Monday, 5 February 2018

Elementary OS to charge a conveyance fee for App Updates



Elementary OS has its own AppCenter with some high quality and open source applications. There are many free and open source software; some as complex as GIMP and LibreOffice (complex as in development, not in use). 

However, there are people behind the development of these software who devotes their time and hard work to make these work. Well known and widely used applications are still able to get some money in the form of donations but for a small team (or a single developer), it's really a tough thing. 


The founders at Elementary OS believe this may prove a hindrance in the expansion of their AppCenter and has decided to start a conveyance charge for the apps which you use through their AppCenter.

This will apply from Elementary OS Juno release.

How it works?

For each time you navigate to the AppCenter to "Update All" your apps in one go, it will list out the paid apps and asks for the amount of money you want to donate before you can update them. This will only apply while updating, and not when you download an app for the first time which means if you liked an app and continuing to use it, you are prompted for a small donation of your choice for the next update.

What if I don't want to pay?

If you don't want to pay, you can simply fill it up with 0$ and move on with the update. However a small donation may help Elementary OS to have a sustainable AppCenter. 

There won't be annoying notifications and the free apps will still be available without any restrictions. 

Pros

  • This could be a great idea to attract developers to the community and generate at least a sustainable amount to keep on going with it. Moreover you always have an option of not to pay. 
  • This could bring in the necessary funding the developers need to sustain!

Cons

  • On the other hand, it may frustrate some of the users who has a long list of installed software. Entering 0$ (or any other amount) for each application before it can be updated can be a pain. 

What about the system updates?

As a Elementary OS user, you will still get all the critical updates and bug fixes free of costs without any ask of donation. This conveyance charge applies only for the "Update All" from AppCenter. You can still use a Terminal to updated them skipping the donation part.

Summary

There are users on both side of free beer and free speech. Most of the free and open source software are relying on the donations they receive from their users. AppCenter of Elementary OS gives an option to developers to monetize their apps and get some money in return. This additional step can bring them some more of it, without limiting those users who don't want to pay. 

What's your opinion on this, we would like to hear in the comments.

Source : announcement

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