Jul 23 AT 6:05 PM Anthony Domanico 119 Comments

Is the Android Market ready for the Paid App Pledge? Survey says…[OPINION]

Though there are many good paid applications in the marketplace, there is a belief on the part of potential Android developers that Android users are much less likely to spend money on applications than their iPhone counterparts. Several weeks ago, Chuck Falzone, a blogger over at Android Guys, launched the Paid App Pledge as a means of making a statement to developers that Android is a viable platform for launching paid applications as a means of making money.

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.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • Noice

    I won’t make such an artificial pledge. I will however continue to buy great apps, when they are offered, that represent a fair value for the functionality that they provide.

    Many of the best apps seem to be free… most of the apps (free/paid) I try get uninstalled.

    I’m not at all convinced that the consumer is to blame here.

    • http://Website Derek

      Yea, I’ll buy an app if its a good quality app. Unfortunately most apps in marketplace are overpriced and look like they were created by a high school dropout hacking in his basement. And they function like it too.

      Bash on Apple or iphone all you want, but the apps in their appstore are cheaper (I’ve bought tons of great games for $.99, like lets golf, trenches, angry birds, etc.) and they have a professional level of appearance and function. I’ve looked in the android marketplace and I paid $5 for a piece of crap blackjack app that barely ran that was written in java and it showed. I quickly proceeded to get a refund on that garbage. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that android is just a big java runtime environment while iOS is a real OS that runs native apps written in Cocoa, not java. I think it also has to do with the approval process that apple has instituted. Probably has kept a lot of junk out. Lastly, I think it has to do with the fact that there are just more professionals developing for Apple, there’s over 100 million iOS devices running world wide, thats a huge audience. Even if you get only 1/2% thats a half million apps sold.

      Basically it boils down to, if you produce a good product, it’ll sell. No need to wrangle people into spending $5/week on craptastic java apps that any 5th grader could create themselves.

      • http://Website brunswick


        I couldn’t agree with you more. I’d gladly pay for apps that i’m sure are worth $1-2. Even still I could not justify $5/month. There just aren’t enough good apps in the Android Market Place for that kind of a commitment. And I agree with you totally about the quality of the iOS apps comparatively as my wife has an iPhone and I play games on it all the time, and almost never on my Android phone.

      • http://Website chad eastwick

        I also agree with you. you are right on the money on the java runtime apps vs apps developed in cocoa. It makes it much harder for a developer not working in a team to make a decent 3d game on android. One look at the marketplace will verfiy this. I have never paid for an android app yet. When android gets good 3d games i will consider buying them, until then my money stays in my pocket.
        also i think its truly trash that psx4droid is a paid app whent Zotdd released his emulators for free on the iphone. However with the state of android what it is I am considering buying his app.

        • http://Website Derek

          I’ve paid for apps, but they were apps that I thought were useful. I bought Root Explorer. I bought the paid version of Launcher Pro. I bought the paid version of ROM Manager. These are all good apps so I wanted to support the Dev of each of them. I just dont want to be forced into buying trash because of some lame pledge. If an app is useful, looks professional, and functions properly, I have no problem with paying for it.

          I migrated from iphone 2G to the Captivate last Sunday. Mostly because I was a little bored with iOS, had been using it for 3 years. I just really wanted a change. But I definitely kept my old iphone to play games on, man the games in android market are rubbish.

          • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

            I’ll correct you a little bit… SOME/MOST of the games on the Android market are rubbish. Android does have some good games, especially when you consider Gameloft’s HD games (not on market).

    • http://Website Phone Man

      Just wanted to clarify one small point. You called it the Marketplace in the opening. The Market place is the app store for Windows Mobile Devices. The Market is for Android.

  • http://pierwszyportal.pl darkom

    • http://Website archboy69

      I agree that I think this pledge is useless. I think when there are quality apps people will buy them unlike the current market full of boob and crapware.

      I am a firm believer of supporting great developers when they produce inventive great apps. I certainly think the free apps are great and you get to use it with ads if you want but for me if I like the free app, I will most likely by the paid app

  • http://pierwszyportal.pl darkom

  • http://Website ari-free

    it is better to just publicize apps that are worth buying

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      And we try to, it’s just difficult to catch them all sometimes.

  • http://Website DROID Doesn’t

    I can’t support this due to the recent talk of Verizon’s tiered data plans. I personally use about 900,000KB of data every 30 days and if Verizon goes to a similar tiered plan as AT&T (about $25 for 2GB) my money definitely won’t be going towards apps. App developers knew what they were getting into when they joined the android community and shouldn’t expect everyone to jump and pay. Everyone is taking advantage of what droid was meant to do, be as opensource as possible, and everyone’s getting upset. Am I missing something?

    • http://Website jamerson90

      Why? You realize, 900,000kb is about 900mb, and your bill will go down because you dont use 2gb of data, right? I use around 4gb of data, shouldnt I be the one mad about tiered data because my bill would go up?

    • http://Phandroid TDP

      If you use 900,000KB that is less than 1GB (0.85831GB to be exact) you will still be well w/ in the 2GB allowance

  • http://Website JamieB

    1-year in and I’ve only purchased one app (Nesoid).

    Most of the best apps are free or have a free counterpart.

    Not interested in a $5/week plan..

  • http://Website william

    A lot of countries still don’t have access to paid apps. WILLIAM, Brazil.

    • http://Website Kronite

      I know. It’s really frustrating. I spent quite the amount of money on apps when I had an iPhone.
      The reason: I was able to without rooting or hacking my phone. How hard can it be to make paid apps available in all countries?


      • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

        I wholeheartedly agree, and can’t understand why Google hasn’t opened up the Market to different countries. Makes no business sense.

