Popular location-based app Localscope has just been updated to switch back to a paid title. That is a big switch after going the freemium route at the start of the year.

If you previously downloaded the app, even while it was free, we’ve got some great news for you.¬†After downloading the update, you will receive the full, premium version for no cost.

In a very frank and open blog post, developer Cynapse discussed the reasoning behind the decision:

Version 3.1 onwards we made the entire Localscope experience available to anyone with an iOS device for free, limited to only 5 of the 22 services and integrations with only the free navigation apps. An in-app purchase would unlock Localscope Premium for the user across all his or her devices and enable the entire range of services and integrations. Since the paid APIs and our continuous development efforts are both recurring costs, we decided to charge an annual recurring fee for Localscope Premium. We even devised a clever way to provide a lifetime premium subscription to all existing users to ensure that all our early supporters get the best possible deal and never have to pay again for Localscope. We expected all of this to improve the visibility and perception of Localscope to its audience. Unfortunately, it did quite the opposite.

We had expected that initial problems if any would be with very low conversions from free to premium, and we were prepared for that. The conversions however have been higher than we anticipated. We lost out on a much more critical area, one that we were confident the freemium model would improve: Perception and perceived value of Localscope. 

Localscope is designed for the iPhone/iPod touch. It can be downloaded in the App Store now for $1.99.

An update in February brought support for six new regional information services and five new navigation apps.