Media coverage and sales of Papermill have already far exceeded my expectations and I can’t envision either increasing. With this in mind, it’s easy to conclude that the the application, with its current price and need for a subscription, will never generate a profit, especially when costs like fonts still need to be incurred. If I were to create a ‘freemium’ or ad-based version, the app’s profitability would almost certainly increase but I believe that this would decrease the quality of experience that the app offers and that is rare on the Android market.
It’s a real shame that a gorgeous app like Papermill will never see the kind of success on Android Play that it would if it were in the Apple App Store. Sadly this is all down to the fact that Android phones are still primarily used by people who are used to Google Free and Ad Based platforms or who simply don’t believe in paying for anything. This is the same reason why there is no Reeder for Android, the concept of paying extra for a RSS reader that basically ends up being a better front end for Google Reader. Let me put it this, people are actually paying for an app in order to view their Google Reader stuff in a nicer way. The entire concept of better UI & form over function is lost on the Android community. We’ve said this more than a few times on this site and on the DadCast: In general, Google products are over engineered and under designed. They all have the same non-organic feel to them that leaves a very large part of us stone cold.
Not to mention that you will rarely find an Android user who is truly invested into the platform and committed to continue buying the devices contract after contract the way Apple iPhone users are. By default, this creates community that will hold off investing into any one app for fear that they are throwing more money into their cell phone.