  • http://Website Dan

    Apps are so easy to download on the web in mega ‘packs’ that when I first started using my sexi nexi 6 months ago, it never even occured to me to support the developers. I read about the paid app pledge and realised in that instant that my other halfs stupid fruit bag phone for all the things I hated about it – had better quality applications than mine did. From that point on I have made it a point to pay for anything useful and everything I like the look of. If this was done in the masses then it would make a difference. And although I am not the masses i can only do my part. I dont ‘twitter’ my purchases as i dispise that social networking tool, but it wont stop me supporting quality developers when they produce quality work.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Awesome way to look at it, man! Thanks for the comment/feedback.

  • http://Website rob

    If sprint allowed me to add it to my bill I would be buying them like crazy. When I was with T-Mobile I was buying at last 1 a day. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t u need a credit card to purchac iPhone and iPod touches? Making it easier to purchase apps?

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

    I think it’s sort of silly, but at the same time, i don’t know why people are so stingy. I buy a nice game when I see one, or will pay for an app if I think I need it.
    That being said, there are two things that make me hesitate:
    1. Foreign currency. Even though it gives you an estimate of converted cost, I end up getting slapped with a conversion fee by my bank, which I’m not a fan of. I’d rather that money go to the developer.
    2. High prices. Probably due to low sales, but prices seem to have gone up dramatically recently. When things were $.99, $2.99, and even $4.99, I didn’t really have to think about it all that much. Now that we’re seeing a lot of $6.99 apps, and apps that should be closer to $.99 which are listed at $5. It seems to have crossed some threshold that I’m no longer comfortable with, or at least have to put a lot more thought into. I just bought Hyper Jump, and at $1.99 I just went for it. With a $7 game, I really have to wonder if I’ll be playing it much.

    • http://Website Derek

      Yep, prices are higher in marketplace vs itunes appstore. I just recently got a captivate and was blown away by the high prices and lack of quality of apps in there. In itunes I got trenches, lets golf, angry birds, and quite a few other great games all for $.99 each. In android there are thousands of stupid little java games that you could write with just a beginner’s java class and they’re selling for $4.99 and up!! No wonder nobody wants to buy them, they’re complete garbage!

      Create good, useful, professional looking and functioning apps, and people will buy them. Its that simple.

  • Queen Laqueefa

    Not a chance in hell. I paid $400 for my phone and $300 for my wife’s. I pay $120 a month to use those phones. Not a chance that I’m spending an extra $25 a month on apps, especially since nearly every app I use on a regular basis has a free version. If an app comes along that blows my socks off, you bet I’ll buy it. I’m not going to buy apps that I might not end up using out of some sense of obligation to the developers, no matter how hard working they might be.

    • http://Website Hans

      Then continue with a market full of mediocre apps when we can have a market full of great apps if we supported more developers.

      • http://Website Jacob

        Developers will sell apps for as much as we will pay for them. This pledge is ensuring that the prices stay high.

        • http://Website Hans

          Maybe I missed it in the article, but I don’t remember reading that we pledge to buy one $5 app every month. The pledge is so we spend $5 on apps a month. That means we can buy five $.99 apps, one $5 app, or etc.

          • Noice

            From the actual pledge page:

            “let’s all take a pledge and commit to spend at least $5 a week on apps. That’s not so much, is it?”

          • http://Website Hans

            My apologies, I misread the “$5 a week” as “$5 a month”

  • http://Website Alan Mc.

    The only paid apps on my phone are beautiful widgets and extended controls, I pirated these apps as a trail, Now I couldnt live without them and I fully plan on buying the product at the next update, The other thing I would consider is LauncherPro+ but thats not in the market, Well not yet anyways

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

      Really? You had to pirate an app that’s 79 cent? Do you also pick up gum from the sidewalk?

      • http://Website Alan Mc.

        It was to test them to see if they were any good, Since I posted them comment I have actually bought the apps

        • ER

          You know you can already do that (legally)? Return the app within 24 hours for a refund. Actually they don’t even charge you until 24 hours of usage

          • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

            It’s going to be up to 48 hours for a refund soon. Plenty of time to try before you buy without really paying a dime.

    • http://Website matt L

      you can pay for that by paypal

    • http://Website Marc

      I would like to point out that this is another reason why GOOGLE NEEDS TO GET THE [email protected]# ON THE [email protected]#$%^ BALL WITH THE [email protected]#$%^ MARKET ALREADY

  • http://Website Vance

    One of the problems here… strike that, one of the REASONS (as I don’t personally see it as a problem) is that Google has created this culture of open access and “free” stuff. On my Nexus One I find that my favorite apps come directly from Google, and are therefore free. Let’s face it, in order to sell something, it needs to be high quality and unique enough that someone can’t go get it somewhere else for cheaper or free. That’s capitalism; why are we asking consumers to be philanthropists all of a sudden?
    Having said that, being a T-mobile customer, with the option to put (most) paid apps on my phone bill, is a huge plus for me and I probably average one or two net purchases per month which I may not have purchases on another carrier without this option.
    Google Rocks. Android Rocks. Nexus One Rocks.

  • http://Website Mark

    I won’t be making a pledge to spend $5 a week on apps but I will continue to buy quality apps and donate to developers who produce excellent work. The coming Froyo roll out will allow for people to buy apps without wondering which apps they need to uninstall in order to do so and should also make the platform more attractive to developers with more memory intensive apps and games. This will help the market naturally.

    There is also a massive change in the demographic of the Android user base under way with over 160.000 devices being activated daily … that is a lot of consumers looking for quality applications to serve their needs. Google need to enact a much better market experience (start by buying AppBrian and adding to it …) that needs to be accessible for paid application purchase in all markets world wide.

