TapTapSee becomes a paid service

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

TapTapSee, an app which has been free since its release over a year ago, has now begun to role out a paid service. According to it’s Twitter feed and website, Users can choose from either a monthly subscription of $9.99 with no limit to the amount of images one can submit,, or they can pay $7.99 for 100 pictures. The 100 picture count does not have a time limit. Some users are still reporting that they can use the service for free, but others are being prompted to pay up once they attempt to submit an image. I do think the monthly rate is a bit high, but find charging by the amount of images to be reasonable. While many people may complain that this service is no longer free, this is something I find worth supporting. Instead of going away entirely, at least now I can still use the service. And, it’s one I find worth supporting. Not only because of the use I get from it now, but also for all of the free images it has recognized for me in the past. In my view, this move was a good one for both the company, and overall for the blindness community. When the choice is to either shut the service down, or to start charging for the work that is done, I certainly prefer the latter option. So what are your thoughts? Do you find TapTapSee worth supporting like I do? Or do you feel this is not an app worth supporting now that it will cost money?

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30 Comments

unlimited images?

Wait wait wait ...

You pay for 100 pictures but have unlimited images? ...how does that work? :S

TapTapSee Cost Confusion

App Developer

I'd like to clear up the cost confusion in the original blog post. We offer two options. Option 1) 100 Picture Pack for $7.99 with no time limit. Option 2) 1 Month of Unlimited Pictures for $9.99. The purchase is done through your Apple iTunes account. If you choose, for example, the 1 month unlimited pack, then you will be prompted with a message to renew after that time period runs out.

Due to the high costs of image recognition, we were forced to change TapTapSee into a subscription based service. We tried to keep TapTapSee for free as long as we could, and we were able to do it for over a year, but unfortunately we're facing a situation where we either need to transition to a paid subscription, or shut the app down completely.

I for one agree that I'd

I for one agree that I'd rather pay for it instead of seeing it go away. I don't see how you could not want to pay for this app. This app has litterly saved me so many times it's not funny.

TapTapSee and the subscription service

Hello,
I could see why one would think the subscription costs are a bit high, but for those of us who depend on it now and use it daily, the cost for the app subscription is not bad at all, plus, lets all consider the amount of images and what its done to us in the past when it used to be free. If you put all of that under consideration, the price judgement will differ, in my opinion. I personally got the unlimited monthly pictures subscription.

My appologies

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello.
I'd like to apologize for misquoting the plans. I was typing on a braille display, and think I hit a cursor routing button which, well, inserted that part of the text in to the wrong place. Again, sorry about that!

Scott - Is It Possible To Correct It?

App Developer

Scott,
Is it possible to correct it? I know that your website has a very committed community, and I would not want them to get misinformed. I'm asking as precaution in case someone does not read all of the responses in the thread. Please let me know. Thank you.

tap-tap-see becoming subscription based

While I understand why this needs to be done and fully support the developers, I'm not sure that I, personally, would pay to use this app. For free, the descriptions I've gotten so far have been adequate, but if I were paying money, I'd be very disappointed in some of the sfedback I've gotten from the app. Granted, some of the problem could be my camera using skills; I'm still a relatively new IOS user, but the thought of paying $7.99 for 100 images and maybe half of them being helpful doesn't appeal to me. The $10 a month for unlimited images is a bit steep in my opinion, but if I could afford it, I would at least consider it. Unfortunately, that's just one bill I can't justify unless there is drastic improvement in the descriptions the app provides. As I said, I understand why this has to happen, and I fully support the developers, but as things stand, this is pretty much a deal breaker for me. I know I have at least one friend who feels more or less exactly the same way about this as I do. I hope this makes some sense, and I will continue to monitor this app to see how things progress.

Subscription

While I support this ap, I think the price is high for one month. I think a 2 or 3 month subscription would be a good idea for that price.

App going paid

I was always surprised that the app was free and would be happy to pay for it, however my usage would probably not suit the 2 options given. For example it often takes me 2 or 3 attempts to get the app to read the right info i.e. taking at least 3 pictures each time, not a result of poor photography either as each time I try I do not move at all........ so the 100 pics option wouldn’t be ideal but also I would probably not use it so regularly within a month to warrant a 1 month option and could then find hitting a pay wall on the off time I go to urgently need it the following month.

