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Subscription apps have been one of most controversial developments over the past few years. Developers love the model, because it gives them that most valuable of things: recurring revenue. That not only provides a more secure personal income, but also enables them to fund ongoing development that should see users enjoy regular updates.
But while developers love subscription apps, many users hate them. No matter how much they may like the app and understand the rationale, there’s growing unease at the way the costs add up…
Ulysses is a popular app to make the switch. It costs you $4.99/month, or $3.33/month if you pay annually.
That’s not a lot of money. The usual comparison is a cup of coffee a month.
But just like actual cups of takeout coffee, the costs add up. Let’s split the difference here and call it $4.50 a month. If you have 10 such apps, that’s $45/month, or $540 a year. If you have 20 apps, it’s over a thousand bucks a year. Use them for five years, and that’s over $5,000. That’s a lot of money for iPhone apps.
Now, I hasten to add that I totally get where developers are coming from here. iOS developers are operating in a world where the historical expectation is that their apps would be dirt cheap. Where a one-off $0.99 cost was normal, and a one-off $4.99 was expensive. I totally understand that you can’t make a living like that.
But at the same time, I’m not convinced you can make a living charging a monthly subscription fee either. I mean, sure, you can today. And perhaps developers of apps people love can continue doing so indefinitely.
But once people find themselves paying a thousand bucks a year for a bunch of iPhone apps, I think it’s only a matter of time before they start looking for alternatives that don’t charge a subscription.
I first expressed my unease at this trend in 2023, when I said that I couldn’t help feeling that the model would at some point implode. I’m now more convinced that’s going to be the case.
So what’s the solution? How can we create a win-win for consumers and developers alike?
With most apps, there are five possible business models:
Free (making money from ad revenue)
A one-off fee (with upgrades free)
An initial fee, with chargeable (major) upgrades
Apple gave an enormous boost to developers wanting to charge a sensible one-off fee when it finally permitted free trials for non-subscription iOS apps in 2023. Previously, it was next to impossible to persuade people to pay $10, $25, or more for an iOS app because it was simply too risky. You can ask Apple for a refund, but that’s a clunky and intimidating process compared to simply trying an app for free and paying for it if you like it.
But, as Dieter Bohn observed this morning, Apple still doesn’t permit one of the five business models outlined above: chargeable upgrades.
Personally speaking, I vastly prefer chargeable upgrades over subscriptions. For each upgrade, I can decide whether or not it’s worth the money. If I’m happy with the original feature set, I don’t need to pay any ongoing cost. If a developer tempts me with shiny new features, then I’ll happily pay for them.
My view is that this model is the true win-win. Developers have to make sufficiently big improvements to persuade users to pay for them; users get a choice, and likely better apps because developers have to justify the upgrade fees.
So that’s the one change I’d like to see Apple make for iOS apps: the option of chargeable upgrades.
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Subscription on apps are the unavoidable future
Apple may have seen the writing on the wall. Google may have actually sensed it sooner, which is why it didn’t seem to get excited in the first place. Although they have been the biggest proponents of this app-centric ecosystem we have today, especially on mobile, the two most influential companies in the world seem to be slowly abandoning them. Apps are no longer the great money makers they once were, even the paid ones. Some might argue they never were, at least on Android. The money may soon be in subscriptions instead, and that could drastically change the software landscape forever.
Subscription-based software isn’t exactly new even if most people will most likely associate recurring monthly or annual payments more with access to digital content, like videos and music, or at least with Internet-based services like cloud storage or even office suites. But one only has to look to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, launched way back in 2012, for software whose very access itself depends on user paying a regular fee.
Young as it is, the mobile ecosystem has adopted a more traditional model similar to that of most PC software and games. You either get the software for free or you make a one-time payment and that’s it. You could pay extra later on for DLCs or addons but, as far as being able to use the app in its entirety, that contract has been signed, sealed, and delivered, so to speak.
