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Mobile apps can be rather costly, whether from one-off download prices, monthly subscription charges, or in-app purchases. However, some paid apps offer better value for money than others. And it’s those value-for-money apps we want to hear about during this week’s We Ask You discussion.

More Than Worth The Asking Price

We want to know, What Mobile App Offers The Best Value For Money? Quite simply, we want you to look at all of the apps you currently have installed on your mobile device(s) How Many Apps Do You Have Installed On Your Phone? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Many Apps Do You Have Installed On Your Phone? [MakeUseOf Poll] Last week we asked if you would consider shutting off your cell phone for a whole day. I must say, I was surprised at the outcome of this poll. In an era so dominated by... Read More and determine which offers the best value for money. Not for anyone else, but for you, personally.

We’re limiting this to apps you have spent at least a little money on, for obvious reasons. This includes apps that are bought outright, apps that can be installed for free but then require monthly payments, and apps which offer basic functionality for free but which then charge for additional extras. Think Candy Crush Saga.

Mobile apps are big business and have been for some time. A developer who creates a great app So, You Want To Develop Android Apps? Here's How To Learn So, You Want To Develop Android Apps? Here's How To Learn After so many years, one would think that the mobile market is now saturated with every app imaginable to man - but that's not the case. There are plenty of niches that still need to... Read More , and then persuades enough people to download it to their smartphone or tablet, can make their fortune overnight. Read the short story of Flappy Bird The Short Story Of Flappy Bird [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Short Story Of Flappy Bird [Weird & Wonderful Web] Few mobile games enter into the collective consciousness of the mainstream in the way Flappy Bird has done. It passes into Internet folklore, but these videos will help to preserve its virality. Read More , and its creator Dong Nguyen, for proof of this.

The ultimate truth is that some are absolute and undeniable wastes of money, while others offer great value for money.

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Please focus on the latter. We want you to tell us the one mobile app you personally feel has offered the best value for money from all of those you have installed on your smartphone and/or tablet. Simply name it in the comments below, and give a brief explanation as to why this particular app is more than worth the asking price.

If you have never paid a penny for any mobile app, congratulations, that’s quite an achievement. But don’t feel excluded from getting involved in this discussion, just tell us in the comments below why this is the case. Have you never seen a mobile app you think is worth paying for? Do you find free alternatives to expensive apps? Do you obtain your apps by unofficial means?

Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will win Comment Of The Week, receiving a geeky T-shirt chosen from those available through the catalog for their effort.

We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. Jo
    October 4, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I used to keep 10$ every moth for a good app. However , the below ones are my favorites.

    Notability
    Springpad is no more. That was one hell of a free app. I was searching for a good alternative. Evernote seemed good but I didn't wanna pay that much for the subscription. After all, what I wanted was a sync of my notes between my ipad and iphone. Whatever note I create on my iphone should also be seen in my ipad. Then I found this app for 3$. It does what it promised.!

    Photoshop Touch
    If you have a nerve for photo editing, no words to say. 10$ (that's what I remember), is pretty damn reasonable.

  2. Katie F
    October 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Whatsapp. This app is essential to me, my family, my friends, regardless of which phone they use, regardless of what country they are in can all use it. Yes it has a fee (I think its about 69p a year) but how fantastic is that, 69p a year in order for me to keep in contact with my aunt in Australia, or my cousins in New York. 69p for me to see photos of my gorgeous Nephew as he is growing up, for me to form groups and easily keep in contact with several of my friends at once. Arrange meet ups, family holidays, share photos, videos, location, contact information, all in one app, that every person with a smartphone has access to. This is the best value app, and yes, it used to be free and it caused uproar when it started charging but who can't spare 69p a year when it comes to keep in contact. Especially considering the cost of sending an MMS in comparison with using Whatsapp (if used over WiFi) costing little to nothing.

  3. Vijay Menon
    October 1, 2014 at 8:11 am

    I've paid price and donations for a lot of apps on Android. Here's some that continue to provide me great value:
    1. Fuelio Pro
    2. Link Bubble Pro
    3. Open Mic+
    4. Swipetimes Time Tracker Pro
    5. LocalCast
    6. Helium
    7. Noom Coach Pro
    8. Dictionary.com Premium
    9. Floatifications
    10. Holo Countdown
    11. SimpleMind
    12. SwiftKey (I must admit I've bought and like Swype more)

    My all time favorites, of course, are:
    1. Nine Email
    2. Money Lover
    3. Event Flow Calendar Widget
    4. Action Launcher Pro
    5. Diaro Pro
    6. InDrive
    7. PocketCasts
    8. Wunderlist Pro
    9. Attentive Legacy
    10. SafeInCloud Password Manager

    These are clearly too many to list. Let me know if you're curious about an app in a certain category. More than willing to elaborate why I prefer it over others.