    On the developer side there is also a need for an uplift in quality delivery. The Android Market is no longer made up of just highly technical people who will put up with misbehaving applications so readily or will be prepared or able to hack the applications in order to make ithem work properly. In addition, developers who are sitting on the fence and avoiding the Android Market as it does not pay well yet are creating a self fulfilling prophecy. If you feel you can pass on 160,000 new potential customers per day then you are very much in danger of missing the boat. There is a sea change happening and now is the time to step up or miss out to competitors who are more proactive.

    • http://pro-thoughts.blogspot.com/ vkelman

      “The coming Froyo roll out will allow for people to buy apps without wondering which apps they need to uninstall”
      Not went entirely true, unfortunately: I’m on Nexus One with Froyo, but only small fracture of developers upgraded their apps so far to use app2sd feature. It’s not as wonderful as with Cyanogen MOD, which automatically manages applications and moves them to microSD card as necessary.

  • http://alangerow.com Alan Gerow

    While I whole-heartedly agree with the intention of this program, I have not, nor will I, sign a pledge to reward developers regardless of quality. When I got my Nexus One, I made a conscious decision that if I want to see great apps on the platform, I’ll need to support the apps I use. Plus, I hate ads.

    Since I got my Nexus One in March, I’ve probably spent $80-100 on apps or related products/software. In almost three years owning an iPhone I spent probably about $10 on apps for that platform. For one, apps on Android provide so much more functionality, and many offer free ad-support versions to try. Once I see the app works on my phone and does what I want, I’ll pay for the ad-free version to (1) support the developer and (2) get the damn ads off my phone. Pretty much, if an app fills my needs, I’ll pick the $2-3 paid version over the ad-supported version every time. But the ad-supported version allows me to try-before-I-buy.

    But I will not make any pledge. I simply buy apps that are worth buying. What it comes down to, the more app developers that release quality apps, the more I’ll spend. I’m just not going to be stingy with $2 here and $3 there. I’m not going to spend money on apps to spend money on apps, but I’ll support great apps without hesitation.

    And now with Apps2SD, I’m no longer constantly butting into the app ceiling … so it will only get worse with some of the more gluttonous games.

    & @DROID Doesn’t
    “Everyone is taking advantage of what droid was meant to do, be as opensource as possible, and everyone’s getting upset. Am I missing something?”

    Yes, you are. (1) Droid is Verizon’s name for their Android phones, not a general term for the platform. (2) Android is Open-Source … not “everything should be free”. And (3) Android doesn’t mean “Free (As In Beer) Software”, so I don’t understand what you’re really getting at. Did you think if you got an Android phone everything you would ever want would be free? If so, then someone lied to you. Android is Open-Source, meaning phone manufacturers are free to download and modify the source code … none of that has ANYTHING to do with cost free software.

    It’s a common problem with English in the dual meaning of “free” in both contexts of rights and commerce. Usually programmers speak of the former, but consumers hear the latter.

  • http://Website Phil

    No there should not be any such pledge. If devs make compelling apps then people will buy them. The apps simply need to give you a reason to buy them over the free one.

  • geekster

    I have no problem purchasing apps that I find a need for and or games that I find interesting. I know I’ve spent over 120 on apps in the last 9 months. While that may not be the 25 a month it’s still not too shabby. Besides..I have currently have 5 apps that I have purchased that I no longer use. They just keep reminding me, with that “purchased” notification, every time I look at my downloads that I spent money for no reason. Oh well. I love android and I for one have no problem spending money on an app that I deem worthy!

  • http://Website Ro

    I’ll pay for apps when I need them and they’re worth the asking price. Also, you’ve got a better chance selling me software when it’s not attached to the Android Market. I tried to buy Sling Player last week and it’s been stuck in Authorizing the whole time. There’s no one to talk to about it and if you go the the Market’s forum you see it LITTERED with people having the same problem.

    • http://Website matt L

      the card of my choice will not work in google checkout,
      and I am praying that we will get to use pay pal. I want to donate some money for Launcher Pro beta, far more that what he is charging for the plus. I don’t want the plus, cuz I don’t have and htc like phone.
      that Dev is doing an awesome wrk.

      google check out is not for everyone.

  • http://Website leg

    the consumer is entirely to blame.
    the obvious solutio is to eliminate free apps. developers must code a short trial period into their apps. when tiral is up,

  • NT_

    My Android phone was activated Sunday, and I’ve already purchased two apps. Considering this is my first smartphone and that I’m consuming a lot of time learning the OS and all the wonderful new features, I think that’s pretty promising. However, this is not a charitable endeavor, and I’ve already got a phone contract, thanks.

    A good example: NewsRob. The app provided the service that I wanted, and, after 24 hours, was purchased to remove the ads and reward the developer. A few unanticipated “bonus” features came with the paid version, and I’m very pleased.

    In my opinion, having followed this blog and bits & pieces of others for a few months, the elemental system does work and just needs refinement, not charity car-wash or bake-sale promotions. For example, the Android Marketplace is hostile to efficient browsing. All apps that I’ve downloaded, paid and free, have been those I’ve been pointed to by blogs. The market search has been pretty useless so far; in fact, I was unable to locate one app that is in fact on the marketplace. This needs improvement and refinement and surely will receive it, assuming that Google likes money (haha).

    Second, the open-source model is healthy and “freeloaders” and “payers” can co-exist in a sustainable environment, as long as interesting devices with good network support are continuing to be released. The number of customers in the market is more important than the overall percentage of payers: ask any very prosperous (and there are many) free-to-play MMO developer for confirmation. Selling a $1 app to 0.01% of a truly enormous market will be very attractive, and that’s why people still keep dropping “grains of sand” into the Apple app store in the hopes striking gold. The people with truly good apps, savvy marketing and/or good (people) networking will rise to the top and be successful, and they presumably won’t have to jump through as many hoops to do it and keep things updated with Android. The key is that interesting, powerful devices are continuing to be released on multiple carriers, and that momentum seems to be building.

