Panic Inc.

Panic Blog

January 5th, 2018
Transmit iOS on iPad Pro

Hello. Here’s an update on Transmit iOS that I promise will not use the words “sunset” or “journey”.

Quick summary:

  • We are suspending the sale of Transmit iOS very soon
  • Revenue was not enough to cover development — we won’t sell something we can’t actively develop
  • This does not affect Transmit 5 for Mac. It’s doing extremely well
  • This also does not affect Coda iOS and Prompt iOS, both of which are still going strong
  • We really hope to bring it back someday in some form

Why?

Transmit for iOS always felt like an obvious addition to our lineup, but we never thought it made a ton of sense in the tightly-restricted world of iOS until Apple announced the “Share Sheet” for iOS 8. Finally, we thought, in addition to using Transmit iOS to upload/download whatever you need, you could easily (?) get data out of apps and send it to your favorite servers. So, in 2014, we built it!

I’m extremely proud of the finished product. I think we made an app that is beautiful, elegant, and extremely powerful — a really great way to manage files on iOS with a wide variety of server types.

For people who needed it,  Transmit iOS was truly much-loved…

★★★★★

Brilliant for sending photos to clients

As a photographer who has been using Transmit on a Mac for a very long time I find this to be the best FTP client on iOS devices for my needs. Not only does it work really with the iOS11 Files system but it can output straight from Lightroom CC too. Possibly the best bit is the sync between the Mac OS version which transfers all of you favourite server settings to this version and vice-versa. If all of that isn’t enough, Transmit has proved to be ultra-reliable on both the iPad and iPhone.
By dg28com · v1.3.9 · United Kingdom · 14 days ago

★★★★★

Way more than I expected for iOS

I’m a longtime user of Transmit on Mac OS. When I upgraded to v4 I decided to look into the iOS version (on iPhone 7 and iPad Air 2). Glad I did. Every feature that makes sense in the iOS environment is implemented here, and the interface is functionally identical to the Mac version. Even Panic Sync worked well. Impressed.
By Bikerbudmatt · v1.3.9 · United States · 10 days ago

★★★★★

Another winner from Panic

This app is easier to use, faster, better written and more effective at managing files on my NAS and servers than the vendor-supplied apps.

Btw it’s also beautiful.
By *** Diabl0 *** · v1.3.9 · United States · 2 months ago

…but, quite sadly, there just weren’t enough of these lovely people. 

Transmit iOS made about $35k in revenue in the last year, representing a minuscule fraction of our overall 2017 app revenue. That’s not enough to cover even a half-time developer working on the app. And the app needs full-time work — we’d love to be adding all of the new protocols we added in Transmit 5, as well as some dream features, but the low revenue would render that effort a guaranteed money-loser. Also, paid upgrades are still a matter of great debate and discomfort in the iOS universe, so the normally logical idea of a paid “Transmit 2 for iOS” would be unlikely to help. Finally, the new Files app in iOS 10 overlaps a lot of file-management functionality Transmit provides, and feels like a more natural place for that functionality. It all leads to one hecka murky situation.

Was the use case for this app too edge-casey or advanced? Did we overestimate the amount of file management people want to do on a portable device? Should we have focused more on document viewing capabilities? Maybe all of the above?

My optimistic take: we hope that as iOS matures, and more and more pro users begin to seriously consider the iPad as a legitimate part of their daily work routines, Transmit iOS can one day return and triumph like it does on the Mac.

In the meantime, we can now better focus on our other great apps, including Coda iOS (which, by the way, has full file management too) and Prompt.

What Next?

  1. We will soon remove Transmit iOS from sale. This is your last chance to purchase it — if you think it’ll be useful for you. It does a lot of useful things, even if it won’t be updated in the foreseeable future.
  2. Everyone that has Transmit iOS installed can use it on their devices in the foreseeable future. Plus, it should be easily re-downloadable from your App Store “Purchased” zone — at least until a hopefully-far-future iOS update breaks compatibility with it.
  3. We’ve posted Transmit iOS 1.3.9 which adds full iPhone X support! If you use Transmit iOS, make sure to grab that final update as quickly as possible, since auto-updates will stop when the app is removed from sale.
  4. We’ll keep Panic Sync working for Transmit iOS. There’s no reason for us to turn it off as long as the app continues to run!
  5. Finally, any customers who purchased Transmit iOS in the last 60 days or so should contact us — because that sucks. While Apple doesn’t provide us with the ability to provide you with a refund, we’ll do everything we can to help.

