Last week Final Draft finally released its iPad-only Final Draft Writer, and announced that its regular price would be $49.99.
That $50 price tag for an app is pretty awesome. NotÂ nearlyÂ as awesome as it would’ve been if Final Draft had the balls to ask aÂ thousand dollars for it, but…pretty awesome all the same.
Final Draft Writer for iPad does a lot less than the $249.99 (regular price) desktop version of Final Draft1.Â Of course even at fifty bucks that limited functionality makes sense from Final Draft Inc.’s perspective as a company that wants to stay in business: they’re not going to cannibalize their more expensive core product for an iPad-only app. But it does make me wonder who’s going to buy it.
Are there any professional writers out there who need a limited subset of pro features whoÂ don’t have proper screenwriting software already installed on a laptop? Would any real writer actually choose to do critical on-set rewrites on an iPad instead of a laptop?Â Would anyone who realizes that a real film set is not a StarbucksÂ let them? Will any of this Real Screenwriting be done in a bikini at the beach?2Â And if the answer to all of those is no, don’t be ridiculous, but the iPad is still a great alternative to be able to use for some quick writing or revising on the go â€” well, what do you need a $50 app for? Why not just do that using any number of free-to-$5 apps, screenwriting-specific or not? Then take it home and drop it, seamlessly, into software that can handle it?
Don’t get me wrong: I believe Final Draft is going to sell a whole bunch of copies of Final Draft Writer. I’d just be surprised if, at some point, a few of those people don’t eventually ask themselves exactly what they paid for.
Or maybe not.
See, one of the really weird things about the introduction a while back of Final DraftÂ Reader â€” which horrified FD users everywhere who had been impatiently waiting for the long-promised mobile Final Draft app and instead got a mostly unnecessary non-writing viewer (with a twenty-dollar price tag!) â€” was that despite all the freely expressed feelings of anger and betrayal, I saw multiple comments to the effect of, well, this sucks, but hey, it’s best to buy it anyway to show support for Final Draft and hope they eventuallyÂ do release a writer app. One guy wrote:
When I saw the app…and read the word Reader next to it, I wanted to face-palm. When I saw the nineteen dollar and ninety-nine cent price tag next to it, I wanted to cry…So what did I do? I purchased the app.
Sure.Â I mean, if only there was some other option.
Anyway, to be polite: Final Draft, other than your $50 app price tag and your questionable advertising, welcome to the future.
The rest of us have been enjoying it for quite a while.
- And therefore, by definition, it does a lot less than Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software at $49.95. The mobile version of which is only $4.95, and is available for the iPad and the iPhone andÂ Android. Just as a point of comparison. ↩
- The dated, genericallyÂ sexist adÂ they Photoshopped together to launch Final Draft Writer simply defies explanation in 2012. ↩