    Given time and volume, the Android marketplace will develop and mature. Google is committed to it, and there’s a lot more at stake with the success or failure of Android than simply the phone market. I’m far more confident in Google’s sometimes wavering mobile direction than in overly controlling Apple or rainy-day-woman Microsoft.

    • http://Website Mark

      In terms of searching for applications give AppBrain a try. You can create lists of apps you find that you like for later download and when you do decide you want them they are easy to install. With the addition of their Fast Web Installer, free apps can be selected for installation on the Web site and will arrive over the air on your phone. Paid apps bounce off the Market for you to pay via your Google account as normal … all very simple. Since I have been using it I have had better luck finding what I need and have bought more apps. It is not perfect but a step in the right direction.

      • NT_

        Thanks, I plan to check that out sometime since so many people seem to like it. I do have some questions about how they get their revenue and how my personal information is being handled, but it’s simply a lack of time to check it out so far. Along with keeping up with life’s usual responsibilities, going from a practically useless feature phone to a Galaxy S has been both awesome and a little intimidating, lol.

        I should say — because it should be said somewhere — that I bought my phone & plan through this blog’s affiliate program, because I was so grateful for how much I had learned by following the posts and wanted to give a little back. For anyone curious (and you should be if spending/committing that much money and time), the vendor is the same one that operates wirefly.com.

        They have a decent BBB score but a lot of delayed responses to complaints. Their automation and processes are very efficient with frequent emails updating your status. The phone was shipped the day I ordered and delivered on a Saturday. The instructions for completing the transfer of my number were very brief and, according to T-Mobile, somewhat incorrect, and their customer service sent me a pointless email response a full day after T-Mobile had already called me and efficiently solved the problem. Overall, it was a satisfactory experience, and it would have cost me more to go directly to T-Mobile. However, if you have a burning desire to immediately play with a new phone as soon as it’s in your hands, go to a local store.

        With contract, the phone (Samsung Vibrant) has since come down to $99, which is an incredible value in my opinion. T-Mobile’s data access in my area (Atlanta) has been excellent and very fast compared to other smartphones I have seen. The voice service is a little spotty in my suburb, but I’m not a big talker. OOPS, sorry Mom, we got disconnected… ;)

  • bdveteran18

    Idk about 5 dollars a week because I don’t often download an app that I paid for that i’ll keep but I have been paying for apps more frequently now. If it’s something i use often I will buy it. I would like to help the devs out as much as possible so shedding a couple bucks here and there really isn’t a problem for me. Probably going to be buying more of them now that i got my glorious Vibrant.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      I honestly think this is the best way to go about it. It’s much more about changing the mindset of the consumers than about spending a fixed amount of dollars per x period of time.

      Great insight.

  • http://xperiaandroid.com Xperia Android User

    many best app available free on market. I am still using the free apps coz as of now, my needs already fulfill with free app.

  • http://ryanize.com Ryan

    If they make apps that I’m interested in paying for, I’ll buy them. I won’t just pledge to throw away $5 a month on crap just because of some made up online promise. Personally I find it rather insulting that I’m expected to promise to spend money no matter what. That ruins the drive for anyone to make a decent app…they can put out crap and charge a few bucks for it because they know someone pledged to spend money and will just buy it.

    How would you feel if other segments asked you to promise to spend $5 a month on their products. Would you? WalMart…would you promise to spend $5 a month? And then Best Buy, and don’t forget McDonalds, they want their $5 a month. I can go on and on.

    Make great apps, impress the users and extend what Android can do. Make apps that are equal or greater than what’s available to the iOS users. I admit I love my Droid but I also admit that Apple has a head start and had a TON of great apps…apps that I would pay for should they come to the Android.

    • http://ryanize.com Ryan

      I forgot to mention, I have spent about $30 since I got my Droid in November because I found apps that are worth a few bucks.

  • http://Website Damien

    When I ready the $5/week app challenge, it felt a bit strange to put a number on it. I don’t use a tremendous amount of apps since I’m a moderate smartphone user, but the free ones I have, I like to get some cash over to them however I can.

    For example, I purchased Tunesync for $5. Pandora is a free app, but I purchase songs through the app very frequently. Does that not count? I also purchase songs through Shazaam, but I’m not sure if Shazaam gets a revenue cut of the songs purchased the way Pandora does.

    However, I’ve also wondered if some devs selling themselves short by making their really good apps free. For example, I downloaded Snaptic’s AK Notepad, Compass as well as Photoshop Mobile and thought “These are great apps. Why don’t they charge me for them?”

    What I’ve found to be most challenging is that the App Market is very difficult to discover great paid apps. Maybe it’s the lack of recommendations, a desktop client or spammy reviews. On other occasions, the price won’t be in my currency (which is easy to convert, but it’d be easier to see a price without having to convert from Yen to USD).

    I downloaded the App Brain app and that seems to help a bit though. Perhaps Google should emphasize that you can try the app for 24 hours for free – or is that not the case anymore?

    (Sorry that’s so long.)

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      This is still the case. In fact, I believe Google will soon increase that window from 24 hours to 48 hours.

  • JimmyK

    I really believe that this problem could be solved with a better functioning Market.

    Most people who are willing to shell out $400(ish) per phone and pay a $25/month/phone increase to use that phone will pay for a good app.

    The problem is that navigating the market is so slow and wonky that the best apps are hard to find. If there awas a good way to find apps and preview them I think that the apps that people put time into would get discovered, talked about, promoted, and sold.

    The “crapware” will get ignored.

    I don’t want to turn the conversation, but I will say that free mrket economies produce the best and longest lasting products (although they outsource the labor!). Switching to a more “socialist” model will likely model real life situations and encourage more mediocre work.

