After many years of promises, the WarmShowers app has finally been made available to download from the Apple and Android stores. So a moment for great celebration? Well, yes, mainly. Gone are the days of fiddling with a browser on your phone, logging in yet again and then finding your host’s contact details etc… The app should, and I have no doubts will, make life for the travelling cyclist a lot easier. And even better news; it’s NOT free! I’m a great believer in paying people for the work and effort that they invest in a project and although WarmShowers as constituted is a not-for-profit organisation, there will be substantial costs involved in maintaining the app.
Here’s the information from WarmShowers about the app as emailed to me a few days ago:
- You will continue to have access to your user account through the website for free. The app is an optional upgrade if you prefer the ease of using an app. All current access remains the same for you through the main website. The app is not required and instead is an enhanced experience.
- The app fee is US$ 2.99 per month or US$ 17.99 per year. This allows us to provide regular maintenance, bug fixes, and support to ensure you continue to have the best experience possible when using our technology.
- The app contains exciting new features such as translation in your native language and creating an itinerary with favorited hosts and offline capabilities. Details on all the features can be found in the “Quick Start Guide” within the app.
- Your pin on the map has been updated to reflect the address you have on file. If you login to the app and notice the pin is NOT in the right place, you can manually adjust it or update your address to ensure your location is correct. This is a new change, please review once logged in.
- We are very excited to offer you a streamlined process through the app that includes reporting technical issues in the app called “Report an Issue.” This is the place to report ALL app related issues. Please do not contact us through the help desk – use the in app reporting feature.
If you are in the UK, those prices are £2.99 and £17.49 (which seems a little high compared to the current exchange rate which would suggest prices of £2.20 and £13.30 respectively but there you go…). As noted above, the website is still free for people who are already registered. New registrations on the website now cost $30 (£22) although you can request a discount. Existing members are asked for non-compulsory donations; anything from $0 to $1,000 (although there is an option to give more if you so wish!).
I’ve paid my £17.49 for a year’s use of the app and by doing so there seems to be a slight improvement in the stability of the map. Before I started writing this post I was going to mention that after I downloaded the app a couple of days ago, it crashed, twice. I notice they are already on version 1.1.6 so it seems that they are on the ball and ready to address issues with the app as and when they are reported. My £17.49 is being put to good use and perhaps my “well, yes, mainly” comment in response to my question as to whether this is cause for celebration should actually be “absolutely!“. I remain very hopeful.
Some fellow cyclists I have met over the years courtesy of WarmShowers: