Ever since the release of the new Fancy Widgets application, we have received numerous requests from our Amazon customers asking for an upgrade/unlock method. Today, we are happy to announce that everyone who bought Fancy Widget Pro from the Amazon Appstore is now able to unlock the full version of Fancy Widgets using a new unlock option. You can get the full version for free even if you got the pro version during the Free App of the Day (FAD) promotion. In order to get the free upgrade, please download the latest version of Fancy Widgets (v3.3.1) from the Android Market, go to Settings > Get full version > Unlock with Amazon order, and follow the instructions on the screen. If you cannot find your order receipt email, you may login to your Amazon account and retrieve previous order information at http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/your-account/myapps/
We would also like to take this opportunity to make a few clarifications regarding some recent negative comments on our website and on the Android Market. We try to address some of those comments below.
During the Free App of the Day promotion, Amazon paid for the downloads, but why do you refuse to support your Amazon customers?
We've seen quite a few complaints and criticism regarding our "sly business practice" of not supporting Amazon customers, especially those who got our paid app for free during the FAD promotion. First of all, we did NOT refuse to support any customers. Actually, we've been trying our best to work out a solution for our Amazon customers (more on that later). Another thing we want to point out is, different from what you might have read, Amazon does not pay us 20% of the list price during the FAD promotion. Instead, we had to accept 0% rev share to participate in the FAD promotion. Some previous commenters wouldn't believe us, but this is exactly how it works, as is also described in this article. The promotion did virtually nothing to help boost sales in the days afterwards, but that's another story.
Some comments accused us of re-publishing the application under a new name to recover the loss from the FAD promotion. This is definitely not true. We had to publish the application under a different account, which we will explain later. In fact, we started to work on the new version back in February, and we didn't sign up the FAD promotion with Amazon until late March. It also proves otherwise that we are now offering free upgrade to all of our Amazon customers.
Recently, we heard of a few developers pulling their apps (e.g., Apparatus and Pocket Casts) from the Amazon Appstore after participating in the FAD promotion. But to the best of our knowledge, none of them made any commitment to support all their Amazon customers. Typically, they only offer refunds or free upgrades to those who actually paid for their apps. We've experienced similar issues and frustration with the Amazon Appstore, but we greatly value our customers, so we decided to offer free upgrade to all our Amazon customers, including those who got our app for free.
Fancy Widget Pro users from the Android Market get free upgrades from the beginning. Why does it take so long to support Amazon customers? Are you ignoring part of your user base?
Google gives developers access to detailed information for each market order, so we were able to implement an unlock option to automatically verify past purchases. However, Amazon does not provides developers any information on individual orders. We only have access to aggregate data (e.g., how many orders/sales on each day) in the developer portal. During the FAD promotion, well over 100,000 users downloaded the pro version. There is no way that we could manually verify the orders and send free upgrade for each request. We were aware of this issue and contacted Amazon a few times before the release of the new version. We asked them to provide us necessary order information so we could implement an automated unlock method as we did for market orders. We did not ask for any private/sensitive customer information (e.g., email, address, credit card), but Amazon still refused to provide anything. We tried to contact Amazon again after the release of Fancy Widgets, but did not hear back until a few weeks later. Thanks to our users feedback, Amazon finally contacted us and agreed to work with us to provide a solution. With their help, we are now offering this new unlock option for Amazon users. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and we are happy to provide support for all our customers.
Why do you release a new application instead of just an update? Are you trying to double dip by relaunching the application?
For management and other reasons beyond our control, we can no longer sell applications under the previous developer account. You may have noticed that the old version and the new version are listed under two different developer accounts. We understand that this would cause inconvenience to our customers. In fact, it is also a painful process for us that we had to go through. The old pro version enjoyed a pretty high ranking in the Android Market, so it's a great loss for us to pull it from the market. The double dipping comment obviously does not stand as we've been offering a free unlock option to users who previously purchased the pro version from the Android Market, and we are now extending this offer to our Amazon customers.
For now, you will need to download and install the latest version of Fancy Widgets from the Android Market. The new version is not available in the Amazon Appstore. If you enjoy the free upgrade, please feel free to rate our app on the Android Market and spread the word.