Thank You

For everyone who purchased, used, and enjoyed Transmit iOS during its existence, we thank you so sincerely! Here’s hoping the computing stars will align for its return in the future.

Posted at 12:48 pm 50 Comments

Sorry to hear. Transmit is is one of the few apps that allowed me to use my iPad as a “legitimate part of [my] daily work routines.” Thank you for developing it. The app will be sincerely missed.

This bums me out so much. Transmit plays so nicely on both iOS and with the desktop app, so its eventual loss will be hard to replace. Thanks, folks, for trying to make it work. You made a lovely app that I’ll use for as long as it runs.

Every time some analyst tells me mobile is the future of computing and computers are going to be left behind, I think of stories like this one — where an app with a sterling name and pedigree and history like Transmit, that costs less than a pancake dinner, isn’t financially feasible while some dreadful Match 3 game rakes in billions of dollars — and wonder what drug they’re on.

Wow, this is a bummer to hear. I’ve seen a number of your other apps get retired in the past (Audion, Unison, etc.), but this one hurts me the most. Transmit has been my go-to FTP/file transfer app for many, many years, and I even used it yesterday from my phone. It is something that I still use, and I hope that it will still be useful for at least another iteration or few of iOS. But once it stops working due to changes in iOS, perhaps I’ll need to seek something else, or use the Files app more. Not sure, yet. Or perhaps Transmit for iOS will return by then.

Sad news, but understandable that you need to focus on what ultimately works for your company so you can continue on for the foreseeable future.

Just want to say thank you for developing Transmit for iOS and thank you for being so honest and straight forward. It really is a pleasure to buy software from Panic; because the software is so good but always because of who makes it. You’re the good guys.

Kevin Drysdale

1/5/2018 2:32 PM

Very sorry to hear this. For what it’s worth, I use Transmit for iOS on at least a weekly basis . My main usage case is to pull down via SSH CSVs or other documents I’ve created on my Linux workstation in the office, and attach them in-line to the current message I’m writing in Mail. It’s so good to be able to just retrieve a document from a remote server and send it as an attachment without even having to leave the Mail app. I hope you can find a way to make this pay in the future, as it really adds capabilities to iOS that certain other (supposedly more mature and Serious™) platforms are themselves lacking.

I bought Transmit for iOS in 2014, so I’m in the camp of people that didn’t help your 2017 revenue numbers. It’s too bad you couldn’t figure out a better way to earn more money from existing users, as I still use it a few times a week. Some kind of in-app purchase/subcription that unlocks a few additional features (the ability to sync my favorites across iOS and desktop?)?

FWIW, I just bought a subscription for Newton Mail on iOS/Android, which doesn’t give me many features over what Mail and Gmail have on their respective platforms, but I like their UI a bit better so I was willing to pay for a subscription to keep using it.

Zsolt Benke

1/5/2018 2:59 PM

I know iOS is hard, but why not charge more or add subscription or something? This is not the first time you guys complaining about developing iOS apps, but I’ve never seen any new business model tried from Panic, so can’t really feel sorry yet. Paid up front and thats it. I mean there is Omni Group, they’ve transformed every Omni app to “try for free then pay a reasonable price” model last year. They also delivering reasonable upgrades constantly. On the other hand Coda for iOS still missing a lot of basic features, like Open in Place support and a simple Quick Open. And don’t get me started on the “still in the works, but it’s coming in the next 100 years” version of Coda for Mac or Panic Sync which is still buggy and way more annoying than the old iCloud Sync, which you’ve dumped…

Transmit on the other hand works fine, I use it daily, but sunsetting an app which I rely on that much is just annoying. Coda’s file management isn’t the same. For example there is no share extension which I use a lot, especially with Workflow. So instead of complaining about iOS app business models all the time, you guys should put more effort into developing iOS. I’m a customer, I’m using and loving all of Panic’s products. I would even pay for the Panic Creative Cloud monthly, but apps needs to be kept updated with new APIs and usable features know from the desktop, not treating them like “baby software” as Steve said.

Bachwasser

1/5/2018 3:01 PM

was the biggest problem, there is a lack of localization for other popular languages and the price has to go down.

then do some marketing on macrumros forum (this is free of charge). and the app becomes more popular.

you has could have promoted the ios version (add in the desktop function so a promotion or add more ios screenshots on the product website)
of course not to forget, so many functions have to be implemented from the mac version, to the ios version.
it must be unique.

the website itself is also totally useless, every time you access the site from the app it is always a special product page.

it’s much better to put it on the same page, where you can see all mac and ios versions, and who wants to click on it to get more infos.

