On Tuesday of this week FileMaker Inc. surprised me a bit by releasing a new version of FileMaker Pro, which is the software I use to make Indie Band Manager. The thing that they've done that changes EVERYTHING for us is that they've made the iPhone/iPad versions (called FileMaker Go) FREE on the iTunes store.
From a technology perspective the upgrade is somewhat compelling, but really, it's this pricing change that basically makes it a requirement for me to upgrade Indie Band Manager to this new version of FileMaker Pro. How can I not? It saves everyone $40 each on iPad and $20 each on iPhone licenses. If you have an iPad and iPhone (like me) then it saves you $60 right there, not to mention the money it saves other people in your band. This is huge. There are some cons to the upgrade however:
• The new version is only compatible with newer computers (Intel based Macs w/2GB RAM using OSX 10.6 or higher only, for example, and 1Ghz Windows PCs w/2GB RAM)
• The new version creates a significantly larger solution, so the initial download will be larger than ever.
• The new version can not convert or transfer data from 4.x versions of Indie Band Manager, which means anyone who wants to upgrade from version 4.x or earlier will need to transfer the data through version 5.x or some sort of new converter. Kind of a pain.
• The new version is not backwards compatible... so we can't easily share data with version 5.x versions of Indie Band Manager unless I do a TON of programming.
However, there are a couple major pros as well:
• People can run the free 30 day trial versions of Indie Band Manager on the iPad and iPhone for free now, which used to cost $40/$20 respectively.
• iPad and iPhone apps are free for everyone, regardless of how many people in your band want to use them.
So it looks like I'm going to release an upgrade this week. To those of you who have already purchased iPhone or iPad FileMaker Go licenses from FileMaker I'm sorry that I can't refund your money, but I will do this: If you have a friend or associate who buys Indie Band Manager on your referral, I'll give you the money for that sale. This is good for the first sale only of course, I'm just trying to get your money back for you in some way. I didn't make any money from those FileMaker Go licenses, and I had no idea they were going to start giving the licenses away for free, so I'm trying to do whatever I can to do right by you all. Apparently FileMaker Inc. is giving away the new FileMaker Go licenses for free as incentive to buy the upgraded Filemaker Pro, so it's possible they'll start charging for these iPad and iPhone licenses again shortly, but I don't know for sure.
In any case, this is very exciting news regardless, because the more I use Indie Band Manager on my iPhone and iPad the less and less I use it on my laptop, and other Indie Band Manager customers have been saying the same thing. Saving a little money is always a good thing, so I'm excited that I can bring this new version to you so quickly. It should be ready later this week. Thanks again for all your encouragement and support, all the best. -Charlie