A little bit of sunshine has graced us this week, and after a few months of heavy bunkering in our winter den, we emerge energized and with news. Here are things we've released or have been working on over the last 120 days:

The all-new 3.0 mobile app for iOS and Android
It's fully redesigned, and really fast. We switched from React Native Navigation to React Navigation, and the app feels much more stable and smooth. We still believe React Native is the way to go, and we now share a single core JavaScript library that encapsulates all encryption and item management across our entire suite of applications, which is a dream for sustainable development.

The 3.0 desktop/web update
It features a much cleaner UI, especially with themes and editors. We've also made some optimizations that lead to a roughly 30% increase in initial startup performance. Simple, but smart optimizations, like prioritizing loading of preferences before notes so that the proper sort order is set before notes start populating, and loading most recently modified items first, before any older items. The result is simple but drastic.

Secure Spreadsheets Editor
Yes—spreadsheets inside the comfort and privacy of Standard Notes. And it's really wonderful, with formatting, merging, formulas, currencies, and more. Excellent for small financial worksheets, like cryptocurrency tracking.

FileSend, a simple and secure way to share encrypted files
Files are deleted immediately after the recipient downloads them, or after specified duration. Extended members get some extra power-features, like email confirmation when their file is downloaded. It's also completely open-source, so feel free to self-host to get your own personal file-sharing portal.

Gifts! 🎁
You can now gift a Standard Notes Extended subscription to someone else, whether it be a friend or someone in your company. You can also choose whether you'd like the subscription to auto-renew with your payment (defaults to no). If you know someone that can benefit from encrypted writing, a gifted subscription can be an excellent choice.

Extending subscription and changing plans
On that same note, we've made it easier for Extended members to extend their subscription with extra time. Previously you had to cancel and then renew, but now it's much simpler. This is possible because we've rewritten much of the subscription management to be under our manual control, rather than relying on out-of-the-box solutions from Stripe and PayPal, which provide convenience but low flexibility. If you want to extend your subscription with more time, or change your plan, click the title link above.

Economic Difficulty Discount
We're also happy to offer a new "economic difficulty" discount, if you so need one. While the need for privacy continues to grow, we're still largely a speciality product, and speciality products need to be selective with their pricing. Ultimately, however, we don't want price to be a factor in whether you use Standard Notes or not. If you truly cannot afford our prices, then get in touch, and let's explore other options. Please note that we will likely be very selective with this as we experiment more with the idea. Any discount we do provide is only subsidized by other paying users, so please be respectful of their time and contribution before you make a request.

Vindication
I realize that saying Mark Zuckerberg in a privacy-centric email like this is like saying Voldemort at Hogwarts, but one of the largest technology companies in the world announced a new desire to shift towards a more privacy-centric direction. Sham or not, it's some serious validation for privacy enthusiasts who have for decades argued that privacy is the only way forward. And for all of us that have been taking privacy seriously "long before it was cool", it feels good to be on the right side of history.

Why is X feature paid and not free?
We wrote a post with more thoughts about our revenue model, and alternatives we could have explored. Our life might have been simpler adopting the "Netflix" model of a completely paywalled service, but the "freemium" model has been our fate, and deciding the balance between paid and free is tremendously difficult. We write this post as a general answer to the not too unfamiliar question of "Why is this feature paid and not free?"

"Everyone asks what is SN but no one asks how is SN."
We're doing great, thanks for asking. Financially, we stand on stable ground. Generally, subscription revenue makes sustainability a much easier topic than if we featured a one-time payment model. We don't think we'll be going anywhere anytime soon, especially with the upward trend of privacy. We're grateful to everyone who believes in us enough to be a paid subscriber. It's really you offering this application to the world, and not us. We're excited to see what the next ten years bring, both in terms of challenging ourselves to keep the application as simple as possible, and yet continuing to innovate in the space of extensibility and data care.

Help support our continued development →
It's not everyday we get a chance to communicate directly with so many of you at once. So, if you cared enough about our updates to read this far, thank you. And quite literally, none of this would be possible without your support. While advertisers might have tried to convince us all otherwise, nothing on the internet is truly free. We realize that saying this is mighty convenient for our own cause, but we do truly believe: pay for software you love. That's the only way it sticks around. If you haven't yet gotten the chance to give Extended a try, feel free to give it a go. We have a special 5-year plan that comes out to $30/year as a sort of fundraising model (#NoIPO). Of course, we only want your money if you're really going to get the most of all the additional productivity tools Extended offers, so we offer full refunds within 30 days.

This post was sent as an email newsletter to Standard Notes users on March 13, 2019.