Anyone who has followed my musings here on Phandroid knows I have been excited for Pressy. I’ve been excited since the day its Kickstarter went live. I pledged my bills just like everyone else, and have kept abreast of the project’s progress ever since.
I went into it knowing full well what hurdles Kickstarter backers typically have to go through: delay after delay after delay. Whether it’s a manufacturing mishap, shipping issues, or project creators simply overestimating the capabilities of their production chain, I’ve come to expect that the “ship by” date will almost always come and go without fulfillment.
So I’ve been very patient with Pressy. I’ve been patient with all the projects I back. It does get annoying, but you will often put up with something if you really want it. What I can’t put up with, though, is a project turning out to be something other than what was originally promised.
In the case of Pressy, the offense is rather small in scope but big in principal: the companion app will be unavailable in the Google Play Store. The reason this is a big deal is because Pressy was adamant in saying that the app would be available in Google Play all throughout the campaign.
This is important for a lot of people — specifically, those who care about security and wish not to enable the installation of APKs from third-party sources. It’s more than security, too. Getting apps through the Google Play Store enables us to get hassle-free updates that our phones can apply on the fly and without effort, and it gives us a good place to share our thoughts on the app in the event that it isn’t everything we expected to be (or if we feel the opposite and simply feel like raving about its awesomeness).
I can’t say I fit into that category, because I do install tons of non-Google Play APKs for purposes of testing and reviewing. But when you tell me the app that is supposed to come with my overpriced clicky button is going to be in the Play Store, I want it to be in the Play Store (and so do many other backers, apparently).
Pressy has also made several design changes, such as the butt ugly keychain that we are getting instead of the original we were promised.
And I might have been able to stomach all of that if Pressy would have been open and upfront about all of it, but their lack of communication about delays, changes and other matters is simply unforgivable. The first scheduled delivery of April 28th came and went without a word from Pressy, and it was over two weeks since that date slipped since we first heard a peep out of them regarding what happened.
And we wouldn’t have heard about this latest scandal if not for someone who just so happened to see a response to a comment buried deep within one of Nimrod Back’s Facebook post. Not helping the matter is that they tried to deny ever saying it would be available in the Google Play Store despite their own update posts and the original Kickstarter post saying as much.
The more that I think about this situation, though, the more I realize that I’m not necessarily mad at Pressy — I’m more mad at myself for putting faith into yet another inexperienced Kickstarter hopeful who has done everything absolutely wrong. It’s become a trend by now, and one that will certainly make me rethink my decision to back any further projects in the future.
Perhaps my saltiness comes from the fact that other, arguably more superior, and less expensive solutions have launched since Pressy’s inception. Xiaomi with their MiKey comes to mind, as well as other “knock-offs” that can be found around the net. Hell, my phone comes with a Pressy by default just by installing a free app and using my volume buttons.
Pressy has done absolutely nothing to make me feel good about my decision to pay $20 for a piece of copper and plastic that probably costs them $.20 to produce. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but Kickstarter isn’t a charity with a bottomless pit of forgiveness — we pay for goods, and we expect to get exactly what we’re promised.
That’s not to say that every Kickstarter project turns out the same. An insane amount of them go according to plan, and most of the project creators work hard to keep folks clued in on what’s going on. It’s just a shame that every project I end up backing (about three of them now) goes straight to horse manure, and it’s that trend that makes me that much more hesitant to support the independent scene in the foreseeable future.
UPDATE: The folks at Pressy have reached out to us, assuring us the Google Play availability (or lack thereof) was a misunderstanding. Despite Pressy’s comments on Facebook, the app will, in fact, be released on the Google Play Store.