Is there a possibility of adding a 3rd option, a lifetime subscription at say $15 - $20? I’d prefer this to support the developer and be safe in knowing the app was always ready to use quickly?

Cheers

Pete

I totally understand this decision

Hi! I totally understand the decision of the TapTapsee developers to make this app subscription-based to cover their costs. I particularly commend the developers for giving us two options, the monthly subscription and the 100-picture subscription with no time limit: as I am currently a not-so-frequent user of TapTapSee, I would probably go for the 100-picture subscription if I want to use the app, but if I use it a lot more in the future a monthly subscription wouldn't be a problem for me either. I rather like the idea suggested in a previous post of having a lifetime subscription at a higher price, and I venture to suggest a yearly subscription as another possibility, but in the end it's up to the developers to decide how they charge us to cover the costs of their app, and I don't consider this a problem at all. I can also understand the reservations of people who have very little money, but I can usually afford the equivalent in euros of $7.99 or $9.99, so paying for TapTapSee won't be a problem for me when I need to use it.

Why we probably won't see a lifetime subscription

I could be wrong about this, of course, but considering the costs to run the service are high, and are on an ongoing basis we probably won't see a lifetime subscription. People would just buy that, and there would be money for a while, but eventually it would run out, and there wouldn't be any way to get it back as those people had gotten a lifetime subscription. That said I do like the idea of a longer period, $20 for a year, maybe even half a year is probably a good idea.

Good point, if we want it to

Good point, if we want it to continue to exist and update/improve the dev needs to keep the lights on so lifetime subscription prob not best thought but really like the idea of yearly subscription. I'm totally happy to pay for the app but would very much prefer a longer option like 6 months or a year even if price was higher as it would be more convenient.

paying for taptapsee

I feel that I have received better image recognition using taptapsee than all of the other money, color, and object ID apps I have tried. I commend the developers for offering their users a subscription-based service, as this app is too valuable to lose. The prices seem reasonable to me. I do like the suggestions from other users of a 6-month or annual subscription option, in addition to the existing options. Perhaps the developers could consider a 3-month subscription as well.

paying for tap-tap-see

I understand why the life-time subscription won't help the developer much, but that's an option I might consider. I'd also be willing to save up to get an annual subscription if it could be $15 a year or something like that. I think it would be great if they could pay their expenses and do the annual subscription for $10 a year; it's that monthly fee that just seems way, way too high, at least for my budget given the apps performance so far. I'd try for the $8 version, but as I said in my previous post, I'd feel pretty ripped off if less than half the descriptions I got back proved to be useful. So bottom line: I'm hoping they add a few more options for us to choose from; it's not that I outright refuse to give them money, but the options available now just don't suit my budget at all.

A Few Thoughts

While in the end it is probably going to come down to personal preference and there is nothing else to be done about the issue, I would like to enter a few thoughts into the discussion for consideration's sake.

if I pay $0.07 to submit an image and the result is not exactly what I was looking for, is the submission of that image still worth $0.07?

if I pay for an image's submission and I get a lot more information than I bargained for, is that submission still worth $0.07?

If I pay $7.00 a month for 100 images, and need to use 18 of those in one day on a total of 6 different items that are all part of the same product group with different bits of varrying information to obtain all said information, is it my fault? And am I still getting the full experience of the $7 I paid for?

If I pay $10.00 a month and I happen to get lucky and don't need to submit any images on a particular month, is it my fault? And am I still getting the full experience of the $10 I paid for?

And more over, how do you test a 2 year old on a subject that knows nothing about that subject? many people who are blind are only getting started with the concept of touchscreen devices equipped with cameras they will more than likely not use for their intended purposes on a regular basis. Is it then that blind person's fault for not acquiring the skill to take a perfect picture every time? Does it become necessary for a blind person to practice frequently just to get the best results out of this service?

