Return7 released version 3.0 of its popular BillMinder app on Tuesday, now a completely revamped program. As such, Return7 decided to switch its users over to a separate app -- BillMinder 3 -- which requires users to pay to "upgrade" to the latest version. While the out-of-pocket expense (US$1.99) isn't much, it's a move that hasn't been that popular in the past -- think Tweetie in the pre-Twitter days.
Amro Mousa, co-founder of Return7 told me today that BillMinder 3 isn't simply an upgrade. The company rewrote the entire app from scratch and no code or art is shared with the original app, which is still available via iTunes. The original BillMinder app received more than 25 updates during its lifetime, including the upgrade to version 2.0. He acknowledged that there has been some grumbling over repurchasing the app.
"Most software companies don't give away new major versions for free. Why aren't folks angry when they buy a new version of OS X, iLife or Aperture? Since we prefer to continue existing, we're charging for 3.0. Obviously that means we need to provide value in the new version for people to want to buy it," Mousa said.
While we didn't review the original BillMinder, we have taken a look at BillMinder 3. The app does exactly what its title implies -- it reminds you when a bill is due and how much it is. A lot of banks have included software through their websites to handle this sort of thing, but not all of them have dedicated iOS apps or will push notifications to your iPhone. It's also useful if you have separate bills going to different bank accounts like I do. Click on to see how the app works.