BusyCal 3.12.2 and BusyContacts 1.5.1

Originally published at: BusyCal 3.12.2 and BusyContacts 1.5.1 - TidBITS

Adds support for M1-based Macs and Office 365 Hybrid Authentication. ($49.99 new for each, free updates, 23.1/12.7 MB, macOS 10.12+)

As more and more developers turn to subscriptions, I remove more and more apps down to the minimum ones needed, unlike a number of years ago.

A small, but (since my 18 months’ free updates just expired) in my case significant correction: according to the BusyContacts Release Notes, Apple silicon support was added in v. 1.5.0.

I just upgraded both apps for the total price of $60.00 and they will be good for another 18 months. It’s sort of expensive but gone are the days when you would pay for an app upfront and just keep using it. You cannot even read newspaper and magazine articles on the Internet for free any more unless you pay either monthly or yearly. Everybody wants/needs money. I don’t like it but hey, that’s the way it goes.

I think we tease out that distinction within the tight confines of the Watchlist format. It’s always tough when apps updated multiple times before we publish in an issue.

It must be, and it sometimes seems that these particular applications are updated almost every day.

A few years ago, I thought that subscriptions were the spawn of the devil.

I’ve changed my mind.

Developers, both big and small, need income on a steady basis in order to do basic things like pay the rent on the office or apartment or the mortgage, pay themselves a living wage, etc. Subscriptions gives them a reasonably steady stream to do that. The benefit to a subscription is that your cost to get on board is usually reasonable, in some cases you can keep the subscription for just the time that you need the software and, sometimes, it actually might be cheaper over the long run (though that isn’t usually the case, unfortunately).

For those apps which I use that aren’t subscription-based, I’ll often reach out to a developer if it’s been a while since I last paid them something (like 18 months-2 years) to see if they have a major new release upcoming. If they don’t have anything due soon, I’ll figure out a way to send them something, even if I don’t get anything in return other than they stay in business, able to continue developing their products.

So, are you opposed to all subscriptions? After all so much of our freedoms and knowledge are built on things that require or strongly encourage subscriptions, like newspapers (NY Times, Washington Post, your local or regional paper), magazines (MacUser, Macworld, Macazine) and websites (e.g. TidBITS).



In general, yes, I am opposed to subscriptions. I bought one app subscription from the App Store that ended up not working on my Mac but Apple refused to refund the subscription and the developer said he couldn’t do anything about it. Doesn’t give you a lot of confidence there for anything costly, if problems occur.

Not all subscriptions are through the App Store. A couple of years ago, my credit card was replaced because of a fraudster. What a mess to contact all the places that had subscriptions tied to the old card. Given the situation, SetApp might be a good way to go but they only have a few apps I use, but I wish them well.

I keep one Mac at High Sierra so I can continue to use Adobe CS6, having refused Adobe’s subscriptions. I’ve stopped upgrading Quark Xpress at 2019 as they have gone wacko again with their latest revolving door management. (However, Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher are great deals that can be purchased for around $120 when on special - no subscription - and although not yet as powerful as Quark or InDesign or the Adobe suite, they are already starting to challenge in certain segments.)

Not all subscriptions are reasonable — I’ve noticed several that charge $40 - $80 per year for basically a one-trick pony minor utility — don’t recall which right now. Most newspapers are jammed with ads plus subscription price. We’re being nickeled and dimed to distraction, especially with Covid, so I’m going as minimal as possible —and it does make life much simpler in a number of ways, despite some necessary workarounds. And I would guess that a lot of one person shops or prosumers are doing the same as me. /Rant finished.

What I’ve discovered with subscriptions is how good the Apple apps are. For example, I’ve used BusyCal for about 5 years but thought I’d try the Apple Calendar before upgrading.
I’ve found, other than integrating reminders, the native app gives me everything I need.
Discovered the same thing with the Reminders app.
I’m not trying to avoid paying a subscription, but it does make me really consider if I really need that app or are there cheaper alternatives that meet my requirements just as well.

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