AnkiMobile is not a standalone app - it is intended to be used in conjunction with the online synchronization service and open source computer version that I've made available for free for the last 10 years. Working on these three platforms is a full time job, and AnkiMobile is my way of putting food on the table and supporting future development.
Because there are so many $1 apps out there, some people are surprised by the price. But when you factor in the computer version, synchronization service, and free updates, AnkiMobile's price is quite competitive. At the time of writing (2013-10-04), SuperMemo's computer+iPhone version will set you back $60, and MentalCase's combo will cost you $29.95.
Whether you find AnkiMobile's price to be a good deal will ultimately depend on your needs. If you're an existing Anki user that has invested many hours studying on the computer, AnkiMobile provides an easy way to do your studies anywhere while taking advantage of the advanced scheduling and formatting features that Anki provides. On the other hand, if you're looking for something inexpensive and simple and don't mind being restricted to your Apple device, there are cheaper alternatives out there that you may want to consider.
One other thing to note is that once purchased, you can use AnkiMobile on up to 5 of your iOS devices, provided they use the same Apple ID. AnkiMobile also supports family sharing, for families that have that set up.
Some frequently asked questions:
"You'd make more money if you priced it cheaper."
I have experimented with different price points in the past, and reducing the price resulted in a net decrease in income. Games like Angry Birds are able to make a profit because they appeal to a wide audience. Spaced repetition flashcard apps are quite a niche market in comparison. For this reason, neither a price change nor a sale is likely in the foreseeable future.
"It's too expensive in my country."
I am not against the idea of providing different prices based on a country's average income, but Apple does not make it possible to set different prices for different countries. Apple sets the price in each country based on the local taxes and costs of doing business there.
Please also bear in mind that the price in the US is the price before state sales taxes are applied, so the difference may not be as as much as you think.
"As a student, I think it's too expensive."
Please compare it to the price of the average textbook and then consider how many hours of use you get out of each. If you don't use Anki enough to justify the price, then you're welcome to use AnkiWeb instead or look into cheaper alternatives.
"Can I get a free copy for personal use, or for writing a review?"
Sorry, I do not offer promo codes, as preparing them takes time away from development.
"You should just rely on donations."
Unfortunately that would not be enough to live on. No matter how much people appreciate a product or service, if they're given the option of not paying, most people will choose not to.
"You should charge for AnkiWeb instead."
Apple's app store provides a safe and friction-free way of making purchases. Purchasing a subscription from a website requires considerably more effort, and many people are wary of making purchases online.
"Why is the Android version free?"
The Android version is developed by a different group of people, who based it off the computer version I wrote. Because they have day jobs and can only work on it in their free time, AnkiMobile is better supported: no questions or bug reports go unanswered, the app is more polished, and most bugs get fixed quickly.