While that has worked before, it may no longer be a sustainable model these days. At least not for software developers and especially not for app store distributors who take a cut from every sale and renewed subscription the apps make. The mobile app ecosystem has also made three-digit price tags on software look totally ridiculous. Even two-digit prices on apps are seen asking too much, especially on mobile. Developers and distributors have, therefore, tried to search for a way to balance the cheaper prices the market expects with a business model that won’t force them into bankruptcy.
That compromise might be in software subscriptions, not just for cloud features (though that will most likely become part of it) but for access to the apps themselves. At first blush, this might not make sense, mostly because it runs contrary to what we’ve become used to as far as non-services software is concerned. Why should you pay a recurring fee for a program you’ve already bought? That resistance and confusion can be seen both in Adobe’ CC as well as the Clip Studio Paint’s iOS launch which, unlike its desktop counterpart, required an active subscription to unlock majority of its features.
However, it’s not a perfect solution for all players. Developers have to think harder about the right price for their recurring fees. Too high and it will scare off users. Too low and even recurring revenue won’t be enough to offset the costs. They will also be more pressured to keep up the development pace to justify the subscriptions. And users will have to hope that developers will indeed deliver on that.
Apps and app stores are already heading in that direction, especially on iOS. Some major apps have already adopted a subscription model regardless of whether they offer cloud-related functionality or not. Apple itself has been reportedly talking with developers to convince them that subscriptions are the way to go. While Google hasn’t made such huge strides, it’s attitude has always seemed to favor services, and therefore recurring subscriptions, over apps. After all, services integrate better into its search and AI systems better than locally installed apps.
The inevitable shift to subscription-based software does highlight something that has been true for decades now but something users probably take for granted. You don’t own the software you paid for. What you’re buying, instead, is the license to use the software, and even those still come with limitations. Think of it like a perpetual non-recurring subscription. With subscription-based software access, that becomes even more obvious. This time, it’s plain you aren’t buying anything, software or license. They own the space and you’re just renting it.
One of the common queries I come across repeatedly on several forums is “Should I become a data scientist (or an analyst)?” The query takes various forms and factors, but here is a common real-life anecdote:
“I have been doing Sales for multiple BFSI giants for last 3 years, but I have stopped enjoying my role. After reading about Business Analytics and machine learning, my interest in this area has grown. Should I make a switch and learn data science? If so, How do I do this?
When I reflect back on how I took the decision, I realized – I happened to be lucky! The decision was relatively easier for me. Why? I knew the industries/roles, I would not enjoy – these included roles in Sales, roles in Physical engineering, and a few others. I was open to roles in data science in retail banks and investment banks and luckily ended up with Capital One.
Today, after spending ~8 years in the industry, it is far easier for me to guide and mentor people on whether Analytics is the right role for them or not. So, I thought, I’ll try and put my thoughts in a framework and share it with the audience of this blog. The aim of this post is to help those people who are sitting on the fence and thinking about which job/role is right for them. So, if you are someone deliberating a move in data science or are wondering whether you are a right fit with this industry, here is a neat framework that might help.
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I have put a framework in the form of a very simple test. This test is based on the attributes every analyst should possess. You should score yourself against each of the questions (out of the score mentioned after the question) and then add your scores. A good analyst should score more than 70 and anyone scoring below 50 should seriously re-consider a decision to be a data scientist.Test Questions:
Do you love number crunching and logical problem solving – i.e. puzzles, probabilities, and statistics? (score out of 20)
By love I don’t mean like, I don’t mean you don’t mind numbers – I mean, do you have an obsession with numbers! Do you love doing guess-estimates at any time of the day – I have done those estimates while I am taking a shower, while I am driving, while I am watching a movie, or even when I am swimming (and lost my count of laps)! I know my friend Tavish does these calculations in his mind too – while he is driving or while he is playing badminton. If you want me to space out of a discussion, just ask me a really hard logical problem!
