There’s an old saying on the internet that when you pay for something, it’s a product, and when you don’t, you’re the product.
Metservice demonstrated this last week with the launch of its new weather app.
I liked the old app. As a pilot, I’m very interested in weather, so used it most days. The information was well presented and the app featured nice pictures of towns and cities that changed based on the forecast. It cost $2.99 (I think) but that felt like a good deal.
The new app – which automatically replaced the old one when you upgraded – is pretty nice too. It’s got cute illustrations instead of photos, and with a bit of sniffing around you can work out where everything is.
But here’s the issue. The new app is “free.” And that comes with a price: ads. Open the app, and instead of the weather you get a full screen ad. Get to the weather part of the app, and there’s another ad as you scroll down the screen.
Now I’m all for ads. Hell, I own an ad agency! But as many people are pointing out online, I paid Metservice (which, like all New Zealanders, I own) for an ad-free app. Now my ad-free app has been replaced with an advertising channel featuring the occasional weather forecast.
Metservice, I love what you do. I rely on your forecasts. But I want my $2.99 back. You know where to find me.
App of the week: He aha tēnei
Sunday Social guest Anna Connell brought this along, and I love it. He aha tēnei means “what is this” in te reo. This app is designed to teach young kids the building blocks of the language, through a simple fun game. It shows pictures of familiar objects like aporo, waka and whare and asks the player to drag the syllables that make up the word onto the complete word. As each syllable drops into place, you hear the developer’s kids say it out loud. Cute, fun and not just for kids!