Noooo. Very sorry to hear this! I bought it right when it came out and I’d be willing to pay for every update (not subscription though). Files app may be good for file management, but it can’t connect to S3, FTP, SFTP, etc. That’s what I used Transmit iOS for.

To answer some of your rhetorical questions: I didn’t want any document viewing capabilities (and I dislike that every app tries to do that). I already have apps that can handle my documents, I just need to get at the files that live off device.

Chris Talbott

1/5/2018 3:04 PM

I think you’re making a mistake. I buy Apple software for all their OSes, & I do it now on the basis of who develops for the full ecosystem. You should be thinking of your revenue stream that way. Thinking of it as individual apps is arbitrary & not strategic. You’ve now also made me lack confidence in your other iOS apps, & your business acumen generally. Sorry, but I have to tell it like it seems to me. Good luck.

FOSS Adovocate

1/5/2018 3:15 PM

Do the right thing and open source the code base — heaven knows Apple devs could use it

Sad news, for sure. Honestly I don’t need to use Transmit for iOS that often, but from the day I learned of its existence it’s had a place of prominence on my iPhone’s home screen (and Prompt is right next to it). When I do need it, I NEEEEED it. I wish there were some way to make it a viable product… the iOS ecosystem desperately needs a tool like this.

I will keep Transmit on my iPhone as long as it works, but once it breaks, I’m not sure what I will do. I use a Digital Ocean VPS as a file server that I can access from anywhere I have SFTP, which has included my iPhone. The end of Transmit for iOS will either mean drastically rethinking my file management processes or taking my Mac along with me a lot more often than I do now. Either will be a disappointing development.

Panic remains my favorite Mac/iOS dev shop and I look forward to more great apps in the future!

Chris W.

1/5/2018 3:23 PM

With the rumor of iOS Apps running on the Mac in 10.14, one has to wonder if developing and further improving the iOS version of Transmit that can run on the iPad or macOS wouldn’t be a more interesting move. Much love Panic Peeps!

Paul Applegate

1/5/2018 3:28 PM

You have to go where the money is. It was a great app but I’m sure everyone understands.

You probably thought about this, but why not consider Transmit for iOS a part of Transmit for the Mac? I use the app on the Mac all the time, and sometimes I’ll need to do some work while AFK and use my iPad. Not sure what the economics would be, but “bundling” the iOS with the Mac app would work for me. Or make a “full package” offer including Mac and iOS apps. I think people buying the Mac app wouldn’t mind paying $10-20 more to get the iOS app too. They’re pro apps, people pay money.

Thank you. I’ve used your apps in the past, and love supporting a great developer. I didn’t realize Transmit even existed, so I went ahead and purchased it so it’ll be available for me to use in the future, if and when I find a need.
Thanks again to a great developer.

John Lascurettes

1/5/2018 4:11 PM

I’m sorry to hear this but I get it. To answer your question, I do use the mobile app on my phone to sometimes make small edits and corrections to web pages on the fly.

It’s frustrating when a good developer like Panic can’t figure out iOS. Transmit is an app that, IMHO, wasn’t very well explained & cost more than “Well, I’ve heard good things about this app. Let me grab it and see if I can use it.” I wanted to find a use case for it, but Panic’s marketing didn’t do a great job of telling me why or how it was better than other solutions (like using Dropbox, or Documents, or Files…). So I didn’t buy it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You gotta do what you gotta do, but I don’t understand why other business models haven’t been explored—were no lessons learned with Status Board? I’m not trying to be a jackass, but Mac-like business models don’t work very well on iOS.

I hope Panic can figure it out…

Anytime Panic releases an app, I will usually buy it sight unseen. They never disappoint. I’ve used Transmit on iOS since it launched. Great way to get files into apps like nPlayer. I like Olivier’s idea; I’d pay more for your Mac apps if they had a corresponding iOS app. Regardless, I’m glad you built it, glad I bought it, and even though it wasn’t a big seller it was a great product that really filled an important role and man I’m gonna miss it.

Sorry to hear that. The iOS developer community would love you to publish the source code one you removed it from sale.

Nathaniel Perales

1/5/2018 4:43 PM

I have to agree with the majority of the people here commenting. I would say try a subscription model. I would pay for this app. Or try accounting this into Transmit for Mac. A lot of people use this app and would pay to continue having it developed! I love your software. There is really no other company that makes software as good as yours. Like the previous commenter, I pay for a Newton subscription because I think it’s the best Mail app with all the features I love. I would do the same with your apps which I use on a literal daily basis. Including shorty old Coda for Mac.

