If you have a smartphone, odds are you’ve been in the app store to download one of the countless apps available to use on your phone.
Odds are, you also download the free apps, too. You see the apps you have to pay for, but you just can’t bring yourself to purchase them. No matter how cool or useful they look.
If you’re one of those people that live by the “if it’s free it’s for me” philosophy and you have an Android phone, we’ve got some good news for you.
Google is giving away paid Android apps weekly through the Google Play Store. Yep! Paid apps can be available for download for free for one week.
You can find these apps under the “Free App of the Week” section.
The caveats that come with this deal?
- It’s only available to U.S. users (boo)
- Only one paid app per week gets the spotlight and is free to download
It’s a bit hush-hush at the moment with Google, but it’s a thing. A brand new thing.
One of the first apps to be given away for free was Cartoon Network’s “Card Wars” – a $2.99 app inspired by the hit show Adventure Time.
You might think Google is crazy, especially when there are tons of free apps available in the Google Play Store.
Perhaps there’s method to this madness.
Besides, you’re not going to complain about something that’s free!
Why Giving Away Paid Apps is a Good Idea
People like freebies. Everybody knows that. Donuts, blankets, snacks, a drink, a trinket, it doesn’t matter. If it’s a freebie, people will take it.
Businesses know that so they like giving away things from time to time.
While it looks like businesses are losing out on money by giving away their stuff, they’re actually making money.
It’s free promotion. People talk about their product. The spread of information is how a company and their product(s) or services become known.
Consumers are also more likely to spend more money with the company. They’re more likely to buy more products and even spend more on the products.
That’s because, in a study from 2005, a professor of behavioral science, Randy Garner, at Sam Houston State University found that:
“This can occur despite the fact that we may never have requested the favor in the first place.”
In other words, we feel obligated to return the “favor” of free stuff by buying stuff. Giving away a free app works much the same.
Believe it or not, there are some fantastic apps out there that you have to pay for but go unnoticed.
Giving away the app for free, just for a limited time, can help give the app the boost it needs.
Better Late Than Never
Of course, Apple has been doing this for ages. It’s taken some time, but Google finally decided to copy their idea. Hopefully for good.
We say for hopefully for good because Google used to do something like this before. Google used to feature giving away a free paid app for a week back in 2015 but then it these promotions just stopped.
It was under the family section but hopefully, this will aim at a broader audience. And here to stay.
It’s almost like it never happened in the first place. No one’s quite sure why this promotion stopped. Why would they stop such a deal?
But, no one is certain why this promotion is back again out of the blue.
Regardless, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. It’s about time Google took the plunge.
What This Means for Apple
No doubt Google is working to stay ahead of Apple when it comes to their revenue from apps.
At the end of 2016, Google was sitting at 87.1% in revenue from game apps. Apple was at 76.6%.
While that’s a large difference, there’s always fierce competition between Google and Apple.
Whether it’s about the latest iPhone release or Android update, it doesn’t matter. The competition is always on.
A Quick Recap
Google is finally joining the party and highlighting normally paid apps and giving them away for free for a limited time of a week.
This is great news for you because now you can actually have that app that you didn’t want to pay $2.99+ for.
The downside is that this feature is only available for U.S. consumers in the Google Play Store. There’s no word on whether or not this feature will hop the pond.
It might be a wise move to offer paid apps for free for a limited time in other countries because it is allows for developers to really get their name out across the world.
But, that’s another topic all together.
With these apps up for grabs, it allows consumers to talk about the app and spread the word.
It also generates revenue for an app company because consumers will be more likely to purchase other apps (if the company has other apps).
Likewise, consumers might be willing to pay more for the app! Even if the they can’t actually raise the price of the app, they can certainly set higher prices for future apps.
It’s serious Jedi mind tricks at work.
But for now, enjoy your free apps that are released each week. Spread the word, too!
What Do You Think?
We all have our reasons for wanting a paid app to be free. Perhaps we aren’t ready to invest in money for something that isn’t tangible.
Or maybe, you really are strapped for cash. It’s easy to throw money into the digital void and lose control.
What do you think about Google releasing a free paid app every week? Is there an app you hope will be featured?
Do you think this feature will stick around? Or do you think it’ll disappear over time, like the previous attempt at giving away a paid app for free?
Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!