  • http://www.androiddose.com Aaron B

    I totally agree with the idea behind it. I think Google’s biggest problem at this point is the Market itself, As stated its difficult to find apps, search (Google’s baby so to speak) sucks we need to be able to search and sort better, Google needs a web interface the current “hacked” implementations on the web are good inthe mean time but long term they are not up to snuff in the polish category. If Google doesn’t step up and provide a cleaner user experience with the Market its going to hurt Android in the long run. /end of line

  • http://Website mark powell

    To me the value of the #PaidAppPledge is in the opportunity to get the word out on good apps. I think most people when they see a good value in an app, they are willing to pay for it. I like ChevyNo1′s Simply Stunning ROM. I like it so much I want to support the developer so it will continue to be around and improve. Please consider paying for the value you receive.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Very true, don’t think we should simply be shelling out money for crapps in the name of Android, but rather quality applications, or donate versions of apps we already use on a daily basis.

  • http://Website just some dude

    pledges are great, but until devs start making there apps able to be installed on sd cards which froyo and on can do then buying apps is pointless because you wont have room on your phone to enjoy them. Lets go devs, turn on those options.

    • Queen Laqueefa

      Bingo. Why should I buy apps that I can’t save to my SD? For those of us stuck on 1.6 etc. it’s pretty much an open/shut case as to why we don’t go overboard with purchasing apps.

  • http://Website Adrian

    I understand the work it takes for a good app to come around but there just arent that many worth paying for. As a frequent visitor to the android marketplace I’m constantly looking for the development of developers and I’m hardly every swayed to buying apps. Don’t get me wrong, when there’s a good one out there i’m all over it but even the paid apps i’ve bought i get tired of easily so i dont see how “forcing” the android community to pay a per week or per month fee for paid apps is a little much. Open market development is a beautiful thing and something i’ve always loved over apple but i can honestly say that unless we start getting apps that are like or better than apples, i’ll continue to pay for my apps as I please, not as i’m guilted to.

  • http://pro-thoughts.blogspot.com/ vkelman

    I’m often buying apps, as I see ones I need. Never counted how many I bought and how much I spent. But committing to spend $5 every week is plain stupid. When I don’t need new apps I don’t buy them. It’s a limited space for apps in Nexus One phone too.

  • http://Website android_jedi

    I don’t understand this pledge. Are the great folks that create these apps complaining about $? Why are the blogs and websites trying to push this? Is there money changing hands when paid apps get reviewed? I have seen several sites that ALWAYS push paid apps they review. Something smells funny…

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Yes, several developers are complaining about it not being worth it to put together paid android applications because the number of users who buy paid applications on Android isn’t large enough to make much money. Many developers are re-focusing their efforts on the iOS platform becuase iOS users buy more apps.

      • NT_

        iOS users buy more apps, because there are many, many more iPhone users to buy apps. That will change over time if Apple’s hubris continues to swell, if their hardware is less impressive compared to the competition (antennagate, et al.) and if Android phones start getting the kind of full-court press that it seems the Galaxy S is going to gradually get.

        Put a little better graphics core, a multi-core processor and a higher pixel-density screen in a model like the Galaxy S, and people will be *begging* for quality $10 “HD” games on the market. Why not? A relatively new & popular DS game will cost you $20-30, and the DS screens aren’t as good as what you can get on iPhone 4 or the Galaxy S right now (though the controls are arguably better as games are designed right now).

        The market essentially just needs this: more users that can easily find what they want when they want it and a way to clearly ascertain why a paid app is better than a free one.

        And if it’s NOT better? Tough cookies, dev.

  • http://Website Chancy

    This is a joke, right? RIGHT? lmao! I don’t need someone to tell me when to use my money to buy something. I buy paid apps most of the time whenever I feel like I need it or I’m just curious. This is just stupid and won’t make any more people than it will deter people from buying paid apps. >_>

    It be It.

  • http://www.jedimoose.org mrben

    I haven’t signed the pledge for a number of reasons:
    1. I don’t have an extra $20 a month to spend on apps.
    2. I think that much of this is based on a set of statistics that are in themselves intrinsically flawed. If you look at the recent stats from appbrain, you’ll see that only 5,500 of the 70,000 apps on the marketplace are installed on more than 0.1% of phones, and they reckon that 50% of marketplace apps are basically spam.

    My pledge is this: I will continue to buy paid apps from the marketplace where:
    1. They receive good ratings and comments from the users
    2. I need the app
    3. If there is a free version available too, if I use the app consistently for longer than 3 weeks I will purchase the paid app
    4. I will continue to buy games, as I think the games market is key to the ongoing success of Android and the Marketplace.

  • http://Website stan t

    I would not mind paying $5/week for apps, I definitely could afford that… but do I really need a new app every week? I don’t think so… How many apps do you really need? I’m using about 5-6 apps on daily basis. Well, maybe there are another 10 apps that I use occasionally, but that’s it!
    I would definitely spend my money on certain apps but I can’t find them on the market: decent quality music streaming app and dlna client – wireless sync app. Where are they (I tried subsonic and home pipe – utter crap, I can explain…)?
    As for iphone users buying more apps then android – that’s understandable. There are plenty of (braindead) iPhone users who would buy any crap if only it will entertain them for for a few minutes… I think android users are just more reasonable. This whole “app economy” doesn’t really make any sense. It will pass as soon as users will get enough of these novelty fart apps.
    I’m a developer myself but I don’t see a reason to jump into this app nonsense. It’s not sustainable. How many apps go you REALLY need?

  • http://Website Pablo

    When I first got my G1 I saw I had to have a creditcard to buy paid apps. I don’t have one because it’s not common here in the Netherlands (for students). I found out that ‘pirating’ apps was really easy and I did that for a long time. Then I came up with WireCard, created my account and put 20 euro on it. Problem was that of that 20 euro only 14 came on the account. And if I buy an app that’s not in ‘dollars’ it charges me another 1$ for transaction costs.

    I don’t like that.