5 – dread mathematics & statistics, but can face to some extent
10 – Comfortable with mathematics and statistics, but need calculators and excel to work on problems. Don’t mind attempting puzzles
15 – Love crunching numbers and solving logical puzzles anywhere
20 – Can’t live without number crunching and logical puzzles – an obsession!
Do you enjoy working/handling unstructured problems? (score out of 20)
An analyst will inevitably be tested against unstructured and amorphous business problems. And it is how you solve these unstructured problems, that decides how good or bad an analyst you are. My first project in my first role stated: “In last few months, we have seen a high increase in high-risk customers of type X. You need to come up with a data-based strategy to measure, control, and improve this situation.“
Even the business did not have a clear definition of these customers. Can you handle this kind of ambiguity and provide a direction on your own? Do you enjoy these situations or you would rather be comfortable in a more defined role?
5 – Have tried these problems in past – but not my cup of tea!
10 – A score of 10 would mean, you like solving these problems once in a while (say 3 – 6 months)
15+ – You prefer unstructured problems over-structured. You don’t enjoy someone else structuring problems for you.
Do you enjoy deep research and can spend hours slicing and dicing data? (score out of 20)
Going back to the first project I faced, it took me 3 months to understand the business, have multiple discussions with stakeholders, brings them on the same page, and then mine the data to bring out solutions. You need an outlook of a researcher to be a good business analyst. When was the last time you spent hours and hours immersed in solving a problem? Can you do that again and again?
5 – You want a change every few hours. You can’t work on a single problem for the entire day
10 – You can work on a research problem – but need some side work to help you out of boredom
15 – You feel the side work is distracting you from making progress on the key problem you are working on. Would be happy if they are taken away
20 – Can’t stand distractions
Do you enjoy building and presenting evidence-based stories? (score out of 20)
A data scientist needs to be a fluid presenter. What is the use of all the hard work, if he is not able to influence his stakeholders? Communicating with data and presenting stories backed by data is one of the most important elements in the life of a data scientist. Imagine being part of companies like Google and Amazon – you have all the data you need (probably more than that) for the domain you are working on, but you need to convert it into a meaningful story, present it to the stakeholders and influence them to take the right decision!
5 – You struggle to communicate my mathematical thoughts to the audience
10 – You can manage telling stories with a lot of practice. Can’t think of doing this on the fly!
15+ – Any time, anywhere!
Do you always find yourself questioning people’s assumptions and are always curious to know ‘Why”? (score out of 10)
This is probably the best part and the most fun part! Here is a quote a read somewhere on Linkedin: Arguing with an Engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig: After a few hours, you realize the pig likes it. Similarly, asking why comes naturally to a good data scientist. Some of the best data scientists would stop anyone and ask for a rationale if they are not clear – Why did you ask this question? What was your thought process? Why do you assume so? are just a few examples of these questions!
5 – You only ask questions when they are critical to be asked
8+ – You can’t stand the anxiety of not understanding something! Jumping to ask questions!
Do you enjoy problem-solving and thrive on intellectual challenges? (score out of 10)
Analysts require a knack for problem-solving. Most of the problems businesses would face would be unique to them and it would take a smart solver to solve them. Solutions, which work for one organization may not work for another – you need to be someone who quickly develops a deep understanding of a problem and then come out with innovative ways to solve these problems
3 – You don’t mind thinking about solving problems – but you struggle.
6 – You can solve problems at times
9 / 10 – You just love the process of intellectual thinkingEnd Notes:
What is my score? I would score somewhere between 80 – 85 on this test. It is your turn now. Do take the test and let me know, how much do you score? Also, do let me know if you think the test was helpful or otherwise.
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Now that you know that you can / can not become a data scientist, you might be asking “How do I become a data scientist?”. Here’s the Roadmap –
Kids have no fun anymore, amiright? Back in the day we used to play in the streets! We chased cars! We climbed trees and we fell and sometimes we got hurt—but that was okay! If only we could go back to those days. Life was so great when we didn’t really understand the risks involved in cherished childhood activities.
