December 21, 2014

FixIt!: Android Users: Misers?

New figures published few days ago from AdMob told us few things about ourselves. They told us that we are males, aged between 25 and 34 and we prefer not to pay for apps…

I will guess that there is a good chance you will be reading this and say: No, I am not!

First, this has not taken into account the thousands of thousands of Android devices that have been offered for Saint Valentine. I am sure the next report will show way more female users.

Then, is there really only 21% of users buying at least one app every month? This seems very low and it doesn’t sound great if you are (or want to be) a developer on Android. Could we, the Android community, do something about this… I think  we can, this is very easy. What I am suggesting is that each of reader buy one or two apps in March. You know this game you like, you’ve been playing with the free version for a while now, maybe it is time to buy it and be able to access more levels. You know this nice tool that is helping you every day in your life, maybe you want a better version. I don’t want to point you to just one app of my choice, this is for you to decide. Also keep in mind that most apps don’t cost a fortune, can you really not spare $4 or $5 in March and buy 2 apps?

I know what some will say, I am with you on this, I can’t buy apps where I am (using Market Enabler helps but you need a rooted phone). However, there are alternatives. Some developers have web pages with PayPal’s donate button, you could use that. There are also many apps that are ads supported, clicking on these ads from time to time will help the developers and, who knows, you might be interested by what the advertisers want you to see.

So, what do you say? Can Android users be known are a generous bunch, willing to pay for good apps and help developers? Please share your opinion in a comment, I want to hear it.



  • http://twitter.com/johndrobbins @johndrobbins

    Feel like the Android users have somewhat been trained by Google to expect free. I am sure that all of us first adopters are big Google users and therefore expect the same on mobile.

    That being said, I agree and will do my part this week and buy a couple of upgrades of apps I use a lot!

  • Jef Martens

    I like it, I'd do it, but I cannot register my bankaccount with Google Checkout. Unfortunately, this is the only way to pop up in the measurements for paid apps. I will not get a credit card just to pay for let's say $50 a year on apps and have additional fees of $25 for having a CC.

    On the other hand, in the past 5 years I've donated $100+ to several projects using the PayPal donate button. I do like to support people with good ideas, be it freeware, shareware, opensource software or regular paid ware.

    Google would make it much easier on the developer if they would / could accept withdrawals from bankaccounts, support PayPal or operator billed payments. Also I'd like to see iTunes like credit vouchers in stores soon!

  • ian mccully

    i will buy apps too now that i know there is a way to buy them easier instead of putting my bank details into the phone for all the world to see thanks

    kind regards

    Ian mccully

    • ian mccully

      I have just purchased my paid app spb tv through google checkout , once i set it up it was all straight forward it just sync's with the phone without you doing anything and then you have your app
      thanks again for the info

      kind regards

      Ian mccully

  • Mouse

    Paid apps aren't even available in my country. So yeah, about that…

    • Peadar

      Same here. Google needs to take the market worldwide. With the strength of the euro at the moment apps are dirt cheap for us. Or would be, if they were on sale.

      • http://twitter.com/ankhwatcher @ankhwatcher

        Absolutely, why can't we just buy apps with Google Checkout? Isn't it supposed to be a paypal alternative?

  • Guest

    I purchased my Samsung Moment at the beginning of March, and I have purchased around six apps since then. My feeling is that if you like something, support it. Otherwise it's going to die.

  • Oakland510

    I have only seen a few apps that are remotely compelling and would warrant a purchase. Most apps seem like junk and unfortunately any apps that have potential are buried beneath a garden of dog shit. Unfortunately there really isn't any quality control or methods to really finding those apps that are worth paying for. The other thing I noticed is that some ports from the iphone tend to have slightly higher prices in the Android market. Until Android has a broader audience, the quality of apps won't improve. It's just a matter of time.

  • http://twitter.com/yenliangl @yenliangl

    I am a developer and I got several negative ratings from users who want application good, FREE and no ads.

  • carl

    personally, I thought Google should do something to make purchase easier on Android market… right now Android market is served as bulletin board for developers to post their apps. I think Google should learn from rotten Apple's iTune store where you can purchase the apps with one click! quick and easy… too much hustle can turn off the buying experience.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/tekchip tekchip

    I think it's more an issue of polish. I've found few if any apps on Android that are actually worth paying for. And a few free ones that would be worth paying for but just don't charge for them.

    Would buy but are all ready free:
    Upvise, Listen, Twidroid, Dolphin Browser, Aldiko, Frozen Bubble, Air Control Lite

    Am considering buying:
    Uniwar

    What else is there? There doesn't appear to be such thing as a "killer app" for Android that isn't all ready given up free by google or a third party. If some companies would get on top of bringing those shiny polished awesome apps over from iphone I'd pay.

  • xracerx

    I tried a couple apps that I really ended up liking (like Touiteur) and attempted to upgrade or purchase the paid version or code. After several attempts failed w/out any indication why, I gave up. I mean, c'mon.. I'm shoving my money to a developer… take it !

  • http://twitter.com/AppCritic @AppCritic

    I like this idea a lot but I think that the first poster was correct; Google has trained users to expect free apps. The interesting things is that developers have been doing such a good job at giving stuff away that people get upset when they start charging for what was once free. If an app is 4.5 stars with >250,000 downloads, this developer should easily be able to sell >10,000 at a buck or two but that is often not the case. I've been "lucky," I suppose. My app has been selling nicely and rated well but it doesn't come even remotely close to making up for the development time. However, the community has given me so much that I don't mind getting a few buck (well, more than a few) back.

    I've noticed that the best selling apps on Android are those designed specifically for the next-gen versions of Android, mainly games (check out Raging Thunder 2, Homerun Battle 3D, etc.). These apps are WELL worth the money and I believe that going forward, not only will users begin to pay for these apps, they will start expecting to pay for apps. Looks are everything. Personally, I prefer function over form but most feel otherwise. I've heard complaints that Twitter apps on Android don't look as nice as those on the iPhone (I don't buy the argument but that's another story) but I think it's all about function. Recently, the new Twitter apps (Seesmic, Touiter) look nice but I still prefer Twidroid, which has a paid version that I bought. It adds multiple account and some other features but I would have supported the developer anyway since I use the app everyday. I did the same with NewsRob and I would have donated even if it didn't add some features and remove ads. I use that app so much I've begun to think it came with my phone.

    So far, for March, I've purchased Raging Thunder 2. It's early in the month and I don't like to buy apps on a whim but I'm sure I'll end up buying a few before the month is out. I like games and the ones designed for the N1, Droid, etc. are just mind-blowingly awesome.

  • https://muhammadf0628.student.ipb.ac.id cuppy

    i face the same issue with my spica.. and this is nice.

  • http://ekas0615.student.ipb.ac.id khay

    thaks for your sharing. like this :p

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