    I really want to help the developers of great games / apps and therefore I bought ChompSMS, LauncherPro Plus, Hyper Jump, Papa Stacker, Prism 3D and SpeedX 3D. I really don’t mind buying more but I think google should make another payment option (which they are going to do I just read!!!) and make paid apps available in ALL country’s all over the WORLD!

    Also I’m waiting for more quality games like Angry Birds, I will defenitely buy those!

  • http://Website Incredirebel

    The value of the pledge to me is as a gentle reminder that the good apps are worth paying for. So if there is a paid version of an app I like, I will buy the paid version. However, I thought the free apps weren’t really “free,” since they run ads. Doesn’t a cut of money go to the developer for allowing the ad on the app? I am not going to pledge a specific amount weekly, monthly, whatever. Neither my budget or my phone are exactly unlimited. I also agree with everyone who has said (time and time again) that Google’s stewardship of the market must be improved. How much clamoring will it take for Google to pay attention???

  • http://www.official-shod.info Andy

    The ONLY reason I don’t spend much on apps at the minute is because the majority of the apps are listed in foreign currency. This means I get hit with a £1.50 charge each transaction, effectively doubling the price for most apps.

    There are actually a good lot of apps that I would like to try, but won’t because of the fees.

    Charging apps in the users home currency would instantly solve this, or even some kind of basket system where I can buy a few apps at once (and so only get hit with the one fee).

    • http://Website Mark

      Really? When I buy from the Market in Dollars or Yen etc. Google do the currency exchange and I am charged in Sterling. No currency fees from my payment company at all. Surprised tohear this is different elsewhere.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      This definitely pisses me off as well. When I buy an app such as BeautifulWidgets that is listed in Euros, sure Google “converts” it, but I still get charged a foreign currency fee by my bank.

  • http://Website Matt

    Honestly? I’m planning on BEING a developer to launch apps in the Android Marketplace, and I STILL don’t support this “pledge”. I do support a quality product being purchased, if it is merited, but I don’t support an arbitrary “allowance” schedule in the name of Android development.

    Additionally, the bigger issue for me, is when the pricing/ad-model CHANGES.

    For instance, Astro. It was good as a free app. But giving it to me for free for MONTHS, and then asking me to pay…I’m not going to wind up paying, when it comes down to it, unless the ads that are implemented in the “free” version are ridiculously intrusive. And even that might just leave a bad taste in my mouth, enough to make me “spite” the developer. (Which is awful, I know)

    I just think we need to look at how we APPROACH the paid apps model, and figure out a way to make it work. I’m not saying I have a solution, but I don’t think this pledge thing helps, either.

    • http://Website John

      You used astro for months then complain about adds or a small fee. Soon as a could I paid the dev for his hard work.

      • http://Website Matt

        The point I was trying to make is that the model shouldn’t “change”. I know with Astro everyone knew it would EVENTUALLY not be free.

        But having it for such a long time FOR FREE made it harder to spend money on. And I haven’t updated to the ad-supported version based on my experience with ads ruining SportsTap, personally.

        I’m not saying Astro isn’t worth the money, I’m saying that it’s harder to pay for something you’ve already had for free for several months.

  • http://www.asyncminds.com nick

    I would buy but Im still on pathetic Motorola Cliq. Upgrading soon Galaxy S! :) Then will spend.

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    I agree that most apps have a free alternative. I just purchased a password safe/e wallet type app. The app I purchased was Handy Safe and it cost me $9.99. Of course there was plenty of free alternatives but NONE of them looked anywhere near as good as Handy Safe.

  • http://Website leg

    pay to play.
    try out an app if you don’t like it let it expire. if you like and use, pay. your payment will advance android

  • http://Website panib

    The restricted ROM on most of the Smartphones, which makes the installation of new apps impossible due to lack of memory, may be part of the problem. Many ‘androiders’ would probably try and finally pay for good apps.

  • http://Website MvP

    I have at least 30 paid apps on my nexus and have tried many more. I use to love going on the market back in the early days of the G1. Now the market is full of crap and its a choir to find anything of use. I now check blogs to see what people are recommending or check out the hot apps on appbrain and see what’s cooking on xda.

    • http://Website BlueJayofEvil

      Same here. I still have my G1 (running Cyanogenmod) and have a huge list of apps and themes I’ve paid for. I’m guessing the actual number of apps I’ve paid for (not including themes) is at least 50.
      I remember the early G1 launch days when there was almost nothing on the market, now it’s almost impossible to find anything good without knowing what to search for ahead of time.

  • http://xperiaandroid.com xperia android user

    Just curious.. Is the free app will become paid app after popular in android user?
    if yes, hopefully the app has many more advance feature.

  • http://Website motaz

    i am out of the supported countries for paid apps, so i won’t even say my opinion, google think an worthless :(

    still, free apps for me :D

    • http://Website Mark

      Still, if there is something you really like you can often donate to the developer to help support the project or use some of the alternative markets like SlideMe for some apps or buy direct from some developers. Totally agree that Google need to concentrate on making the access to paid apps global if the market is to function well. Meanwhile, keep enjoying Android ;)

  • http://blogspot.dieswaytoofast.com Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya

    I am with James Kwak here – http://baselinescenario.com/2010/05/30/personal-computing-apple-google-2/ – I too find the whole ‘App’ craze bizarre and perplexing. It *is* a giant step backwards from the whole concept of the web.
    For those of you with long memories, remember the early days of personal computing (DOS/Windows), and how you had umpty-um thousand apps on your computer, each to do a specific thing? Check weather w/ *this* app, Check mail w/ *that* app, movie reviews w/ *yet* *another* app, etc. Now, think of how you do this on your comp. – iGoogle/weather-undergroung/imdb, etc.