Sadly, we don’t live in that time anymore, so it’s time to break the news to you: trampolines aren’t safe. They’re giant bouncy surfaces for kids with undeveloped coordination to fling themselves around on. This actually isn’t news, but it has been in the news lately because a mother put out a now-viral picture of her three-year-old in a cast after he broke his femur at a trampoline park. When she took her kid to a doctor, she was told that kids under six shouldn’t even be allowed on household trampolines, much less set loose to bounce around at a trampoline park with a ton of other people. And more to the point, she was told that all of this was already in the safety recommendations written by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Is the AAP made up exclusively of killjoys? Maybe. Then again, trampolines put kids in the hospital every year, and it’s the AAP’s job to try to prevent those injuries. Activities like swimming or biking definitely hospitalize more kids than trampolines, but since those are much more popular than trampoline-ing we don’t know whether that’s because swimming and biking are actually more dangerous or just more widespread. Either way, let’s not kid ourselves here: trampolines aren’t super safe. Are they the most dangerous childhood activity? No, of course not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take some precautions.Learn how to take turns
Three-quarters of all trampoline injuries happen when multiple people are on board. Bouncing alone means you’re in control of how high you’re going, and there aren’t any stray vibrations to turn your controlled flip into a flying cannonball off the side. Plus you’re not tempted into the inevitable competition to see who can go the highest. And most importantly, your kid won’t bounce their noggin off another kid’s noggin if they’re jumping solo.
Sorry, but that padding on the springs isn’t going to keep you from fracturing your collarbone. Maybe it will prevent some scrapes, just don’t expect it to keep you totally safe. A lot of the padding that comes with trampolines breaks down quickly. You’re supposed to replace it regularly, but when was the last time anyone did that? The role of every trampoline is to sit in the backyard rusting away, losing crucial joints and shedding padding until your parents pawn it off on whoever is willing to drag it away.
And the nets aren’t much better. Yes, they’ll keep you off the ground, but most trampolines injuries happen on the thing itself. You’re landing on a solid—albeit stretchy— surface with more force than a normal fall, and you’re flailing around as you do it. Of course you’re going to land funny and break some bones once in awhile. And to add insult to literal injury, lots of kids see a net as more of a challenge than a safety feature.Little kids have fragile bones
As it turns out, small children were not designed to withstand strong forces. This includes falling from any significant height, which is essentially the objective of playing on a trampoline. As such, trampolines are not ideal places for little kids.
Kids under six just shouldn’t be on trampolines, period. Let their little bones (and their sense of coordination) develop a little more before you put them up there.Let’s be realistic, you’re all still going to jump on trampolines
Doctors tell people not to smoke and only to drink in moderation—that doesn’t mean people don’t do those things. Life involves inevitable risk, and no one is saying you shouldn’t ever bounce. They’re saying, “bounce your heart out! Just remember that this is kind of dangerous and you should treat it as a risky activity.” They’re also definitely saying not to let toddlers on there. And that if you go to a trampoline park, remember that there are zero regulations for running them, and that the 20-year-old who signed you in cannot and will not protect you from harm.
Now bounce away! Cautiously.
Since its inception, the Vine application has grasped the attention of various people worldwide as this mobile application enables them to record six second videos that can be shared on different social networks like Twitter, Facebook and more. In just 6 months, this application has grown to 13 million users. Various eCommerce merchants see the value in Vine. Today, you will find various eCommerce businesses that are using Vine videos for their eCommerce business for different purposes.
Users of this app can easily shoot very short clips and edit those clips together, in order to create effective animation videos. Across the world, various businessmen understand that Vine videos that can help them to promote their products and services on the web. Here, you can find why eCommerce businesses are using vine videos for their eCommerce business.
Endorse New Products
Now, it becomes easily possible to promote your new product on the web through vine videos. You can market your new products among your customers and get huge response from them as vine videos are helpful to promote your products and services. You just need to create six-second video by which you can attract your customers towards your new product.
