When I got my first Android device, I remember being completely amazed by the app store. I had experienced apps before when BlackBerry App World launched, but it seemed incomparable to what was offered on Android, even back then. Here was this bustling catalog of apps that were both popular and, for the most part, free. I spent a lot of time within those first few months seeking out the best free apps I could find. I very much enjoyed not spending a dime in the app store.
After discovering the magic of launchers (and trying several of them out), I eventually settled on Launcher Pro as my launcher of choice. It’s not that I minded TouchWiz, but with TouchWiz you could only customize so much. LauncherPro, on the other hand, opened up a whole new world to me, and eventually decided that I enjoyed customizing my phone so much that I wanted to unlock its full potential. I decided to make my first app purchase: the paid version of LauncherPro.
From that moment on it seemed like I became a lot more liberal regarding my spending habits in the app store. As I scroll through this (long, long) list of apps, I see that I’ve spent quite a bit. Some of the purchases have been more than worth what I paid for them. LauncherPro did well for a while, but at some point I switched to Nova Launcher and haven’t looked back. Other purchases were not so well thought-out, like a Sense 3.0 Halloween Skin, Widget Locker, and a few outdated icon packs. I was even desperate enough to purchase a “volume booster” app once upon a time which, unsurprisingly, did nothing.
I was inspired to look through my past purchases after making a few purchases these last few days from the Cyber Week sale in the Google Play Store. I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Room series, and with the entire trilogy costing $4.99 (basically 50% off) I decided to bite the bullet. I also purchased the LEGO Harry Potter games, which are currently on sale for $0.49 each.
Of course, you can spend money on more than just apps in the Play Store as movies, TV, and music are available for purchase as well. I find that Google is particularly generous with discounts and freebies in these areas. I haven’t spent as much money here as I’m usually content between a few subscription services, but there have been some deals that were just too good to pass up.
It's worth mentioning that most of my recent app purchases have been funded – or partially funded – by the Google Opinion Rewards app, which pays you well for answering quick surveys. I’ve had the app since May, and so far I’ve earned $20.96 from the surveys I’ve taken. Surveys have slowed down since the first couple of months, but I still receive a survey on occasion. It’s an extremely passive way to earn good Play Store money.
Although the Play Store can’t seem to pull up all the details on my purchases, it would seem that I’ve spent a cool $200+ in the Play Store so far. As a frequent platform switcher between Android and iOS, I would not be surprised if I ended up spending about the same amount (or more) on iOS. It seems like a lot now, but when you only make incremental purchases it really doesn’t seem like much.
Readers, what are your spending habits like regarding apps? Do you spring for premium paid versions, or are you perfectly happy with free apps? Do you buy things like movies, music, and TV through the app store? Let us know in the comments below!