I am aware of the need to pay the developer and any staff required for the service to run successfully and continually, but I am also a user who, refuses to be blamed if the information I gather from a service is not complete or completely accurate as the result of an honest mistake owing to a disability I could not help. I cannot know what kind of information the person on the other end of the service is going to be presented with, or what kind of information I can expect to receive from that person. if the information is not enough, I attempt to resubmit and hope for a better result. Perhaps I get it; perhaps I don't, but the likelyhood increases if conditions I have no awareness of or real control over are closer to perfect?

My lighting needs to be right, my camera angle if that's even a thing needs to be right, my distance needs to be right, and there are probably other things I don't know about which go into a picture that all need to be as close to right as can be. If I had no lighting because I generally don't turn on the lights and forgot to when I submited an image, well that's just too bad? if it's night time and I don't want to risk turning on the lights for fear of waking someone else up but I need to use the service, well, that's just too bad?

I understand that there will probably be no easy solution in the end, but this certainly feels like punishment more than anything else, and while I generally don't tend to take this approach and believe that every blind person has a duty to be integrated into the majorly sighted world we live in, it is also my belief that in order to do that we all, every single one of us, need the ability and the tools to pull it off, and I don't see those who live on a fixed income as being able to justify either option easily.

TapTapSee going paid

I fully intend to support the developers of this app, probably by purchasing the subscription for 100 uses. I do wish we had the choice of going for a longer time frame... say 6 months for $20 or something similar. It's hard to justify paying $10 monthly when I don't necessarily know how often I'll use the app in the next month.

Very well said, Nocturnus

Thank you! very much for your comment. You articulated my concerns far better than I ever could. I'm not looking for hand-outs by any means, but in this instance... Like you said, neither option is ideal for someone on a very fixed income.

This comment has been deleted.

agreed, we all need to ensure

agreed, we all need to ensure this awesome app receives the funding it rightly deserves, I think most people will be happy paying towards this app as it is so useful but just a third option for those who might use it less regularly but want the convenience of knowing they are not limited by shot or month.

so keeping the 2 current options and adding a 3rd for say 6 months/a year but at a higher price for it. people then have a additional choice and either way the developer gets paid for what they rightly deserve for such a great app.

everyone wins :)

The cost to run the service

People want a cheaper service, but to get decent results, it’s really not possible. Take the following 2 things in to consideration.
First, apple is taking 30%
TapTapSee gets $5.6 for 100 images.
Because they have to use real humans to recognize photos, unfortunately those mean humans *gasp* want to be played? The nerve of some people. :)
If you look at crowd sourcing services like amazons mechanical Turk, you will see that to get any sort of image recognition it costs between .04 and .10 an image. Of course, the more you pay, the better the results you get. So, if they pay .04 an image, that means they are profiting off the fixed income complainers to the tune of a whole penny.
With the $10 a month for unlimited pictures, they start to lose money after roughly 150 recognitions. I've heard people bragging that they use it more than 500 times a month. If that's true, that's a huge drain on the resources. Of course, if you pay for unlimited and use it 10 times, they benefit.
Hopefully people will consider the fact the profits made here are in pennies, not dollars before making judgments and insults.

Taptapsee becoming a payed app.

Sense I live alone, and do not have sighted help very often, Taptapsee is invaluable for me. It would be much, harder without Taptapsee. Thank you for your hard work developing and making Taptapsee. I really think it's more than worth it to pay the price, even if it's a sacrifice for me. I'm glad for the privilege to have this accessibility. I definitely will support this. app.. Remember the days when none of this was even possible, when we could't even use an iPod or touch screen of any kind. We are truly blessed to have so much.

More Than happy to Pay

Tap Tap See is an invaluable service. I've had better recognition from this app, than from any other I've tried, and frankly, I'm surprised that the app has been free for this long. The price seems a bit high, but so is Tap Tap See's image recognition quality, and in 2013, prices are high for everything. So like all consumer products, it comes down to the value of this item for each individual in relation to other costs. I applaud the developers for their hard work, and continuing efforts to improve the app. I am more than happy to subscribe!

