Notability Changes App Subscription Policy, Promises Existing Users Lifetime Access to Purchased Features

Following an outcry from its users, Notability says it is making changes to its controversial subscription policy to ensure that people who previously purchased the app retain lifetime access to all current features and content.

Notability Feature
The course correction was announced by the company on Tuesday in a Medium blog post, after the popular note-taking app received substantial blowback from users who were annoyed to learn that Notability's switch to a subscription model meant features they had purchased would stop functioning after one year.

Yesterday, we made a big announcement regarding our transition to a free app with an optional subscription. We heard the disappointment from our existing customers, and we want to correct our course.

Today, we are making some changes (coming soon in Notability version 11.0.2). Everyone who purchased Notability prior to our switch to subscription on November 1st, 2021 will have lifetime access to all existing features and any content previously purchased in the app.

Lifetime access will include unlimited editing, iCloud sync, and any features or content bought through in-app purchases, according to the developers, who added: "Future features we develop may also be included, depending on their complexity and cost to maintain."

We are a small company, so we designed the original one-year access plan as a precautionary measure since we were not certain if we could support lifetime access. We sincerely apologize for putting our current users in this position.

Notability's course correction means the app no longer appears to violate Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, which forbid apps that switch to a subscription model from taking away primary functionality existing users have already paid for.


It's not clear if Apple forced its hand to fall in line with the guidelines or consumer pressure was the main influence. Either way, Notability's change of course may make it unlikely that other app developers eyeing a subscription model will attempt a similar strategy of revoking features that existing users have already purchased.

Top Rated Comments

jonplackett Avatar
9 months ago
Is it just me, is are subscriptions the worst thing that happened to the App Store?

I used to buy apps frequently, now I mostly avoid because every single app no matter how trivial now wants a monthly subscription.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
davidako Avatar
9 months ago
GoodNotes is on 50% sale
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
davidako Avatar
9 months ago

Is it just me, is are subscriptions the worst thing that happened to the App Store?

I used to buy apps frequently, now I mostly avoid because every single app no matter how trivial now wants a monthly subscription.
It has killed my desire to explore new apps. The free section is useless now since you always have to scroll down and click on the IAP section to see what kind of subscription scam they're running.

Subscription apps should have their own section.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timmyh Avatar
9 months ago
Competition is good: [MEDIA=twitter]1455764333854531587[/MEDIA]
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tomnavratil Avatar
9 months ago
Funny how they are trying to picture it as something extra when they are just basically following App Store Guidelines and nothing extra.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
9 months ago
We stuck a knife in your back, then heard your disappointment and decided to take the knife out and give more thought on where to stab you next.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Dutch Regulators to Meet With Dating App Providers to Assess Apple's Plan for Alternate In-App Payment Options

Monday January 17, 2022 9:55 am PST by
The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands plans to assess Apple's announced plans for allowing dating apps on the App Store in the country to use third-party payment methods, ensuring those plans "meet the requirements" of a previous ruling. Over the weekend, Apple announced that it would exclusively allow dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands to use...
Instagram Feature 2

Instagram Preparing to Launch Subscriptions to Let Users Pay for 'Exclusive Content' From Creators

Tuesday November 9, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Instagram is preparing to launch in-app subscriptions, allowing users to pay for exclusive content from their favorite creators as the platform looks to move away from conventional ads for monetization, recent App Store listings have suggested. In May of this year, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in an interview with The Information that the platform was exploring the idea of subscriptions, ...
iOS App Store General Feature Dock 2

Apple Defends App Store Changes in the Netherlands as Fines Reach €30 Million

Monday February 28, 2022 9:32 am PST by
Amid an ongoing dispute with the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands over the App Store, Apple has defended its plan to require app developers to submit an additional app binary for the Dutch storefront if they wish to use a third-party payment processing method. The ACM has ruled that Apple must allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment...
Instagram Feature 1

Instagram Testing Subscriptions That Let Users Pay for Content From Creators

Wednesday January 19, 2022 10:59 am PST by
Instagram today began rolling out subscription options that are designed to allow Instagram users to pay for exclusive Instagram Live videos and Stories from their preferred creators. As noted by TechCrunch, Instagram is testing the subscription feature with a selection of 10 U.S. creators, each of whom can choose their subscription price. Subscription pricing ranges from $0.99 per month to...
us subscription revenue 2021

Sensor Tower: iOS Users Spent $13.5 Billion on Top 100 Subscription Apps in 2021, Up 31% Year-on-Year

Friday February 25, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Consumer spending on the top 100 non-game subscription-based apps across mobile platforms grew 41% year-on-year to $18.3 billion in 2021, up from 13 billion in 2020, according to a new report from analytics firm Sensor Tower. According to the data, revenue from subscription apps purchased on the App Store and the Google Play Store represented around 14% of the $131.6 billion that consumers...
wordle

Clones of Popular 'Wordle' Game Flooding App Store, Including One Charging $30 Per Year [Updated]

Tuesday January 11, 2022 1:39 pm PST by
If you're a regular internet user you've probably heard of popular web-based daily guessing game Wordle, created by Josh Wardle. The game, which is entirely free to play, was introduced last fall and has been spreading like wildfire. Wordle asks players to guess a five letter word by identifying which letters are in the word and are located in the right location. Players get six guesses per...
iOS App Store General Feature Dock

Indie Developer Dogged By Scammy Clone Apps Again Highlights the Holes in Apple's App Store Review Process

Monday February 21, 2022 9:29 am PST by
Apps that copy concepts and features from other apps are nothing new in the ‌App Store‌, but scammy like-for-like clones of genuine apps remain a perennial problem that Apple still hasn't resolved, as indie developer Kevin Archer recently discovered. Archer is responsible for 2Stable's Authenticator App, a feature-rich app that stores and generates secure two-factor authentication tokens...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
Apple Watch Series 8 What We Know Feature

Apple Watch Series 8 Might Be Able to Tell If You Have a Fever

Sunday July 3, 2022 6:36 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 will be able to tell a wearer if it believes they have a fever due to a higher than normal body temperature thanks to a new built-in sensor, according to Bloomberg's reliable Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature a new body temperature sensor, given that the sensor passes ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...