Okay, I’ve read this entire thread, along with many of the links. I think I now understand the difficulties you have.
TL; DR: Two versions. Trial that locks out many functions/brings ads in after trial, plus a fully unlocked version for a one time payment.
Please read further if you have time.
I have two main points to make but I recognise only one of them is directly relevant here so I will start with that…
I currently use the free version but will be changing that very soon (as well as posting my reasons in the suggested thread).
I agree with other posts saying you offer too much for free (I never thought I would say that to any coder!). I see so many developers make an amazing app that everyone is happy to use and recommend, then, for many possible reasons, they turn their users into numbers and apply a financial value to them. Usually this leads to the app becoming flooded with ads. Thank you for fighting ads at every turn.
Ads can have their place so, as long as they are minimal and unobtrusive, I could accept them on a free app. Removing adds should unlock all features. For your app, paying to remove adds but not gaining full features would likely make people think Kore is better for them as it is free and “official”.
Could you do this:
Compare your app with Kore and provide a few more features for free than they do, OR allow all features but only control one device?
Then provide the fully unlocked version for a decent one time price?
These options don’t fix your main issue but I have a suggestion that might. I use Patreon as an example here.
You said that you are proud of your monthly updates and you can’t provide any Patreon only advantages.
You also said that many apps are games that get lots of money from only a few people.
Is there a reason you can’t restrict the Play Store versions to only 1 or 2 updates a year but allow Patreon backers access to the latest updates and features every month? This way the fans who really want to support the development can get something for doing so.
Surely Google would be happy to get their cut of people unlocking the functions/removing adds and can’t tell you how to fund your development cycle?
Now, the second point I spoke off.
Please see this as an observation, not an attack.
There are many possible ways to approach people but I have witnessed a few occasions where you appeared to view feedback as a personal attack against you.
I’m not here to tell you how to live, but I do feel like you have become unable to see the difference.
For your sake, and the sake of this great app, I (honestly and with great respect) hope you can separate the two more in your mind.
Sorry for such a long post. Thank you for reading this far. I hope you can see my only aim is to assist you. I will do whatever is in my power to support you and this app.
I wish you the best of luck in everything.