We Were Wrong
In “Going Pro” I outlined the reasons why Justin and I decided to keep investing in Launch Center and release Launch Center Pro as a completely new app. We spent many hours debating this prior to launch, but just a week later, we’re now willing to admit that we were wrong.
While working on Launch Center Pro, every time we discussed completely killing Launch Center, one of us would open the app and we’d both think: “this is still such a great app and elegantly handles the core of what makes Launch Center Pro great”.
We were hoping Launch Center would be a great, low cost introduction to the concept of iOS URL shortcuts, but usage data and even sales numbers have communicated the exact opposite. No one wants to use Launch Center. Though a great experience in and of itself, it’s just far inferior to Launch Center Pro.
So, we’ve decided to actually do what so many people assumed we had done — kill Launch Center. As of this afternoon, the app is no longer available for sale in the App Store. Though we’re sad to see it go, it’s for the best. We get to focus on improving Launch Center Pro, which is ultimately better for everyone.
The problem is, we just never intended for it to go this way, and had we made this decision months ago, we likely would have done things differently with the release of Launch Center Pro last week. We told users we were going to keep updating Launch Center, and now it’s gone from the App Store.
Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t give developers many options for righting wrongs made in the App Store. Users can request refunds, but Apple has complete control over that process, so there’s no way we could guarantee everyone who wanted one could get a refund. We also don’t have enough promo codes to offer promo codes to existing users, nor a way to verify who did or didn’t pay for Launch Center.
But there are two things we can do. First, we’re going to hold a 24 hour “upgrade sale”. Anyone who hasn’t already purchased the app can do so this Thursday, June 28th, from 9AM EDT until Friday at 9AM EDT for just $1.99 ($1 off for those who spent $1 on Launch Center). Second, we’re just going to put our heads down and get back to work on Launch Center Pro. Whatever you paid for the app(s), we hope you love Launch Center Pro and enjoy all the great things we’re working on. Justin and I spent 4 hours this afternoon planning 1.1 and are incredibly excited about the potential.
At the end of the day, Justin and I just want to build great apps. We want to be as fair to our users as possible while at the same time putting ourselves in a position where we can continue to invest in Launch Center Pro and other future apps. This whole process has taught us a lot about what to do and not to do when completely re-writing an app. Hopefully we’ll do a better job with it all next time.