Are You Really Saving on Free Apps?


Someway, somehow, consumers have been led to believe that everything on the Internet is free. Why do you think movie and music piracy are so rampant? Such sense of entitlement extends to the buying of apps. Most consumers would rather have their apps free than paid.

Unless, that is, the apps are designed to get something done. According to app analytics company Distimo, paid apps dominate the top ten in the categories of productivity, medical, business, fitness/healthcare, navigation, catalogues, lifestyle, photo & video, travel, and weather. These apps enables you to work hard, get healthy, find directions, book flights, check weather, and so forth. They make your life easier. Consumers are won to appreciate and buy such apps.

Even so, the utility of an app is no guarantee of its being purchased. The situation is even worse for other app categories, such as games, where ‘free’ is the byword.

Free is understandable, especially if you’re really bereft of money, but paid is ideal. Here are the most compelling reasons why you should buy paid apps:

1. There’s no such thing as a free app.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch or a free app, for that matter. Sure, that nifty social network or cloud storage app comes for free but make no mistake. They will find a way to offset the gazillions they have expended on overhead, etc.

As information technology pundits would have it: “If you don’t buy the product, you are probably the product.” You only have to check out the terms of service on Facebook; they have clauses that virtually let them intrude upon privacy and mine your data, like where you shop, who you’re connected to, etc. Next time you think an app isn’t selling something, think of yourself. It is probably selling you.

2. Rage against the Machine.

Many of us don’t like to buy something because we think we are pawns of the corporations selling them. We believe that our money is not really of benefit to its end producer. With apps, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your hard-won money directly goes to the creators, which brings us to next reason.

3. Put some bread on the developer’s table.

Each sale encourages these small businesses to forge ahead with their offerings. This is not an easy thing, considering the manifold challenges the average developer has to face. For one, he or she has to meet an annual fee set by Google and Apple before submitting an app. After that, the developer is caught between a rock and a hard place: If the developer doesn’t charge customers for the app, Apple/Google will charge yearly fees anyway. If the app comes with a price, customers will be put off. And when the app eventually sells, Google/Apple gets a cut.

These are to say nothing of the expenses, especially in running the app’s website and getting hosting. These expenditures could only skyrocket with more customers, ironically what developers are after.

4. Payment = zero ads

One way developers can market an app as free, and still monetise it, is to offer advertising space. The trade-off is that customers will eventually resent the clutter.

In other words, paid apps give you the minimum incentive of being ad-free. If the paid app still comes with ads, feel free to complain or find a new one.

5. Price of a coffee

Injustice. That’s what it boils down to if you are able to afford a Starbucks but run away from a dollar or two in snapping up an app.

6. Quality is not an excuse.

Granted, there are unscrupulous developers who charge a premium for garbage. You can skirt this problem by reading reviews from top-notch websites. Besides, you can always get trials of paid apps.

Final word

An app shouldn’t really feel like an investment considering how cheap it is compared to what you’ve already been buying. Always remember that ‘free’ comes with a catch.

To ease you into the mindset of paying for apps, try buying them in bulk. This piece of wisdom is especially useful if you’re in business: The utility of many paid apps today are just too remarkable. Also, start by looking for a sale or markdown. Search for coupon codes too.

Have fun app-shopping!

Sharon Freeman

Sharon Freeman is a freelance blogger and author. She loves business management, app trends and reviewing business management software.

8 thoughts on “Are You Really Saving on Free Apps?

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