Increase the starter binary size to more than 32K
I think removing the limit for simulator and device builds would be great. This would allow the product to be tested for a full application, then the limit could be put back in place for builds that will be distributed on an app store. 32K is still very tiny, maybe something like 128K would be better.
Piers Lawson commented
32K is far too restrictive even for the casual user. I have been using the trial business edition to get an idea of what is possible, and am impressed, but for a hobby / evening thing the cost is way too high. However, the free version would not allow me to create even the most basic app, all I need to do is reference MVVMCross and I've blown it!
Have you not considered alternative restrictions? Maybe you could restrict or remove the ability to debug? Or inject a splash screen stating powered by Xamarin? Perhaps look at an advertising revenue share model?
Surely you want to get a wide base of people using your tool for realistic apps and rely on a percentage pull through to the paid for tool as they get more serious about their hobby or take the technology back into their workplace.
Another idea, maybe a developer could have few restrictions whilst developing or when running against an emulator (or tied device) but have to use a build service you provide to create binaries that can be submitted to a store... and you charge for that build service.
Marco Ridoni commented
The 32K limit makes really no sense: I'm working on app with five buttons, two tables and some basic glue logic and I already hit the limit. I know there is a 30-day trial, but given that you can't do anything remotely useful with the Starter Edition, this is just a "different kind of trial" and event the most clueless hobbyist would soon hit the ceiling. I appreciate the reshuffling of the offer (the fact that I couldn't test on a device with the previous trial edition was always a showstopper for me: sorry but before shelling out real money I want to feel how an app works on real hardware) but IMHO either the time-limit on the Trial version should be removed or the limit in the Starter Edition should be raised to something more useful. Or you could have a Personal Edition (let's say: 128K, sub-$100 range, no e-mail support)
Timothy Risi commented
I really like this idea. 32K is really small. I have a board game app I originally wrote in obj-c and rewrote in MT that's at 49K, has no third party app and hasn't had the multiplayer implemented yet in MT. As for the trial, I got into the X2 beta, and started the trial when I got in to try it out, but wasn't working on any apps at the time, so I didn't use it all that much other than checking out what was there/how the component store worked, etc. Because of that, by the time 2.0 came out and I DID start working on a new app, my trial was already mostly over (and ended today), so I'm back to not being able to do anything because I don't have a license yet (was planning to buy one when I knew I was going to be able to get the app I'm working on running and do everything I wanted). At least with MonoDevelop before 2.0 I could work on apps with the simulator when I couldn't afford a license...
Manuel W. commented
The one thing that bugs me is that it an empty project already compiles into ~10K. Even the examples do not run, because they are too "big". A little less restraining would be really nice.
AdminJoseph Hill (Admin, Xamarin) commented
We have a fully functional 30-day trial that provides this today. If you hit the limit, you can start the trial immediately, and be able to deploy, test, and debug your app in simulator and on device. More details here:
We definitely need to make that more discoverable, though.