Monday, April 25, 2011

Mobile apps prices

I wonder if things have gone too far with mobile apps, price-wise? Android and iOS apps that is.
In the desktop app market, if an app is $5, that is considered virtually free. But now I see and hear in mobile app reviews all the time stuff like "if it was a buck, I can take a chance, but if it's five dollars, it really has to deliver something special."

One- and two-dollar app seems to have become the norm, even for quite important apps. And I'm wondering if in the slightly longer term, this won't stop developers of important software (valuable utilities and production software) from making any money with their work, and so just walk away from it.

I hope not. But somehow this shift has happened, and since price is a virtually 100% subjective thing, once the public has been trained to consider five dollars "expensive", well, that's how they see it.

I don't know what Apple (iOS App Store) and Google (Android Market Place) could do about it. Perhaps they could make a push sometimes for premium software, apps costing five dollars and above, and help educate the customers that some things are worth paying more for than a pack of gum. After all, it hardly helps Apple in the long run if the only developer who keeps working is the maker of Angry Birds.


Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...

Well, in my case, I'm willing to spend the money, for good apps. Notemaster, excellent; $4.00. iBird Explorer Pro, great reference, $15.00.
Photo Measures, a tool designed specifically for writing measurements on photos, $5.00. This tool means I usually have all the little sheets of paper with me, and organized, instead of being lost on my desk, or in the wrong pocket.

What is really needed is some sort of brief trial period, as to many apps just don't work as advertised, or have some kludge. I have about six voice recorders, and the best is the free one on iOS 4.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, now you mention it, a trial period is sorely needed. It shouldn't be so hard to implement.

John D. Linn said...

In the past trial period meant software is shareware. I believe Apple does not allow that kind of thing in the App store for what ever reason. Of course some publishers create stripped down versions as freeware... if you like it and want the full version then you pay.


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