    Why do we tolerate this on fones? Admittedly this begs the question of paying for functionality, but I do see the subtler point, which is that by enabling this type of idiotic functionality, we’re just pushing ourselves back into the idiot days of computing.

    So *NO*, i won’t sign the pledge. Now, if you create a different pledge – one that sez “I’ll help eliminate the concept of apps”, well hey now….

  • http://Website Anthony

    “Android users aren’t as willing to purchase applications as users of other platforms.”

    Who says that Android users buy less apps? The author should have posted a link or source to that claim. I’m not saying that it’s not true, but people just like to see sources.

  • http://Website John

    i think it’s not all about the payment, but the method:

    Why not have a prepaid option like the PaySafeCard in europe, which you can buy at kiosks e.g.?
    Don’t have / want a credit card.

    Please do more app reviews!

  • rlcressy

    I agree with the majority of the writers on this blog; when I find a useful app I will gladly pay for it; however, having said that, I would also buy more if there were a free version that I could test out first. I have purchased a number of apps that I had to return because they didn’t perform to expectation, or the wouldn’t even install. Give me an app that:
    1. Installs
    2. Works
    3. Is useful
    and I will gladly buy it, but I won’t buy any $ amount of apps just to support a developer. Developers must conform to the marketplace. Develop crap and go out of business, or develop a useful app and succeed.

    • rlcressy

      Well I bought another app (HandySafe) with a matching desktop version. Desktop works fine but phone app is not working at all. Cancelled the phone app and waiting for a response from the company to see if I can get a refund on the desktop app. Having similar issues with SplashID which crashes the phone app whenever I try to sync. I just want an app that works and I will gladly pay for it.

  • http://Website Roseventyfour

    I don’t agree with signing a pledge either. I think the apps should sell themselves. The biggest problem for me is the apps that come over from the iphone are usually lacking in a major way and are double the price of the iphone version. For example the Scorecenter app. I waited forever for this and was excited when i saw it was available. But it is trash nothing like the iphone version and really just a front for Espn Mobile. It just feels like the developers think they are doing us a favor by bringing it over to Android and can just give us anything and expect us to pay $3 for a $1 iphone app. On Android I think Camel Games makes the best for gaming, the games have great graphics no lag and are fun to play. I have bought every game they have in the market except for one, so knowing their not just throwing trash in the market just to get a dollar out of my pocket goes a long way.

  • http://Website Joeskie

    Well i for one am not onboard with this. Teired data plans, a new phone coming out every month all the while nothing is getting cheaper and now we have to pay extra for developers to came to android ontop of them possibly charging for an app? If thats gonna be the case then f it ill go back to using little shitty flip phones. As a dev you have a choise, charge for your app or put advertisements reall simple. Why have android owners become the nickle n dime me to death community? We have fractured os and market apps to support them pluse ther are maybe a handful of devs in the market that are actually reaponsive to problems.

  • http://Website bambino

    if that happens and apps become to be paid for, i am so ready to go to a iphone or a blackberry.. plans are expensive as it is..only thing that upsets me android just keeps updating their software howerver leaves everyone who had their firs phones as me i have g1 and mytouch 3g they still left us owners hanging with the 1.6 and no idea if theyll ever roll out and upgrade =( thumbs down!!

  • http://Website Derek

    The problem with the market place is the fact that you dont get your money’s worth with the apps in there. You pay $4-5 for an app and it freaking sucks. In the iphone app store I bought a fully functioning beautiful game like Lets Golf for $0.99 In android market place a piece of crap java app like blackjack is $4-5. What is wrong with that picture? Stuff in the iphone app store is so much more polished and just looks and functions like professional software. Stuff in the android marketplace looks like its made by a bunch of high school hackers, which it mostly is. Until you start getting professionally developed fully functioning software (stuff that doesnt require a update every two days) who wants to buy the garbage in there?

    I’m just putting it the way it is. Use an iphone for 6 months and judge the quality and refinement of the apps (even the free ones), then go on the google marketplace and try and find anything that matches it, you wont. Android is a java runtime environment. Iphone iOS is a real fully functioning OS with natively developed apps. Thats the difference.

    • NT_

      +1 for some well-stated criticism, but I think you greatly underestimate java runtime. Actually, I know this for certain but just don’t know enough about Android to say whether or not “that’s all it is” is even true or not, lol.

  • http://Website Mike P

    Well I am waiting for Froyo and enough space to put all the apps I want on my phone.

    After that I will place the following conditions on any apps I buy: –
    1) They must do something useful and helpful for me
    2) They must be well designed and functional without too much hassle
    3) They must be value for money
    4) They must be responsive and not too resource intensive
    5) They must be able to be installed on the MicroSD card

    However if an app does what I want at a reasonable price and also is pleasurable to use then of course I will pay for it. If not then of course I will not. The eventual thing is that I want quality apps at good value for money. I don’t mean it has to be $1, just that it’s value to me must match or exceed the price I will pay.


  • http://Website Bubbles

    I bought 2 apps so far. I bought rom manager premium and the playstation emulator. I love playstation emulator, no lag on my vibrant. I think this pledge makes sense, buy a few apps a month, this will help with keeping good quality apps in the market place.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Were you actually able to get the damn thing to download? I’m still stuck at authorizing!! Definitely furious on this one :)

  • http://Website Jon

    I find it comical that the developers of SlideScreen are whining. That app was released with so much fanfare, but it turned out to be just another pretty interface with little functionality. If they had taken the time to listen to the market and make the proper functionality improvements, they would have been successful. Pretty alone doesn’t cut on Android – you have to make it useful.

  • http://Website Baraka

    Five dollars per week‽ I would fill my phone up to capacity pretty quickly, buying apps at that rate.

  • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

    So I’m still not seeing people reacting to my proposal for an “alternative” paid app pledge, that would have users commit to buying 1-4 paid applications per month (regardless of price). Is that more stomachable, or is the final idea that people should be paying for apps when they find apps that are worth purchasing?

