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FileMaker released a meaty update to the iPad version of Bento on June 19, pushing it from version 1.15 to 4.0. But with this comes a move previously seen with Tweetie 2 before it became the official Twitter app: the original Bento was pulled from the App Store after a few hours of overlap, and replaced with a discounted Bento 4 until the end of July.
While paying $4.99 for a $9.99 app is a good deal, it doesn't help those who paid $9.99 for the older version of Bento on June 18, June 16 or any time within the past month or so. Not only is the software instantly out of date, but with the original Bento pulled from the App Store, there will be no further support for it.
This is something Instapaper's Marco Arment points out in a response to a Macdrifter article on it.
"The other problem with this approach is that it makes it impossible to issue bugfixes or other minor updates to the previous version without making it available for sale publicly, which would lead to some new customers inadvertently purchasing the old version and being quite unhappy about it," Arment said.
Indeed, the first review under the new Bento 4 for iPad is by someone who inadvertently purchased the older Bento during the brief period of time both apps were on the App Store at the same time.
Arment and others point out that it highlights one of the biggest flaws still in the App Store: the inability to offer free upgrades to those who buy the previous version of an app within a certain amount of time after its initial purchase. When I bought my MacBook Pro on Tuesday, the Apple Store specialist told me that I would get an email with a code that will enable me to upgrade to Mountain Lion for free when it comes out next month. If Apple can find a way to do that for its major OS upgrades, surely it can figure out a way to do it in the App
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