In this given vine video, you can see that Gap has introduced its new product line for special summer season. Through this vine video, the company is promoting its new clothing line and grabbing the attention of lots of people globally.
Attract Customers through showing Your Skills
Using Vine videos, you can also attract customers on your website and stay connected with them. Believe me, when I first heard about this application, I was asking myself how it would be possible for big brands to attract more customers through six seconds videos. There are various brands that are utilizing Vine videos efficiently to attract more and more customers on their website. Showing different products in context can boost conversions on your site.
Make sure to opt for creative clips that generate demand. Techno Gym does this by creating creative a six second vine video that contains 6 different exercises that fits the attention span of the social media user. In six seconds’ video, Techno Gym includes its 6 different exercises that are effective. This video can ignite various people to join their gym to get slim and trim body fat:
Share How To Tips & Demos
One of the best things you can do through vine videos is share how to use tips and demos of your products, as it will help your customers get information about your products. On the web, you will find numerous companies that have started providing a series of videos that offer tips. Barcardi has shared how to videos with their customers that is a perfect for providing their customers information about their products. In this video, they are showing users how to prepare a perfect drink by adding different ingredients. This video gives their customers an insight into their various products that are obtainable and how to use them.
Take a Tour of Inside Your Business
Vine videos are also effective to use to take a tour of inside your business that you can show your customers. By providing a behind the scenes look of your business, employees, and working area to your customers, you can win their trust. Most people trust other people rather than brands. By using vine, you can put a human face on your business and win your customers’ trust. Marc Jacobs, the most popular fashion designer, shot a vine video of his employees sporting their personal clothing styles.
Offer a Contest
eCommerce retailers can also create content for their customers on Vine. By creating an exciting and creative contest for their customers, they can promote their business worldwide.
Urban Outfitters has teamed up with Converse to introduce a contest that offers a cross-country trip for the best vine that documents “a day in the life of your Converse sneakers.” Both the companies have invited their fans to submit a vine videos and tweet it using hashtag “”#yourchucks.”
These six-second videos have proved to be just as effective as any commercial. Today, any eCommerce businessman can create creative vine videos of their products and business to attract more customers to their website. Make sure to create exceptional vine videos!
Popular brands are now jumping on the tablet bandwagon. So, there’s a sudden increase in the number of tablets available globally. Tablets come in different sizes, with decent specs and features. However, if you want to choose a tablet that fits your budget and lifestyle, we’ve got your back. So, there are all sorts of tablets that you can currently buy in Singapore. However, if you’re particularly looking for a budget tablet, you’ve come to the right place.5 Best Budget Tablets That You Can Buy In Singapore In 2023 Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The Surface Pro 7 is a highly versatile and ultra-light laptop that doubles up as a tablet and a creative studio. Under the hood, it packs a laptop-class Intel Core processor. Also, it is an ideal device for carrying out tasks such as drawing, writing, playing, and more. Further, it offers superior graphics and improved battery life. You can even use the Surface Pro 7 as a desktop PC and connect it to multiple monitors and accessories using the Surface Dock 2.
