Author Topic: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?  (Read 3747 times)

Offline menion

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Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« on: April 10, 2019, 08:18:06 »
Hi guys,
maybe two, maybe even more years before, we started to feel a small financial push.
New people in the team (five now), increased pricing of used services (like GraphHopper, where we are currently already beyond their max. paid tariff, AppEngine, hosting servers and mailing and other servers).
On the second side, quite similar or just slowly growing income from one-time payments and little grow from income in Locus Store (which is quite low in the end because of small provisions we have from sales). Very increasing support on help desk from more than 600k active users from all 10 years when Locus Map is on Google Play (close to need for a special person who will take care just support), etc.

So maybe a year ago we decided we have to change this. And solution we decided for is well described by Michal in his new blog post.
Maybe not all is clear from this blog post, also not all is set and we have many open questions. I do not want to come one day with "ready solution", so rather we published this information a few months before it begins, to have some time to discuss it with users.

I saw already created German topic here on forum regards this topic, but I think it will be fair to discuss it directly with me. So feel free to ask, suggest, discuss etc. I'm open to any changes if they will be doable and make sense, as usual.
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Offline poutnikl

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 09:06:13 »
I understand the decision, but I foresee a lot of discussion here with the user base.

Will be some advanced settings/features, available for free, but in LM Pro only, be part of the subscription ?

If yes, then many Pro users, who are not fans of subscription philosophy(for various reasons), will probably stay with the LM classic as long as possible.

Or, until the drawback of not developed application forces them to decide for the new Free or Subscribed LM (   or rather not OR...  :-). )

What about 2 level subscription, Pro and Pro Premium ? The former would be equivalent to LM Pro without premium features.

I can imagine the gap between the free and subscribed LM can be too big.

For some, the former may be too "crippled" and the latter with more features they need. Non premium lower subscription without finance hungry features would split the gap.


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« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:43:32 by poutnikl »
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Offline menion

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 09:35:59 »
Thanks for good questions.

We named Locus Map Pro as "Locus Classic" from one main reason that also solves many troubles we have. Many users complain about changes we from time to time in the application. Locus Classic should become rock stable in terms of stability and also in terms of UI changes. It remains actively updated to keep working on all coming android versions. Also, because source code will still be shared between all Locus apps, many "minor" updates will be also updated in this "Locus Classic" (like nice example: new map core we work on will be 100% also in Locus Classic, etc.).

At the start, we do not have extra features to offer in subscription (there is 75% chance that some basic sync will be ready, but not 100%), so I do not expect any massive movement from Locus Map Pro to this new model. There won't be a serious reason for this and I'm the last one who wants to push anyone.

The main advantage to start will be some trial time (probably 14 days) so users may try paid functions (which was not possible till now except Beta testing) without paying and also the fact, that if you use app mainly for season (like two months over summer), you just subscribe these two months and do not have to pay one bigger price.

Anyway, over time, some changes will be coming so it will be on everyone.

We also think about two levels of subscription as you mentioned. One as cheap as possible that will be equal to current Locus Map Pro and the second (probably somewhere around 3€/month) which will include some features we also have to pay for, like complete access to LoMaps, some private increased storage for backup of maps, hopefully some other paid content etc. But this is definitely not clear even to us and we first have to find logical content, otherwise this does not make sense.

Hope I've answered your questions.
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Offline michaelbechtold

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 10:29:40 »
For me the fundamental topic that all users hopefully agree on is: folks who work hard on an app like Locus, which is way beyond an after hours hobby, they need to have a living and not need to sing on Old Town Square - it's as simple as that.
I hope Asamm has or builds a master XLS-Sheet that allows to play with a number of options, assumptions, risks, what if, etc. etc. to make the right judgement call.
 
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Offline Andrew Heard

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 12:33:18 »
just some random comments...I paid $A10 for Locus Pro in late 2014, and very little for LoMaps ever since then. I give a little back with some testing but I've made some comments over the years that the Locus team deserve far more reward for their hard work. From discussion with another app developer it seems Google through their own pricing push developers towards subscription model rather than once-off up-front payment. A friend recently mentioned he uses free Maps.Me app - I note 50,000,000 users - why so popular? For me, far inferior to Locus, but clearly not for others. So in their model maybe the advertising pays for development. I don't see this working for Locus. Personally I prefer the one-off (larger) fee than subscription. EU3 x 12 per year sounds high to me. But remember before the Apple iPhone or decades ago, these equivalent programs running a PC would have cost $1000's! Just a ramble of thoughts sorry.
 
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Offline zossebart

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 14:40:13 »
As I already wrote as a comment to the blogpost: I would be happy to pay for an abo to support the great work of the Locus developers.
At the moment I pay for updated LoMaps from time to time to get new version of the POIs (to use with OAM-Maps). I always felt a bit guilty for not spending more to support the developers.

In the german thread some fear that Brouter offline routing will be only available builtin in the abo version of Locus 4.0. Are there any plans yet how Brouter will be supported? Only builtin or will it also be possible to call external Brouter app as it is implemented in current version?
 

