After much deliberation, Larry and I have decided to discontinue sales of Spanning Sync. We'll continue to operate the service for existing customers through June 2013, but we won't be selling new subscriptions or renewals.
It's been an incredible 5 years—5 years!—since we released Spanning Sync v1.0. So much has happened.
We've learned a lot about technology and business. We've proven to ourselves that you can make a good living as an indie Mac software developer. And we've had a lot of fun. But the most rewarding part of the journey has been getting to know some of our customers.
Over the years, more than 50,000 people in over 50 countries subscribed to Spanning Sync. Many of those people became well-known to us through emails, forum posts, Twitter, and in person. I can hardly attend a technology conference or meetup without running into someone who's used Spanning Sync. And it's to those people—our customers—that I want to say thank you. You've made this the most rewarding experience of my professional life.
But, as they say, all good things must end, and so it is with Spanning Sync. We've faced what we thought was certain death several times before, notably when Google built CalDAV support into Google Calendar, then later when Apple built contact sync into Address Book. But though these developments hampered our growth, neither of them killed us. What finally did it was Apple's move to the cloud.
In June of last year, Steve Jobs announced iCloud, saying, "We're going to move the digital hub—the center of your digital life—to the cloud," adding, "If you don't think we're serious about this, you're wrong."
Technically, this meant a shift away from Apple Sync Services, the technology upon which Spanning Sync is built. The Sync Services team within Apple was quietly disbanded and the technology deprecated in OS X 10.7.
But it wasn't until a year after the iCloud announcement that the other shoe dropped with the release of OS X 10.7.4. That release included a bug that prevented iCal from properly syncing with Sync Services, and therefore with Sync Services clients like Spanning Sync, BusySync, Blackberry Sync, and many others. We've been in touch with Apple, and it doesn't appear they intend to fix the bug.
Instead, they've suggested we move to the more modern CalendarStore and Address Book frameworks. But this would require a major rewrite, which, given the dwindling need for a third-party solution to sync Apple and Google calendars and contacts, isn't economically feasible for us.
So this is it. On June 19, we temporarily suspended sales and renewals of Spanning Sync. Today we're making that permanent. We will however continue to operate the service until June 19, 2013—one year after we sold the last one-year subscription. If you have any questions about all of this, please contact us at [email protected].
It's been an amazing time. We have lots more thoughts and stories to share. But for now, on behalf of Larry, Byron, and myself, let me just say thank you.
Spanning Sync, Inc.