Universal. It's a word that has both negative and positive connotations. The idea of having an all-encompassing feature or plan, or anything else for that matter, is either an idea that makes you happy or pushes you away. Having a "universal application" is something that many developers aren't a fan of, and because of that we don't see the ability to buy an app on one platform and then download it again on another platform later. The reasons are obvious, but will it ever change? 

I'm positive that all of you have been in the situation at least once, on two platforms at one point in time or another. Let's say, for example, you buy your favorite mobile game on Android, and then for whatever reason you switch over to Windows Phone. Instead of having that mobile game ready to download again on the new platform, the only way you can play it again is by buying the title again. And if you're someone who suffers from platform fatigue, then you could possibly be buying that same game multiple times. 

For a developer, making a game (or any application) is a lot of work, and obviously they want to make money from their hard work. The most obvious way to do that is by charging for your app right up-front. Another is through charging nothing for the application itself, but by charging micro transactions within the app later. And if you develop for more than one platform, charging the same way from one to another just makes sense. But what if the end-user was paying for the game, no matter the platform they are on? The first time you buy it, the game is yours. No matter of you're on iOS or Symbian. If your game is supported, you can download it and enjoy it. 

Will it happen? If the gaming publishers start snatching up more developers and development studios, maybe. If the publishers like GameLoft and EA could figure out a way to keep paying the developers, then gaining access to universal apps doesn't seem like an impossibility. 

But having those huge publishers involved may mean the circumvention of the mobile application stores from Microsoft, Apple, Google and others, and that doesn't look to be happening any time soon. 

If you are someone who has had to buy your applications and games on multiple platforms over and over again, would you want universal applications to become the new way to buy? Or are you perfectly happy paying again and again? Let me know in the comments below what you think.

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26 Reactions to this post

"Will we ever only have to pay for an app once, even if we switch systems?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Angel Miguel Peguero yeah i have bought apps 4 web os ios and android but most are different o well i
John Resch I hope not. Developers need to make s living too..
Johan Hulander i've bought many apps then switched to another iphone and just hit buy again then a little note appears and says "you alredy downloaded this app. do you wan't to download it again for free?"
Johan Hulander now with icloud you never have to pay for a app more than once! You never had to ither just if you wanted it on another itunes account...
Zach Cline @Israel. Go type your stupidity somewhere else.
Zach Cline No they don't but android does.
Benjamin Padilla Wait. Apple makes you pay for an app you already paid for if you switch from one iPhone to another?
Jason Seybert That's why I love the idevices - buy an app and it's in my phone, wife's phone, son's iPod and my iPad. Apple's universal, I don't see a crossover btwn Android and Apple ever.
Everett C W Byrd @Chris Corliss, the difference is the ps3 and xbox360 have incompatible code. The license for the code subset you purchased should work on all [iphones] since it's the same codebase/libs, and should then go to individual company upgrade policy. That however is not the case and makes it extremely frustrating to the end consumer. This is why I now buy my music through Amazon. It's a sad day when Warez is the only legal route to go to get your property back.
Cameron Tanner I know a way you can get a paid app many times on different devices, it's just a little trick apple forgot to incorporate I've done it a bunch of times, one account buys a app, and you can login to the account on a different device, and hit buy now, and a little message will appear, do you want to get it for free, you have already purchased it, ive done it more than once
Israel Leiva Fuck the iPhone and Steve Jobs's pacemaker.
Gabriel Artiles Sanchez They will just lose more and more customers 1 by 1. Bs its bad enough they make us pay out of our ass for the damn product.
Tom Chavira Yes. I thought the apps were tied to our account, so if we ever get a new device, or decide to get your buddy some 'free' apps, all you have to do is sign in and you're set.
Jon Recinos Steam? Games you pay for on PC transfer over to Mac and vice versa.
Kevin Mybigman hahahaha, if that happen, Apple gonna be piss...
Todd Bradley Nice, thumbs for the illuminati symbol....I guess.
Chris Corliss I've always been curious about that. I look at it like this though, if have ps3 and a 360 and you want to buy a game that is available for both systems you couldn't just get a universal copy that works on both, you'd have to pay for both copies (assuming of course you want to play it on both systems).
Zack Enos Just jailbreak then ur good
Carlos Quinones When I used to have an iPhone I switched computers several times(and iPhones). I was pretty disappointed that apple doesn't let you re-download stuff u paid for without going thru a hassle. That's about when I resorted to jailbreaks and installous.
Alberto Garcia Flores Lets hope so.
Joshua Bender Horton link dont load
Chris Clark That would be nice...
Austin Williamson I sure hope so...

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