and we’ve found success by balancing a fair price with an evolving product. We said “free updates for life” and that’s no empty promise. With version 10.3 having just arrived, it’s clear we’ve delivered and we’re not changing course now.

But there’s a more troubling problem with the shift to subscription pricing than our own sense of integrity—especially when it comes to creative tools: the kinds of people who use these tools often make their money through gigs, contracts, or other sorts of limited employment. If someone can’t find work for a few months, they shouldn’t have to give up the tools they rely on just to make ends meet, especially if those tools are necessary to finding new work. Subscriptions can help companies become and remain sustainable, but it’s often at a cost that customers shouldn’t have to bear.

With that said, we do occasionally have customers ask us how they can contribute to the ongoing development of forScore. They may have bought the app when it was $2.99, $4.99, $6.99, or today’s $9.99, but they feel like whatever they paid wasn’t enough now that they’ve discovered just how indispensable forScore really is to them. We sincerely appreciate their passion, and we want to find a way to honor their enthusiasm.

So with forScore 10.3 we introduced voluntary upgrades (found in the Support section of the tools menu). These in-app purchases allow customers to support forScore beyond their original purchase price, no matter how long ago they bought it. Voluntary upgrades aren’t necessary for continued, full use of forScore, but they do help ensure that forScore continues to get regular and meaningful updates. As a thank you for those who choose to support us in this manner, these purchases unlock the ability to change forScore’s app icon.

forScore is doing great. We love what we do, and our customers love the results. We’re not asking for help, but we also want to make sure that people who want to contribute more can do so, and we think this is a great way to achieve that.

forScore 10.3

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Today we’re incredibly proud to announce the release of our latest big updates, forScore 10.3 and forScore mini 3.3 on the App Store. These versions are fully compatible with iOS 11 and bring support for some of its most anticipated features like Drag and Drop.

We’ve said it before, but Drag and Drop is huge. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the video. That’s the biggest new thing, but there’s a lot more than that so head over to our feature page on everything that’s new in 10.3 if you haven’t had a chance to do so already.

These updates are completely free for all existing users, as always, so visit the App Store today to get your hands on them. We’d like to take a moment to thank our beta testers for lending us their time and providing valuable feedback, and to thank all of our customers for your continued support and passion. We couldn’t do it without you.

forScore 10.3

Available now for iPad

forScore mini 3.3

Available now for iPhone and iPod Touch

iTunes 12.7

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Last week Apple released iTunes 12.7 which removes the iOS App Store entirely and has caused some concern and confusion, especially as this change relates to the File Sharing panel—something many forScore users rely on. This panel has not been removed with iTunes 12.7, and in fact is even easier to access.

Previously, accessing this panel involved connecting your device, clicking on its icon in the navigation bar near the top of the screen, then choosing “Apps” from the sidebar. This is where people generally got confused, because this “Apps” section handled installing or uninstalling apps, rearranging your home screen, and included the File Sharing panel hidden all the way at the bottom of that complex page.

With iTunes 12.7, the ability to install, remove, update and rearrange apps has been removed—this can all be handled more easily on your device. Now, instead of the “Apps” section in the sidebar, there’s a “File Sharing” section that is dedicated to the file sharing panel. This panel works exactly the same way as it always has, so everything should be familiar to our users. No need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and fight with iTunes’ many nested scrolling views, just click and proceed as you always have.

iOS 11 Compatibility

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With the release of iOS 11 just around the corner, many of you may be wondering whether or not it’s safe to install. As we said last year with iOS 10, the short answer is this: if you have a recent, complete manual backup of your library and you don’t depend on forScore professionally, then go ahead and update whenever you’re ready.

The longer answer is that major updates always bring tons of big changes, from new features to behind-the-scenes refactoring that can cause all sorts of unforeseen issues (in addition to the known issues listed below). In fact, the final version Apple releases to customers will be different from any version we’ve been able to test since the first beta back in June. So whether or not you should update really comes down to this question—is there anything in iOS 11 that you need or want to try today, and could you live without forScore and your iPad for a few days? If not, wait a week and let us and others kick the tires before you jump in.

Known Issues:

Currently, there is only one bug we’re aware of that may have a meaningful impact on customers: when forScore reads a PDF page’s embedded annotations, the process of identifying links to other pages takes far longer on iOS 11 than with previous versions of iOS. This means that files with lots of links in them, especially longer files, may take noticeably longer to load or crash before finishing. If you use files with links and/or pages numbering in the hundreds, you should wait to update or disable hyperlinks in the “PDF Annotations” section of forScore’s settings panel. Unless Apple fixes this problem with a future update, working around this bug will require us to make a significant number of changes to our code and we want to be sure that they’re fully tested before we release them, so they’ll be included in a future forScore update and not the forthcoming 10.3 release.

Sneak Peek: forScore 10.3

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We’ve been hard at work since the announcement of iOS 11, and today we’re tremendously excited to be back with another big update to forScore, version 10.3. With this new version we’ve gone all in with iOS 11’s biggest features, fully embracing things like Drag and Drop by weaving support for it into the app at every level. The amount of flexibility this adds is incredible, and you really have to use it to believe it.

Of course, that’s just the start, so be sure to visit our new in-depth page to see all of the changes we’re making. If you’re interested in helping us get it ready for a full release consider becoming a beta tester. Otherwise, stay tuned over the coming weeks as we get closer to 10.3’s official introduction!

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