One of the downsides to the iOS App Store model is that vendors can change the rules -- and it's very hard to avoid an update.
NAVIGON used to bundle maps withe the purchase price. At $50 it was a good price, and even though there was no commitment to map updates they were updated. Yes, it was a 1.8 GB download -- but that was a rare event.
The price is even better than it appeared, because if a family shared an iTunes account the $50 covered all family iOS devices.
Now Navigon has moved to the in-app purchase model. The default "update" is "free" and only 48MB, but the maps are in-app purchases and they are not free. Old maps are removed during the "update" (and so are "favorites", which is not nice). I am not certain, but I suspect in-app purchases are tied to a phone and iTunes account, not to an iTunes account alone. So each user in a family will buy their own maps. (I seem to be the only one whose noticed this.)
This may not be a terrible deal for new users, but old users are moving Navigon to a 1 star rating.
Unfortunately there's no way to prevent app updates and no way to keep an old version of an app. iTunes will nag forever. So I made a copy of Navigon 1.8.2.ipa and put it in a safe place. That way when it's "updated" I can delete the update and restore the original.
PS. What should Navigon had done? Forget the evil "update" trick. Create and sell Navigon "Pro" as a separate app and stop updating Navigon 1.
- How to Ignore iPhone App Updates: Prevent App Updates from Reappearing on Your iPhone
- How to edit version number to prevent app update - xSellize
Update 11/19/11: I tried a few experiments
- I "locked" NAVIGON 1.8.2.ipa in the Finder then tried updating. Alas iTunes ignored the Finder lock, it just deleted 1.8.2 and kept v2.
- I dragged 1.8.2 into the iTunes app window and iTunes let me replace v2. It, however, put v2 back on my free update list.
- I changed permissions on 1.8.2 so I had read-only permissions. Then I tried the Update again. This time iTunes installed v2 and showed it in the app list. However the 1.8.2 file was still in Mobile Applications. I quit iTunes, deleted 2.0 (must put in trash and empty trash) and restarted. iTunes still listed 2.0, but when I tried it I was asked to locate the missing file. I pointed it to 1.8.2. The available update appeared again.
So it looks like while I can't truly fool iTunes, by changing permission I can protect 1.8.2 from deletion. If I accidentally update to 2.0 I can revert.