iThoughts Update and Business Model

September 10, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I'm a big fan of iThoughts HD for iPad.1 I use it everyday. It's my third most used app behind OmniFocus and WriteRoom. This weekend, iThoughts received another significant update that included updates to the core product and an update to the In App Purchase bundle that has been designated as "Early Access". The early access features2 now include:

  • Search
  • Passcode Lock
  • Doodles

The doodle tool is a nice addition and the search is a must have. I'm not a fan of where In App Purchases have gone with most apps. Many feel like they are designed solely to be a vehicle to deliver IAP options. On the other hand, I also recognize the need for a developer to generate continues revenue from what may be a niche app.

I like the way iThoughts HD is doing IAP. Craig Scott continues to crank out great updates to the core product but adds an option for power users, or supporters, to buy access to some nice additional features. These features will eventually make it into the core product, but an extra $4 gets them for me right now. It also helps Craig continue to make great updates to the core product.

While the IAP purchase option added one big feature, the core product received a lot more in the latest update:

  • Topic attachments (PDF, XLS, DOC etc)
  • Full screen image support
  • Map View Styles (colour, wireframe, monochrome)
  • Excel/Numbers friendly CSV import/export
  • Much improved PDF export
  • Multiple layouts (horizontal, vertical, fishbone etc.)
  • Multiple link styles (curved, tapered, right angled etc.)

Those are some seriously big features. Document embeding, Numbers import and new layout designs.

For example the new view styles are great:

But I really like the doodle option available through the IAP, because it provides a quick way to add a sketch without leaving the app, but it also let's me paste and annotate any image right into an outline.

This is no skimpy editor either. There are controls for object filling, line straightening, copy and paste as well as moving object in front or behind each other. There are even options to copy and export a drawing from the built in editor.

As usual, this is a great update to an app that I thought was feature complete a year ago. It keeps getting better. I'm glad I bought the Early Access, if it means nothing more than Craig Scott can keep making it great.

iThoughts HD | iPad | $10

iThoughts | iPhone | $8

Early Access Features | iPad | $4


  1. Affiliate links. 

  2. The early access and IAP are only available in the iPad version. 

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