my thoughts on this product

Okay folks, I have viewed the thread on this matter, and have the following to add to it.
Yes, I fully understand the persons who have conserns about having a fixed income. I too, like a lot of blind people have a fixed income. I am also working a small contract job at my college's disability services office, testing products for accessibility and training students on the assistive technoloogy we have for the students. Before I give my thoughts on this ap in particular I would like to discuss another ap that also offers a subscription service. That ap is, the seeing eye GPS ap. The seeing eye ap is an excellent ap, and though I have not tested it, because of the price, from what I have gathered on it, it really seems to work. So, let's do some simple math on the price. The yearly subscription for this ap is 69 dollars estimate, and if you divide that by 12, you come up with 6 dollars a month, or 5.75 to be exact.
Now as far as tap tapsi goes, I think you should be allowed a base number of immages, or a period of time to try the service out, as it will take time for persons who have not used a camera before to get used to it. I am not saying not to pay, I'm nearly suggesting a trial period. Much like the seeing eye ap, there is no trial period, and I think that needs to be addressed.
Thanks for reading this, and feel free to comment, criticize, or have wonderful smart remarks, if that fancies you! lol!
Darrell

TapTapSee has a Trial Period

App Developer

Hello Darrell,

TapTapSee offers a 20 image trial period before the user needs to purchase a subscription to the service. Also, we offer a secondary option, it's a 100 Picture Pack for $7.99 with no time limit.

Best Wishes,
TapTapSee

Tap Tap See

I agree. This is an excellent app that I have used extensively. I have no problem paying for it if that means that the app will continue to be supported. I find the monthly subscription to be alittle high, but the 100 picture option is reasonable. I like the idea of having a lifetime subscription available if possible. In any event I will continue to use this app.

Subscription

I am on a fixed income, and while there have been times TapTapSEE has worked well, the number of times it has made a mistake and caused me to have to retake the picture exceeds the number of times it has worked correctly. I cannot justify paying a subscription for TapTapSEE until it becomes more accurate. I have a lot of experience with cameras, and I have become really good at taking pictures over the years. An example of an issue of TapTapSee is that I just attempted to take a picture of my stereo system, and no it said brown drawer which is what the stereo unit is sitting on.

hang on...

Just one point: there is another app which I believe is developed by the same group, "Camfind", which, correct me if I'm wrong, uses the same method of identifying images, but then integrates the results with internet searches and the like. This app is aimed at the more mainstream market, but I have achieved good recognition results using this also, yet this is not a paid service. I'm just wondering why, since from what I can gather, "CamFind" was their main venture, and "tap-tap-see" was an app which was developed on the way to creating "CamFind"?
Just thought I'd add this to the discussion.
Chris

I would be happy to pay for it…

I think that the use of this app is invaluable to the lives of people with visual impairments. I would much rather pay for the app then see it shut down… And while it is easy for many of us to suggest alternative payment options… We also have to consider what kind of compensation The company requires in order to keep the app running. Think about it… It has been stated that image recognition technology is expensive… But there are also live people on the other end who helped to recognize the images as well and these people need to be paid. It's easy for us to suggest a one time subscription for life… But let's face it we are a small niche market, and with the expense of this technology… As well as fairly compensating the people who both help to engineer the app and recognize the images… A reliable and continuous subscription service probably makes more sense financially as opposed to a life subscription… Because with a one time subscription you may have an influx of purchases that may stabilize you financially for a period Of time… But then there's also the possibility of a lot of downtime and what does the company do in those periods… I completely understand why they chose the subscription service… And I don't think the price is unfair… And more over the image recognition technology will continue to improve… Especially now that they are charging for the app they will be able to financially support expansion of their business as well as improvements to their apps.

Nocturnus

With all due respect… Yes it is completely your fault if you forget to turn the lights on. That's just common sense for needing to get a good image regardless of how much vision you have. I understand your perspective… But in the end this is a service that the company is providing that requires financial compensation so they can continue to offer us the service. I'm sure they would love to account for all possible financial situations… But in the end they are the ones who offer the service and they need to decide what is going to best cover their own financial situation without completely ripping the users off. In the end… Yes it is the duty of every visually impaired person to integrate into our cited communities… but part of doing that is taking advantage of goods and services that require fair compensation.

I paid

Taptapsee has been my primary color id for the past year. From matching dresses and shoes to skirts and jackets, it has always been 90 percent accurate. The price is cheap and I honestly am not surprised it is not more. You guys have done an awesome job.