Android Resolutions: Resolve to spend more in the Android Market

There's a fallacy about Android users: We're cheapskates. We refuse to purchase applications. Or, at least, we don't purchase apps as frequently as users of other platforms. On one hand, so what? There are countless bad-ass Android apps that don't cost a dime. What's wrong with that?

On the other hand, none of us would be here if it weren't for developers and content creators. And we should all want to support them. And so ...

Resolve to spend more in the Android Market

Actually, let's start with apps, but we need to remember to think beyond them.

When it comes to Android applications, there are myriad options. Consider the following:

  • You've got your free apps.
  • Your free apps with ads.
  • Your "lite" apps.
  • Your paid apps without advertising.
  • The odd paid app with advertising.
  • And our favorite, the "donate" version, which might have the same functionality as the free version.

It's that last bullet point that probably deserves more attention. If presented with two apps that do the same thing, only one is free and the other costs, say, 99 cents as a "donation," ask yourself which you'd be more likely to download. Now ask yourself why? If it's an app you use and like, why not give back to the developer?

That said, we'll be the first (well, we'll hardly be the first) to mention that the Android Market's making things a little more difficult by allowing only a 15-minute refund window if you purchase an app and discover it sucks. That makes pulling the trigger a little more difficult. But not all app purchases need that sort of trial period. Point is, if you're presented with a choice, spare a buck when you can.

And then there are the newer fares in the Android Market -- movies and music. Don't forget about them. The movies section still leaves a lot to be desired. Or maybe it doesn't. That can be a bit subjective. Same goes for purchasing music from Google. Some days it's great. Other days I go running back to another music store. But the only way either one is going to get better is for us to keep using it, to keep purchasing.

It's a bit of a Catch-22, I know. If there's nothing good in the Market, you won't spend money there. And if nobody's spending money, you'll not seen newer, better content added. So think about that when you're deciding whether to go with a free or donation version of an app. Or if you're going to torrent a movie or album (you naughty thing, you) instead of spending a couple bucks. In the end, shelling out makes for a better ecosystem.

Phil Nickinson