    I actually don’t care/mind either way, but want to know your thoughts/opinions.

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

      I think a better pledge would be not to hesitate if there’s a paid app you want to try out. I don’t think you can easily commit to a dollar amount or number of apps per month. I’m not going to buy something just to fulfill a pledge. (unless there’s somehow points involved, and a leaderboard… then I mighy buy something just to get to the top ;) ).

      But I think a pledge not to hesitate could be an interesting one. If you’ve ever looked at an app and wondered if you should buy it, just do it. Don’t hesitate. Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, refund. Chances are you’ll like it.

  • http://Website mihavit

    first they need to make better apps, 2nd when they start making phones with more internal memory like 16 gigs to store these apps they want me to buy. 3 until then dont bother me aboout this. its plain and simple no internal memory no apps to put on phone. worthless paid apps, no money coming out my pocket. understood thank u have a nice day.

  • http://mikeriosisawhore.com Mike Rios

    I made the pledge yesterday, but documented problems authorizing purchases make it hard to keep. Last night I purchased and attempted to download PSX4DROID and have been stuck with the “authorizing purchase…” message since mid afternoon… I cancelled it and requested a refund, and attempted to repurchase and re-download, but no dice! Checking the online forum it would seem that this is an ongoing and common problem with the Marketplace! The only recourse I can find is to post on a thread in the Google Support forums, since I can no longer request a refund! This whole experience has soured me a little on the Android Marketplace. You guys should cover this problem!

    • http://mikeriosisawhore.com Mike Rios

      Oh, and here is the link to the Support Forum, where even the poor Dev’s are forced to state their concerns and problems as this problem obviously impacts them as well! ZodTTD (the co-author of the aforementioned app) is asking for help there too (on page 3 about 3/4 page down).


    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Yeah, I’m stuck there as well. So much for the review this week! :-p

      • http://mikeriosisawhore.com Mike Rios

        Hey Anthony, soooo PSX4DROID FINALLY downloaded sometime today while I was at work. Pleased and a little surprised I decided checked to see if there was any other downloads available (like I usually do) to update, and upon seeing several attempted to download them all… Guess what?!? They all got stuck too! You see before buying a my EVO I owned a CLIQ, and after a couple of months of use it stopped downloading apps (and updates)! A quick soft restart would usually initiate them like it did with my EVO this time, but I always figured it was just the phone… After quick search it seems like this is a wide spread and continuing problem with the Android and/or the market! Can I now expect this to happen every time I log into the market to purchase and/or update an app?… :(

        • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

          Good question. Have you put in a ticket over at Google to look into this… oh wait. ;)

          Seriously though, I have no idea, and this is the first I’ve heard of this problem. Seems pretty strange.

  • http://n/a Brian H

    I know this has been pointed out, but I too would buy MANY more apps if the developers of paid apps and games would allow storage to the SD card. For those of us phones like the Nexus One, that’s really one of the biggest issues. I couldn’t buy more apps right now, even if I wanted to.

    Also, Google needs to find a way to make developers who charge for their apps keep up with OS updates, or offer refunds if they choose to abandon them. One of my favorite paid apps was the NexusMod 2.0 live wallpaper. It’s not compatible with Froyo, and while the developer claims to be working on it, that claim was made nearly a month ago. For all I can see, he just did that to keep people running 2.1 buying his app. I don’t really think it’s fair to buy something that won’t always work.

  • http://Website Angel

    My only prob with the pledge is that as time goes on and the phone updates some of the app that are available for purchase are put on the phone as a main function. For me to pledge to something that only does what my phone already does is crazy, plus I don’t spend that much time on my phone, I use it for functionality to help me plan an such. I will not pledge to spend $5 dollars a month. Since I’ve had my phone it seems that any app I’ve bought my phone gets that capability in the next upgrade…so what the point?

    Don’t get me wrong I’m sure it will effect some people in positive ways but this is definitely not going to suit every….I think that once the market becomes more efficient and effective in having apps that work well then people will be more willing to pay….Just a thought

  • http://Website Scott Miller

    $5 per WEEK? US$260 additional per year? Hmmm, maybe, but not as a pledge. I remember too well my visits to eastern europe before the wall came down. Spread the wealth (what little there was). Let the state make certain that the workers always got paid so they could not worry and concentrate on producung great products for all. Didn’t work. No incentive. Never quite enough money, no upside potential – your opinion may vary – but I think that if an app is worthy, or even shows promise, it will attract support. Typically contributors / supporters to a developing app get the promise of future upgrades, etc.

    Just my $0.000385 (per week).

  • http://www.destroy-ink.com Indica

    I would just like to say, as an Android user that I do like the paid apps, and I use to download/purchase them. However I have had my phone reset and yes I’m using the same account. But I am unable to download any of the apps I already paid for. Google makes it pretty difficult to contact them, and when you finally do they send some lame automated response that is no help at all to the issue, and doesn’t even seem like a real person actually read the email. This coupled with bad experiences with developers not helping with apps… It puts a really bad taste in your mouth about buying apps. Here I am with purchased apps already and no way to use them.

    So maybe instead of people bashing the users, they should really look into the issue, or maybe they already have and it’s just easier to say the users are cheap that our service SUCKS!

  • http://Website Andrew

    I would be more willing to buy apps if they were all in US currency. If I want to buy an app and it’s in foreign currency my bank charges me a fee to buy that app and i’m not willing to swallow that cost.

  • http://www.slaskie.cale-miasto.pl Zulma Korns

    Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/sony-ericsson-xperia-arc-x12- Xperia arc x12

    I will however continue to buy great apps, when they are offered, that represent a fair value for the functionality that they provide.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/htc-desire-vs-desire-hd HTC desire HD vs Desire

    if is a good one apps i think its can be understanding