Further, the Surface Pro 7 offers several ways to connect. For instance, it comes with USB-A connectors and USB-CTM. The device also supports a password-free sign-in process, which is pretty quick and secure. On top of that, you will get a 12-month warranty. The device comes with a Surface Arc Mouse, Surface Pen, and a Microsoft Signature Type Cover. It also provides an all-day battery life.Top Features
12.3-inch touchscreen display
Intel CoreTM processor
Up to 16GB RAM for faster multitasking
Ultra-slim and light
Comes with both USB-C and USB-A
Transforms from tablet to laptop
Up to 10.5 hours of battery life (typical device usage)
Where to buy: ShopeeApple iPad Pro Top Features
11‑inch and 12.9‑inch display
Liquid Retina display and Liquid Retina XDR display
Up to 2TB internal storage capacity
Up to 16GB of RAM
Apple M1 chip
Pro camera system
4K video recording (up to 60 fps)
Four speaker audio
Bluetooth 5.0 technology
Where to buy: ShopeeSamsung Galaxy Tab S7
Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab S7 alongside the Tab S7 Plus tablet back in 2023. However, the Galaxy Tab S7 went official last year. The Galaxy Tab S7 offers both the portability of a tablet and the experience of a PC. Further, its massive display delivers a cinematic viewing experience. The Plus model sports the largest Super AMOLED1 display, as per Samsung. Moreover, it emits the lowest blue light on any tablet display.Gizchina News of the week
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Avid gamers would love the bold colors on the tablet’s display. Also, it features four speakers. On top of that, the Galaxy Tab S7 is super sleek and lightweight. Also, you can choose between Navy, Black, and Mystic bronze shades. As if that weren’t enough, the tablet comes with an S-pen. It uses a robust battery that can last very long. The device supports face recognition and has a fingerprint reader for security.Top Features
11.0 inches TFT LCD
120Hz refresh rate
1600 x 2560 pixels resolution
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G+ chip
Adreno 650 GPU
Up to 8GB of RAM
Up to 512GB of internal storage
13MP+5MP rear cameras
8MP front camera
45W fast charging technology
Where to buy: ShopeeXiaomi Pad 5
The Pad 5 is capable of delivering enhanced work and entertainment experience. Also, it is a beautiful tablet that boasts a slew of outstanding features. For instance, it has a quad-speaker setup that offers unparalleled surround sound. Further, you can use the tablet in landscape, as well as the portrait display format. It comes with hardware and software that minimizes blue light. Also, it gets a 4th Gen AI engine from Qualcomm.
The Pad 5 ships with ample storage and memory. You can choose between 6GB RAM+128GB storage or 6GB RAM+256GB storage configuration. Further, the tablet has exceptional fast-charging capabilities. For optics, the Pad 5 houses a 13MP primary rear camera. Upfront, it features an 8MP shooter for video calls and selfies. Moreover, this tablet comes in Pearl White and Cosmic Grey color options.Top Features
WQHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate
13MP rear camera + 8MP front camera
Four speakers with Dolby Atmos support
LPDDR4X RAM, UFS 3.1 storage
MIUI for Pad OS
Where to buy: ShopeeLenovo Yoga Book
If you’re a book lover who brings your favorite books on vacation, the Lenovo Yoga Book is the best option for you. The portable device allows you to travel without the hassle of carrying bulky physical books. Moreover, the Lenovo Yoga Book is extremely lightweight so you can carry it while traveling. Also, you can store a myriad of novels on the tablet and read them while traveling. Further, you can use the Real Pen to take notes.
The Yoga Book comes with the Lenovo NoteSaver app that enables you to use the tablet as a smart paper pad. Further, the tablet supports a Type mode that lets you do furious typing. Also, the tablet’s Halo keyboard supports Haptic feedback. When you turn off the keyboard, the tablet activates the Create Pad. It allows you to sketch with precision. Lastly, it delivers an excellent battery life.Top Features
10.1-inch Full-HD display
Dolby Atmos speakers
Intel Atom processors
Real Pen Stylus, Note Saver
On-Demand Halo Keyboard
13 hours of battery life on a single charge
BOOK UI with Android
Where to buy: ShopeeThe Most Exceptional Budget Tablets In Singapore In 2023
Tablets have come a long way since they were considered smartphones with bigger displays. Moreover, modern tablets can perform more functions than just gaming, streaming videos, and online surfing. Notably, newfangled tablets offer faster processing speed. Also, they come with superior screen quality.
So, tablets are now used for work, as well as entertainment. Further, these were our quality recommendations for those looking for a feature-laden tablet that doesn’t cost a bomb. Some of the tablets on our list can even replace laptops. We’ve narrowed down the option to the 5 best budget tablets in Singapore in 2023. These tablets are ideal for frequent travelers, students, and even business people. Tablets will continue to garner popularity among all sorts of users.
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