Heads up for anyone considering Skyscape for iPhone/iPod Touch

  1. I've seen a number of threads asking about Skyscape vs. Unbound, LexiPro, etc. IMHO Skyscape is an excellent product, but most people seem to be unaware of their subscription policy, which is different than Unbound's.

    When I got my Touch last year, I was planning to install Skyscape's Constellation Plus on it, but when doing research I found out that Skyscape did not offer a standard purchase option for Apple products (as they did for Blackberry, etc.) Instead they offered a subscription which was slightly cheaper (yay!) BUT that, when it expired in a year, totally locked down the texts and you no longer had access to them. You had to renew (meaning pay full price again) to regain access to the texts. (Boo!) I went with Unbound because of this.

    After posting in a few iPod threads in this forum and not seeing anyone else mentioning this (Skyscape doesn't make it obvious, you really had to go looking for it), I went back to the Skyscape site to see if things had changed. They had, to a degree. They now offer both the "subscription" and the "standard" options, but you still have to do a little research to find out what exactly you're getting.

    The "subscription" option is cheaper, but it's NOT a good deal. This is the one that they offered for iPhone/Touch, where you lost all access to your texts when the subscription ended. Skyscape pushes this option as the "Best Value!", which is honestly not true, and they offer "convenient auto-renewal", which is just a way of saying, "We'll automatically charge you $150 every year". From the Skyscape website:

    Q: What Is the Subscription Version? A: A Subscription Version offers free content updates, including new editions, during the term of the subscription. Phone support is available for the duration of the subscription, in addition to chat and email. Convenient auto-renewal is offered for continued use without interruptions. Active subscriptions may also be transferred to another device/platform which supports subscriptions. Please note that after the subscription expires the content will be locked unless renewed.
    Then there's the Standard version, which is new for Apple products. This is the option that they offer for other PDAs, and that Unbound has always had. This is where you lose access to updates and online content after a year, but you still keep the texts. It's more expensive, but a much better buy in the long run.

    Q: What is the Standard Version? A: A Standard Version includes 12 months of free content updates, excluding new editions. Phone support is available the first 90 days, with ongoing chat and email support after that. After 12 months the product may continue to be used in its "frozen state, but content may be out of date.
    This is just a head's up for all those who are considering Skyscape products for their iPhone or Touch. I know a number of people who were unaware of this and basically didn't realize what they were (or weren't) getting when they purchased from Skyscape.
  2. Visit Circejane profile page

    About Circejane

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 141; Likes: 186
    CCU; from US
    Specialty: LTC, M/S, CCU, ER


  3. by   ShantheRN
    Thanks for posting this! I'm going to buy an iTouch but was really concerned about the subscription costs for Skyscape. I'm okay with paying the standard cost and not having updates. It's the same as buying the books, imo.

    Do you prefer Unbound's programs? Everyone talks about Skyscape but I never hear anything about Unbound.
  4. by   Circejane
    I've been very happy with Unbound, and they're adding titles all the time. Skyscape was the first company to really launch into the PDA, and then iPhone/Touch market, and they do the most advertising, so they're the best known. Unbound offers many of the same texts, I'd recommend looking through the catalogs for both sites. Prices seem to be comparable, Skyscape offers many more titles.

    I'm sticking with Unbound. The prices are the same or similar, but I really disliked the way that Skyscape basically misled many Apple buyers in the beginning. I don't mind renewing my drug guide every year, but I'll only update the other titles when they come out with new editions. The idea of purchasing a text and then not having access to it after a year really frosts my cookies. I'm planning to purchase Harrison's and the 5 Minute Clinical Consult soon. I also love Unbound's Diagnosaurus DDx app, which only costs a dollar!

    I've not looked much at LexiPro, so I can't really say anything about it. I've heard good things about Epocrates, but I've only used their Lite (free) version, and it's pretty limited. It has a nice visual drug reference, though.