The Paid App Pledge is a pledge Android users can take to indicate they are willing to spend $5 per week on applications as a way of supporting the hard-working developers that bring top-quality Android applications to the Market. To date, the paid app pledge has amassed 187 twitterers who have vowed to spend $5 per week on applications, bringing the pledge up to a whopping $935/week or $48,620 per year. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change going back to Android developers.
Though the Android community’s reception of the Paid App Pledge has been positive overall, it has not come without its share of criticism. Several users are suggesting that there simply aren’t that many good paid applications out there to justify paying $5 a week. Others argue that there are significant problems/drawbacks to the Android market itself that prevents users from being able to find these apps in the first place. Still more point out that the paid applications in the Android market is only available in 13 countries, preventing international Android users from being able to purchase paid applications.
Though developer frustrations in the lack of Android users willing to purchase applications can be partially chalked up to the fact that Android users aren’t as willing to purchase applications as users of other platforms, this appears to only be part of the problem. Google’s cluttered market, the lack of a web interface for browsing applications, and the lack of availability of paid applications in many international markets also play a significant role in Android’s paid app problem.
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to remedy at least a part of this problem if we choose to adopt the Paid App Pledge. Now, I’m not going to argue that you should agree to pay $5 a month to pay for applications, as I believe that may be the wrong way to go about it. What I would instead encourage you to do is to commit to buying 2-4 paid applications per month when you deem it appropriate. Have you been using a free application for ages that has a $2 paid/donate version? Pony up the $2 and support that application. Is there a new game you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t been able to justify the $6 price? Fight your initial instincts and pay the $6. Treat yourself to paid applications from time to time; several of them truly go above and beyond what you could ever hope to get from a free app.
Taking the Paid App Pledge (or a version of it), leave some comments about your experiences, apps you’ve downloaded, anything you want really. Oh, and don’t forget to share your paid app purchases on Twitter using the #PaidAppPledge hashtag.