In June 2013, Cerberus partnered with AppGratis to offer a lifetime license to the Cerberus Anti-theft app on Android. The offer came a few months after I had read an epic tale of Cerberus’ usefulness in recovering a stolen phone. With that in mind I jumped through the AppGratis hoops to get the free lifetime license and Cerberus has been installed on my smartphone since. The app allows enabling GPS and tracking the phone, capturing pictures from the cameras, recording audio, and many more methods to hopefully recover your lost or stolen phone.
Fast-forward to today and I received an email from Cerberus letting me know that the “promotional period” would be ending. Not only is the free lifetime license ending but there is allusion to coming price increases and a change to a subscription model, so people may want to buy a lifetime license now.
The email that I received:
You received a free license for Cerberus in a promotional period. We deeply apologize, but unfortunately it was not feasible anymore to make it last for a lifetime, so your license will expire after 3 years of free service, on June 1st 2016.
We hope Cerberus helped you recover a lost or stolen device during these years, and that you will consider buying a license. Since by the time your license expires the app will be probably more expensive and subscription-based (with an annual or monthly fee), we offer you to purchase a lifetime license now with a one-time payment.
If you’re interested, please contact us before the end of September using the support form on the website, or send an email to email@example.com.
The Cerberus Team.
This is an automated message, please do not reply.
Confirming that the message is authentic, a thread in the Cerberus forums (actually a Google Group) is receiving continued responses from users angry or confused by the rescinded offer. Cerberus Support has replied to the thread using the same lines of broken English to extend the offer to the third year (June 2016) and encourage buying a lifetime license. Users are understandably expressing concern that a purchased “lifetime” license would also not last a lifetime.
Given the alternative way to ending a lifetime offer, perhaps the app expiring is not such a bad way to go…
To purchase a lifetime license, it currently costs around $7. The current Google Play description reads:
Install Cerberus and try it for free for one week, then you can buy a lifetime license for a small price (4.99€) from within the application: no monthly or yearly fees, just a one-time payment. License is associated to your Cerberus account, if you have multiple devices you can use all of them (up to 3) with the same account.