Dean Mayers

1/5/2018 4:43 PM

This sucks but you gotta do what you gotta do. Fingers crossed this final update fixes the crash on my iPhone that I’ve had for the past few versions.

Make it open source – someone out there will be happy to keep the dream alive.

Read this on Daring Fireball, then went and bought the app. I figure I can chip in the AU$15 and maybe find a use case after many years of using the macOS version. Even if I don’t, we’ll call it a “tip” over the top of the price of the desktop version.

I will really miss this- it was top notch software. If you every can make a business case to try Transmit again on iOS please do- it’s needed by many! I thought it would make a great connector to other services with the new Files app. Thanks for the great software!

I really like Olivier’s idea, although I’m sure Panic considered something like that. I don’t use Transmit for iOS as much as I use Transmit for macOS but it’s important to me to have that option. I’d be happy paying more for simply “Transmit” to get both and have it be sustainable.

I love all the software you make. Transmit for iOS is something I use most every day on my iPad. Especially now that it intergrates pretty much system wide. I wouldn’t have flinched if you had originally set the price at $60. But, seems like maybe that wouldn’t have been enough. Thank you for not making this a subscription thing. I hope things change in the market soon, as the iPad and other future iOS devices take more precidense in business, to allow future development.

Jonathan

1/5/2018 6:13 PM

Not a fan of oursourcing, but $35k a year is enough to cover the cost of 2 intermediate developers in Malaysia (RM4 = USD 1). Finding talent is hard, yes. But there is a way to keep the lights on on something that complements your company strategy.

Nooooooo. I get that it is a bit niche geeky app on iOS but it is so versatile, useful and beautiful. The share sheet integration is what makes it so useful for so much. There is no equivalent app I know of. I use it every day.

I also think it is worth considering more it’s value beyond direct revenue as a compliment to Transmit on the Mac.

Thomas Fraley

1/5/2018 8:46 PM

All I got to say is wow.
Once of the best apps in the App Store.
I don’t understand this move by any means.
Saying there are not enough sales to maintain it is hard to swallow seeing it one of the best apps.
I also think you will be shooting you self in the foot on sale of the desktop app as well.

Because those of use that use it on iOS will move to something else as well on the desktop.
What makes panics software so good is how well they work together. You brake one link then the whole suite loses it value.

I use Coda 2 as well and will be looking for a new suite all together. Thinking of one app alone isn’t what give panics software value.

I hope you guys rethink this, there are other ways to make money like subscription based apps. Or make iOS free and change more for desktop version, again its the suite of apps that makes.

ok that was my .02 + .02 + .02 cents.
Sorry it was so long, took me by surprise

Stephen Michael Kellat

1/5/2018 8:59 PM

This app is wonderful. It helps integrate an iPad into a Raspbian/Debian/Xubuntu/Ubuntu MATE shop nicely.

Roberto Verde

1/5/2018 10:23 PM

I hope this means you will add DropBox sync back to the OSX version of Transmit. It seems the PanicSync was only intended to sync between iOS and Mac devices. It was a HUGE BUMMER to see Dropbox get bumped with the 5.x release of Transmit.

As one of the iPad only brigade this news isn’t good. The Files app doesn’t come close to providing the same functionality. I was a long time user of Transmit on Mac before migrating to an iPad. While I hope the day never comes, i do have to wonder how long it’ll be before Prompt or Coda are deemed not worth it, and are also dropped. Hopefully, the rumoured Mac / iOS development will come to pass, meaning that apps can share more code, and therefore be more sustainable.

daniel dissett

1/6/2018 1:13 AM

Hey, I’m a software engineer so I totally get it. It’s really sad how the App Store has taught
people that software should be free if it runs on your phone or tablet. All too often I find myself writing reviews that essentially say “quit your bitching about the free version, skip your next lattee or two and pony up the money to buy this game/app/utility and it becomes really fun/useful.”

I’m guessing open sourcing the app isn’t freasible otherwise you would’ve pursued it. Thank you for Transmit. Long may it live.

open source it and let others work on it. put a “non sale” license and thats it :)

Jan Mueller

1/6/2018 2:12 AM

Thanks for a great App! It‘s the backbone of quite some Workflows I’m using. Thank you for leaving it available and not pulling the plug completely.

Chris Warrick

1/6/2018 2:45 AM

More people would benefit if the app was still up for sale, but with less updates. Users will be happy enough with what the app offers today. New features could be implemented slowly, in developers’ spare time.

David Hickman

1/6/2018 3:54 AM

So sorry to hear this. Your applications are some of the most useful and well developed for iOS and the Mac. I use them daily. Hoping we’ll see a return of Transmit for iOS to the App Store someday. Keep up the excellent work.

