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How to legitimately get paid apps for free!

There are a ton of sleazy ways to get free apps. Here are some non-piracy ways to get paid apps for free!

Published onJuly 4, 2019

A photo of the Play Store showing free and paid apps

It’s not terribly difficult to get premium apps for free. Unfortunately, the vast majority of “free” offers are sketchy and developers often suffer for it. Piracy on Android is a seriously legitimate problem. However, we also understand that mobile apps and games are luxury items, not necessities, and not everybody can afford the latest Monument Valley or The Room game. Worry not, fellow Internet denizens, because there are plenty of legitimate ways to get free stuff without stealing it.

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Get paid apps free with other free apps

There is actually a small collection of apps that scan the Play Store for free app deals. The most popular and effective include AppSales, PAGF, and App Hoarder. These apps scan the Play Store for temporarily free apps and pass the savings on to you. This website does what the previous three apps do, but in website format.

There are a lot of good things about these apps. They all redirect to the Play Store. Thus, there are no third party downloads to worry about. In addition, they use actual, real deals in the Play Store so there is no piracy. In fact, how they handle these temporarily free apps and the listing order is about the only difference between them. You can choose any of them and it should be fine.

Most apps that help you get paid apps for free are trolling the Play Store for deals, mostly.

Another popular choice in this category is Google Opinion Rewards. It’s not available everywhere, but it’s a great way to earn Google Play Credit for free. That credit is usable on apps, games, and in-app purchases. In fact, the only thing you can’t use it for is a subscription. Make sure to keep your location on so the app can see where you’ve been.

There are some alternatives, but they get increasingly sketchy. For instance, GetJar and Aptoide offer some apps for free that are premium on Google Play. However, those stores often host pirated apps without much regard for the damage it does to developers. Plus, nobody knows if those APKs were altered before upload. We don’t recommend those kinds of methods. Another popular option was Amazon Underground. Unfortunately, Amazon shuttered that initiative in 2017.

A photo of Bloons TD 6 being on sale

Reddit, blogs, and similar outlets

A lot of app and game sales are impromptu and, thus, difficult to track or predict. However, tech blogs and various subreddits are great ways to keep track of potential deals. Many of these sales are only a day long and are easily missed if you don’t immediately see them somewhere.

Popular subreddits for this kind of stuff include Google Play Deals and Android Game Deals. You can find tons of free stuff from there. Here’s an example of how a post generally looks when the app or game is free.

Our recommendation is to follow both of those subreddits and check in periodically. Additionally, keep reading tech blogs like us for larger deals on more popular items, such as this one day sale on Bloons TD 6.

A photo of Google's early access beta program on Google Play

Beta testing

Beta testing is a fun and different way to get premium apps and games for free. In fact, I personally did this with the Flamingo Twitter app when it was in beta. Most apps in Early Access beta on Google Play are completely free and you may get to play it for free after the final release if the developer is nice about it.

You can access Early Access titles by opening the Google Play Store, tapping the Apps tab, and then scrolling the bar underneath the tab until you find the Early Access page. From there, pick whatever apps or games you want, enter the beta, and play! It’s a fairly simple process overall, but there’s no guarantee that you get premium games for free with this method.

A photo of Google Opinion Rewards on the rewards page

Last ditch efforts

Social media is a decent place to score free stuff, but it is wildly inconsistent. You likely won’t get free codes to expensive Square Enix games. Icon pack developers, on the other hand, toss out free download codes on a consistent basis. Of course, that requires you to find all of these developers and hope you’re online when they throw out codes.

To be honest, these methods only work if you get lucky, but we included them for the sake of completeness.

This isn’t a method we recommend on a consistent basis, but it does occasionally work. In addition, tech blogs and YouTube channels sometimes promote apps and games through giveaways with free download codes as a prize. Again, this isn’t a super consistent method of getting paid apps for free, but it’s yet another option.

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Did we miss any good, legitimate methods to get paid apps for free? Tell us about them in the comments!

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