If you’re even kind of active on reddit, you probably know of Alien Blue. As far as perusing reddit on iOS goes, it’s pretty much the undisputed champ.
It seems reddit would agree. The company has just taken Alien Blue under its wing, acquiring the project assets and hiring its sole developer.
We heard whispers of this deal going back a few weeks. While reddit isn’t disclosing terms, they’ve just confirmed to me that they’ve acquired the Alien Blue project and that its Melbourne-based developer, Jase Morrissey, will be joining their team.
Curiously, reddit seems to hesitate in calling the app their “official iOS reader” — they’re keeping the “Alien Blue” name, for example, rather than changing it to just be called “reddit” or “reddit reader” or something.
If they’re not taking Alien Blue and strapping their name on it, why buy it?
“Our whole philosphy has been to give our users choice. We’ve got the reddit AMA app, and alienblue coming out… but we really want users to use whatever they want.” says Ellen Pao, reddit’s head of Strategic Partnerships. “We think Alienblue is great, and it’s the most popular reddit app on iOS. We wanted to be able to offer it as a reddit app, and we wanted to help Jase with additional resources to do everything he wanted to do with it.”
So is reddit going to run in there and change everything and wreck the app that its users love? So far, it doesn’t seem like it. Only two things are changing at this point:
- It’s getting a new icon, matching it up stylistically with reddit’s only other iOS app, the reddit AMA app.
- They’re simplifying the pricing a bit. The iPad app, previously $4, is now free while they work on merging it with the iPhone app. As before, the iPhone app is free, with a $2 “Pro” upgrade to add features like multiple account support, tilt view, and filtering posts by keyword.
One thing to note: if you’ve already downloaded the app, you’ll need to download it again — a side effect of them transferring the app from Morrisey’s App Store developer account to reddit’s. That also means that if you’ve already purchased the pro upgrade, you’ll need to buy that again, too. To help take the sting off a bit there, reddit is making the Pro upgrade free for the first week after today.
“But wait!” you say. “Doesn’t that mean anyone can get the Pro features for free as long as they download it this week… even if they didn’t pay for it to begin with?”
Yes. Yes it does.
This post will be updated with App Store links as soon as the newly published app goes live. Update: Aaannd here’s the link