I began work on Unread at the beginning of July 2013. I spent about six weeks on the overall design of the app, then plunged headfirst into Xcode, not coming up again for air until the following spring. I estimate that I worked sixty to eighty hours a week every week from July 2013 up until the launch of Unread for iPhone Version 1.0 in February 2014. Along the way were many challenges: building custom user interface navigation and controls, a vast sharing library, syncing and persistence architectures, performance tuning, etc.
I’ve been using Unread on my iPhone since the day it was released. $3 bought me an app that I check multiple times a day. In all, I probably use it for about an hour a day. Think about that for a second. Can you pinpoint anything in your life that you use as frequently that cost so little? I know I can’t.
After reading this piece last night, I immediately went and bought Unread for iPad. And honestly, I still feel a little guilty. My $8 still doesn’t seem like a fair transaction. I don’t think that was Sinclair’s intention, though. But I do think it’s worth him pointing out the hard truth about the situation and sharing, so that others, such as myself, can. Keep his story in mind the next time you hesitate about buying an app (or anything, for that matter, created by an independent creator or team). If you don’t make it worth people’s time to create the things you use and enjoy, eventually, they won’t.