Immediate red flags for me are when devs explain their move in these ways:
- Implemented a custom proprietary sync mechanism
- Implemented encryption
- Costs are rising
- Push notifications (in most apps, unnecessary chrome)
- Theming, styling, icons &| dark mode (again, unnecessary chrome)
There are select apps in the subscription model to which I subscribe and why:
- Apollo (Reddit reader app): superior to the native app & other options; theming; and to support development
- CARROT Weather (Weather app) Tier 2: additional data sources; Apple Watch; map layers; and other stuff
- Fiery Feeds (RSS reader app): for “Smart Views” ; to support development; and I read a lot of feeds
- Overcast (Podcast app): to remove adds; to support development; and I listen to a lot of podcasts
Apollo violates two of my red flags, yet the developer is crazy responsive; his app is heads & shoulders better than the native Reddit app; and he regularly pushes out updates for security/bug fixes/functionality/chrome.
CARROT Weather also often pushes out updates for security/bug fixes/functionality/chrome, and is also better than the other options.
Overcast does, too, but more judiciously based less on chrome. I like PocketCasts, too, but less so.
Some apps that I avoid in the subscription model but use in their legacy or alternate license mode: