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Top 7 Questions to Ask Before Buying an Android App


Published onMarch 26, 2012

Free Android apps attract us.  Many of us love free apps, in fact.  In many instances, there are free apps that provide good functionality and features, as well as great service from the developers.  Yet, most free apps provide limited functionality.  In most cases, the limitations can be lifted by buying the paid version of an app.

Do you really need to buy that paid app?  How do you decide whether to buy a paid app or not?  Here are some tips that can help you decide well.

How often do you use the application?

Before you spend a decent amount of money on a particular application, always think about how often you are going to spend time with the application.  Regardless of whether the app is free or paid, the question of use frequency needs to be raised.

Having tons of applications installed on your phone can chew up a lot of storage space, most especially if you tend to download tons of games without your ever playing them. Choose only the application that you will constantly need. Refrain from downloading apps that are not often used.

Is the application important?

A lot of buyers often experience impulse buying, which relatively explains the misery they end up after realizing that the application is not that useful after a couple of uses. An example of which is spending roughly $30-$100 worth of cloud storage service for, say 40 GB, which you won’t fill to the brim anyway. Instead choose the practical way and go for the best service that fits your budget.

Is there a cheaper alternative?

Many buyers are smart buyers who think before they purchase. These buyers are the ones who usually tend to check other stores and decide what store offers the best bargain. The Google Play Store is loaded with tons of applications to choose from. You can always find the best alternatives or equivalents to apps if you just know how to read the description and ratings made by other users.

Trust me, there are free versions of many paid apps.  There are also alternatives or equivalents that perform the same or similar functions as paid apps.

Does it work at all?

Android apps sometimes don’t work.  Most of the time, they do.  A lot of factors come into play.  There will be cases when alternatives don’t work under your particular environment.  If what matters more to you is that your Android app–whether free or paid–works on your specific device, then the issue is easy to settle.  You’ll be better off paying for an Android app that works out of the box, rather than waste your time making a free app work on your phone.

Does the developer frequently provide updates and bug fixes?

Most developers of Android applications release important upgrades or updates regularly.  Such fresh releases are often intended to fix bugs from earlier releases or to add support for more Android devices.  In other cases, updates also bring new functions and features.

Software is never a finished, perfect product.  Android apps are not exempted.  There will always be bugs and issues, and a good developer will always try to fix those.

An app user will likely install an app, even if it still has some bugs, for as long as the user feels secure that the developer is working on updates and fixes.

Does the application have a website or forum for customers to contact the developers?

Android application developers usually have a website that potential buyers and customers can use to get in touch with the developers, or even with other app users.  Applications with their own dedicated website helps assure you that the product you’re purchasing is worth the time and money. It simply means that developers care for their customers and listen to their complaints.

Customers can also stay updated on the latest developments and tweaks happening to the application by visiting the official site. They can also have access to exclusive downloadable content to enhance user experience.

Can you try before you buy?

Most developers provide free trials for their paid apps.  This practice allows potential buyers to get a foretaste not just of the app but also of the quality of service and customer care provided by the developer.

The app demo or free trial is your way to test the waters before you part with your money.  So, try before you buy.


Choosing between paid and free applications is usually the consumer’s choice and can be a very subjective experience.  The Google Play Store is literally flooded with thousands of applications and most of them are free to download. But, before you hit that download button, always bear in mind that there is a reason why some applications are free and why developers are charging for a price on their apps.  If you are about to buy an app, try asking yourself the 7 questions discussed in this article.

How do you decide whether to buy an Android app or not?