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Not a day goes by when we don't use apps. They might not rank high on your list of priorities when picking a device, but they undoubtedly shape your experience when you're using it. Most of the time, we can get by with the native phone, messaging, and browser apps which come preinstalled for our basic communication needs, but downloading replacements to improve our experiences with these devices is where it gets fun. And downloading the pointless ones is fun, too.

My apps have defined what I do with my smartphone. There is an app for almost everything that I prefer for various reasons. Certain apps are simply downloaded and tested, and if it doesn't work out they're uninstalled. Others are downloaded as necessities to improve how I interact with certain websites (BaconReader), or my home screen (launchers). However, by and large, apps are simply there when I need them, and ignored when I don't. 

I place an emphasis on "need" seeing that certain apps truly improve my experience with each smartphone. On iOS, Tweetdeck works very well for my social media needs, and on Android, Falcon Pro does wonders. These are both apps I easily deem priorities to download in order to make my life easier, and they earn my donation because of it.

If you've been following along, you'd notice I'm interested in testing out Windows Phone, and I'm not the slightest bit worried about the measly ecosystem. To me, apps come second to any native function of my smartphone, but a few here and there inevitably make their way onto my devices.

Apps have a place on all smartphones for a reason. Just as the Windows Phone Marketplace looms towards 200,000 apps with BlackBerry's slightly behind, Android and iOS are blowing them out of the water. The quality of apps, as well as app selection, is the result of how many developers are willing to write and maintain them. Sure, certain Developer Environments have advantages over others, and revenue varies from ecosystem, but apps are a proven way of amplifying how you interact with each smartphone which is why they're a good indicator of an operating system's health. That's why many get hung up app selection when they hold vested interest in an certain ecosystem.

Apps are driven by the developers who hone each experience down to an exact science, with lag, crashes, bug fixes, interface updates, and performance improvements being a part of the daily job function of every developer. Some are better than others, but it's for these reasons apps are so very important to smartphones. As devices get more powerful, and operating systems get into the hands of more people, app selection is an example of an advantage of one platform over another. They charge for these improvements, and they commit time to make the experience on any given operating system better. 

Oddly enough, I've found that when I do use apps often, I prefer to buy them instead of downloading free variants. (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that I'm in the minority.) Most would prefer to download any free app they can, and manage with ads in the app's interface, rather than paying for a premium version with more features and no ads. I've determined that my experience and satisfaction, as well as the frequency of use is enough of a reason to reward whoever made it. If you've ever felt like you couldn't live without an app, I feel a developer should be rewarded.

I haven't purchased a ton of apps, but my most frequently used are Action Launcher Pro, Falcon Pro, and Google Play Access All Music. These apps are That paired with the fact that I despise ads are enough reason to win my dollar. Each of these apps are very different, but they all have prioritized the same features which make them so great: fluidity, constant updates, and a beautiful interface. For me, that's enough to warrant $3 to $5 for the donate version.

But what about you? How do you justify purchasing an app? Do you only donate for apps you frequently use, or do you donate for an extended list of features? What do you think is the most you'd pay for an app? Let me know it all including your favorite apps down below!

Image via Droid-Life.


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