Many Reddit users are mourning the June 30 closures of third-party apps like Apollo for Reddit, Reef is Fun for Reddit (RIF) and BaconReader, but there will still be at least one popular Reddit app around: Narwhal for Reddit.
“Narwhal isn’t going anywhere on July 1,” Narwhal developer Rick Harrison, going through det0ur on Reddit, wrote in a post on the r/getnarwhal subreddit. “It will continue to work as it has for many years (except there will be no more ads).” Many popular apps are closing because their developers can’t afford the potentially exorbitant API prices, aren’t allowed to include ads in their apps, and because of the removal of sexually explicit content.
Subscriptions will probably cost between $3 and $7
However, Narwhal will change over time. “In the coming months,” Harrison said, he will add subscriptions as part of “Narwhal 2” to cover the new costs of using Reddit’s API. The plans “probably” cost between $4 and $7 per month.
For fans of Narwhal, the update should be a breath of fresh air, especially considering Harrison wasn’t all that optimistic about the app’s future at the beginning of this month. In an email to The edgehe shared more details on how he will keep the app alive.
“The main thing that has changed between early June and now is mostly accepting the changes,” says Harrison. “Narwhal is going through massive changes to keep going.” Harrison confirmed that each user will need a subscription to use the app, though there will “probably” be a 30-60 minute trial when you first download the app. He added that Narwhal 2 represents a “complete rewrite”, with an updated design and new functionality.
As for costs, they will “scale per user, so technically I don’t need one,” says Harrison. And he plans to measure API calls per user in the coming weeks to determine the final subscription price. However, Harrison declined to answer whether he’d worked out a deal with Reddit. Reddit spokesman Tim Rathschmidt said the company does not publicly disclose private business discussions or agreements.
(If Harrison made a deal, he’d be the first non-accessibility-focused app I know of to come to an agreement with Reddit; the developers at Apollo and RIF have both pushed back on Reddit’s claims that they didn’t at the time. company want to work.)
Narwhal isn’t the only app that sticks. The developer of MultiTab for Reddit said that they increase the price of the app’s subscriptions to $2.99 per month or $6.99 per year. A few weeks ago, the developer of the Infinity for Reddit Android app said it plans to make it a subscription-only appand they reiterated that this was the plan in a DM conversation with The edge on Thursday. They estimate the subscription will cost $3, but also said that if it fails and the app has to be removed from Google Play, users can get it from GitHub.
The developer of Relay for Reddit said earlier this month that the app may survive, but only with a paid subscription. And RedReader, Dystopia, and Luna will continue to be available after accessibility exemptions. If I missed any other apps you can still use after June 30th, email me at email@example.com.
While there will be a handful of third-party options, the loss of mainstays like Apollo and RIF will be a blow to longtime users of those apps. Depending on when you read this, you may have just a little more time to use them. Apollo developer Christian Selig explains The edge he plans to disable the app a few hours before July 1. RIF developer Andrew Shu plans to disable the app after 11:59 p.m. PT on June 30.
Update June 29, 10:57 PM ET: Comment from Reddit added.