Why no automatic upgrades from DS2 to DS3?

Posted by on July 20, 2010 in Announcement, Distant Suns App, Essay, iPhone/iPad | 0 comments

I get this question a lot. And yes, it is legitimate to ask. The reason why I don’t upgrade Distant Suns 2 users to version 3 is simple: There is no way to do that on the Appstore between two different apps. “Ok, hotshot, why have two versions of the same thing? Couldn’t you have just made Distant Suns 2 the universal app and not have another version for sale?”

Yes, and no. Yes, as that is what I would like to have done…No…is that Distant Suns 3 was originally the iPad only version. I had a narrow window to get an iPadable version of the app out when the device went on sale, and Apple didn’t communicate well enough with the developers to let us know just how iPad apps would be handled. If the iPad version was swapped out for the iPhone version and then the release was botched by Apple, it could cause trouble and potentially kill the app for several days (which happened once last summer). That was too much of a risk.

Now days, Distant Suns 3 will always be targeted to the beefier equipment, iPhone 3GS and up (although it works ok for now on 2G machines). DS2 will continue to be a lightweight version for older gear. Furthermore AT&T restricts over-the-air downloads to 20 megs or less, so I wanted to have one version that could be downloaded in the field for the instant gratification angle.

Sorry for any confusion. If Apple permits migration of users from one app to another without requiring purchase, then the story changes considerably.