The reason why I never bought transmit iOS: I was waiting for years the app to handle other cloud storage than S3..

Add other cloud storage, and i’m ready to pay a yearly licence :)

Definitely a huge disappointment. I second the points made about Files not providing the actual features I bought this software to support. The S3 capabilities alone drove my purchase, which isn’t provided by Files. Purchased 90 days ago, so outside your 60 day window. I love the software, but also agree with others that this will make me second guess Panic purchases in the future.

This really sucks. Really love having between all my devices whether it’s an idevice or a mac. S3 support is a big one for me. After this I’m not sure I will ever be a future panic customer if great apps disappear. Perhaps lower the price and see what happens. Maybe people see that and it scares them away.

Agreed with many points above – the issue is your business model in regards to the app. You need to come up with a way of charging an amount that sustains development. Clearly there are many people here who benefit greatly from the app and would most likely pay more to support it.

Revision17

1/6/2018 8:14 AM

I’m a bit bummed. Transmit was my first app purchase for my iPad Pro. Used it all the time.

Maybe switching to a trial then subscription model would be more viable? Something like Bear. I feel like if my interests (wanting quality, frequently updated software) are more aligned to those of the app creators if I’m constantly handing them money. Rather than just 1 time purchases.

ESwinson

1/6/2018 8:29 AM

Disappointed. I’m hopeful that it will still work for years to come as it meets all Apple’s checkboxes required for modern iOS support. As a developer, I use Transmit and many other tools to do spot fixes and updates while traveling (and sometimes just from the pub). I also managed to set up Transmit as a conduit to different remote file storage systems so I could reach them in Apple’s Files App.

Will be missed.

I had no idea that Transmit for iOS existed, even though I own most of your other apps. I went ahed and bought it to (1) thank you for developing and (2) I think I will end up using it. Glad to hear that it’s suspended and not sunset :-).

Transmit is one of the only apps I purchased….and am sad (and upset) that the app is being discontinued.

As a long time Transmit for Mac user, it’s unfortunate to come across this post just as I was looking to see if there was an iOS version to deal with some new work situations I’m encountering. I could understand the lack of revenue reasoning if you needed to justify putting some folks on this full-time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case — making this look like a strange move. In any case, this shakes my confidence a bit so I’ll probably pass on picking up the iOS version of Transmit and look at alternatives on Mac. Bummer..I’ve really loved using Transmit on Mac (as well as Prompt on iOS). Good luck folks.

Oh no! Very sorry to hear this is happening. Transmit and Prompt are what makes work on an iPad possible, not Coda. Coda is wonderful and I do own it but it’s a luxury, not a necessity. I can edit in vim on Prompt and manage files in Transmit in splitscreen.

I have to agree with others that if the business model isn’t working, the business model is what should change — not the fate of the app. I do know that iOS development is unsustainable at typical prices (free to $2.99). This said, I’m fairly convinced that the people who’ve bought a $1000+ iOS device with the intention to do serious work won’t blink an eye at a $20, $30, $50? price tag for an app that meets the need and does it with such polish and completeness that it feels like a first-party app. The OmniGroup model of try-before-you-buy (via an in-app purchase) might be one to look at, too. I hate subscriptions but I’d even sign up for one for this app.

I know you sunsetted Status Board for similar reasons, and I was okay with it because it wasn’t Panic’s core competency. It was just an outgrowth of a cool app that had been originally written as an internal tool. Sunsetting a Transmit application is totally different. Fundamentally, it strikes a deep blow to confidence in the completeness of the Panic ecosystem. Should I start trying out other (worse) SSH applications in case Prompt is next?

If this seems dramatic, remember that it’s ultimately from a place of respect for Panic’s vision and implementation. Panic is in a very, very small minority of developers who have materialized the vision of iOS as a platform for real work. Please do everything you can to keep it that way.

So much good feedback.

One thing is clear: those of you who loved Transmit iOS really, really loved it, and really depend on it. Which makes this situation, and the financial challenge, all the more bittersweet. 😖

It makes one thing clear: we have to do everything we can to find a way to keep this app (and/or functionality) alive and active in the future in a way that works for our business. It’s gonna take time but I’m hopeful we can crack it.

Stay tuned.

And thanks again for using and loving our software and sharing your thoughts and feelings.

(I’ve closed comments because things were quickly veering into highly off-topic internet debate-town, and most thoughts had been covered. But, we still want to hear from you! If you have thoughts or ideas about this, please e-mail me directly, or tweet us!)