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 14:49:40 »
Especially regarding custom BRouter scripts, not to be limited to the ones build in to LocusMap.

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Offline menion

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 15:06:31 »
Thanks guys for positive and constructive thinking.

I believe there is no need to worry about the usage of BRouter. Firstly, there is nothing in my head except "It is really needed to integrate offline navigation better into app". Currently, using BRouter or offline GraphHopper is really cumbersome and I really want to improve this.

But
a) I did not discuss this with Arndt or Peter Karich (GraphHopper), so nothing is decided or "allowed"
b) I can't imagine limiting using of BRouter or GraphHopper, so no need to worry about

And maps.me as Andrew wrote is an interesting app. Marketing for sure do a lot, I was never able to understand this no matter what I learned :). Also simplicity and target group? Locus is far more specialized and "tuned". And well, made by a lot smaller team :)
And btw. 3x12€ is far more then we plan. I believe we will be somewhere between 10€-15€ per year, definitely no more.
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Offline tapio

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 17:13:47 »
My thoughts currently are, you cannot keep Pro more or less fresh, but also maintain the subscription version at the same time. I'd rather do one version, maybe a special offer for pro users, and for those who want it rock solid, declare sporadically some versions as solid and allow for download in case of emergency.
Also add the beta branch via Google Play mechanism. For sure you will have changes in the database in mind. Just my lose thoughts.

Do major version steps and meaningful enhancements as not free updates. Subscription for ease of use  (maps download, elev., gns files etc) but allow for manual implant just as we do now.
Woooo,it's difficult I guess.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 17:28:10 by tapio »
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Offline menion

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 17:19:47 »
Why do you think it is not possible to have Locus Classic in permanent maintenance mode?

Offer something to current Pro users is quite a problem. We have no access to information who and when purchased Pro version. All these info are hidden somewhere deep in Google database without any external access. We can only manually check (in Google Play console web page) if the certain email address made a purchase. Which is useless for some automatic system.

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Offline tapio

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2019, 17:21:55 »
Because I think it will waste your time too much. 2 branches.
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Offline menion

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 18:00:02 »
Understand. I still think it is manageable. It is very similar to Free and Pro now ...

Anyway, what you suggest is something, we may do later if there will be a problem. These are also our back doors. In case of total fail, there will still be "Pro" version and it's users. So we just refund subscriptions, cut few services and web pages to limit outcome and let's move on ...

Or, in the second case, all will work fine, I can imagine we hire a guy that will communicate with users and one by one (or some web page with the semi-automatic system) and we help them transfer to the new version with some benefits, probably based on the age of their purchase. And "Classic" will be put to ice.

But I still believe that it will be possible, without extra hard work, to manage both versions at once.

Well, look at it also from our point of view. The easiest solution should be to stop Locus Map Pro as is and create new Product "Locus Map 4" based on subscription. This was used some time ago by Sygic (if I remember correctly) and at least two apps I had purchased. This is anyway not what I want even it is the easiest solution. You/users expect lifetime updates, but this may hardly work on a long term basis. On the Android it works for games (with very short life-cycle per user) and for old apps that were created in times when no option for subscription existed (like Locus Map). But most of the apps try to use it and there is a really good reason for this ... maintainability.

So my solution is to give a try and keep Locus Map Pro (Locus Classic) updated, so users get what they paid for > working Locus Map application with all features they paid for.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 19:58:39 by menion »
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Offline tapio

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2019, 19:03:14 »
Definitely a hard terrain and a niche market.

What I see as a chance for offering something unique is the wide area of statistics.

I'm thinking eg. GPS Trackanalyse. net, which is discontinued. And there's no seriously good "everybodies darling" solution for this.

And is Locus a standard for the Geocaching people? I think it is not.

Practical stuff. Math. Find areas with lots of slope. Etc etc, there is a lot of useful things that could be done for the sports ppl. Well you may know (Helpdesk Suggestions 😁).

Poi need love. Overlays need love. Ah, whom do I tell...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 19:07:33 by tapio »
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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2019, 15:33:26 »
In your goal to offer better user support as with download of brouter routing files, please also consider updating the geonames files. Currently I do it manually.
http://download.geonames.org/export/dump/
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 16:44:05 by tapio »
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Offline jerome

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Re: Locus Map vs Locus Classic ... what's next?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2019, 17:39:07 »
I purchased Locus Pro years ago and I was actually wondering that I'm still getting free updates. I wouldn't mind if every few years there is a new main version and that I have to pay again (or to pay an upgrade fee) if I want to use the new version.

I don't know yet, if I would get a subscription. It might be an alternative. But if I get one and that later for some reason I have to stop it, I would like to be able to continue to use the last version of locus map I got before stopping the subscription. I mean for the offline functions. If there are online services included in the subscription (like unlimited access to the current LoMaps), it would be completely ok, that I don't habe access to it anymore after stopping the suscription.