  4. Terrell Moody
    September 26, 2014 at 4:42 am

    I almost never pay for apps because I find there are always more than sufficient free ones to choose from. When researching an app, I take online reviews and comments into consideration. Even after all that research, the free apps seem to be a great choice.
    However, when I started researching music downloading apps, I must have gone through about five free ones before paying $1 for Music Downloader Pro. Best dollar I've ever spent and would gladly do it ten times over. Considering one can pay $1/song on iTunes, paying a one time fee (of any amount) for unlimited songs makes my inner pirate very happy indeed.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Eeesh, it's our policy not to promote piracy, although I can very well see the appeal of Music Downloader Pro. :)

  5. Tomxp
    September 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Downcast - for podcasts - has been great. Easily allows addition of new sites, deletion of unwanted episodes, quick browsing through episodes, and (good grief) variable speed replay ... among many, many features. I got it a while back but think it's about $2-3.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Do you have Technophilia (the MakeUseOf companion pod) on there? ;)

  6. Carol Elkins
    September 25, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I'm willing to pay for apps that improve my quality of life on a daily basis. My favorite paid app is My Alarm Clock from Apalom. It allows me to use my tablet as a clock radio. The paid version removes the ads, which were irritating, and allows me to choose which music I want to wake up to. Since I was recharging my tablet every night, this app allows the tablet to work while it is recharging.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      As there are hundreds (or even thousands) of alarm clock apps available, I'm curious to know what made you choose this one over the competition?

    • Carol Elkins
      September 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      I looked at a bunch of them. The criteria were
      1) Free
      2) Seriously big numbers
      3) Very dim screen
      4) Ability to choose my own music (even if I had to upgrade to a paid version)
      5) No annoying ads and nothing else much on the screen--just the time
      6) Compatible with old Kindle Fire.

  7. Xoandre
    September 25, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    While I have never in my life yet bought a mobile app, I am very curious to see the results of this WE ASK YOU question.

    Yes, I do have an Android phone, and I do download apps, but I never pay for them. I just do not like spending money on software anymore.

    My PC is filled with freeware and open source software, and my phone has free apps and open source apps, but not one that I have ever spent 99cents or even a penny on, much less more than $1.99.

    • likefunbutnot
      September 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      You can definitely get farther on Android without purchasing applications. Android has a very good system for compensating developers who are offering free applications and moreover, a lot of really good software for Android would be free regardless, such as Google Drive or Play Music.

      The single most likely reason I've found to purchase an Android application is to directly support work done by a particular developer. If I'm using a tool daily for some period of time, I really don't have a problem doing the digital equivalent of checking my couch cushions for the $1 - $5 they probably want for a "premium" version, even if the paid version offers no benefit to me. The PBS/NPR argument of "If you use it, pay for it." works pretty well for me.

      Examples of apps in this category for me: Beyondpod, Doubletwist, Swype, Aldiko, Moon+ Reader, K-9/Kaiten, Gymster.

      I'm not a big mobile gamer, but I do occasionally buy Humble Bundles. In that case, it's more that I'm giving $10 to charity than any overwhelming interest in getting cheap commercial software, but there's usually something in every bundle to make it money well spent.

      Android has a particular focus on making web tools usable, rather than the iOS approach of app-ifying experiences that would otherwise happen through the web or forcing users to pay for functionality that should have been present by default, or the WinMo/RT "buy an app because X doesn't have an official client yet and trying to use it on IE is too much work." Between that and the fact that Android app developers can still make money on software they give away, I do think there's less interest on the part of Android users to go looking for software to pay for.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Have you never even been tempted to pay for an app, Xoandre? There are obviously free alternatives available for most pieces of software, but I'd be surprised if you had never come across something where a good free version isn't readily available.

    • Xoandre
      September 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      I simply have no money. I cannot afford to spend what little money I make on non-existent products. My income does not support any form of splurging on such things.

      Apps do not exist in the real world. They are not tangible, physical things.

      Somewhere in my mind, I have this thing about being able to see, touch, feel, experience, and feel that I made a wise choice in the VALUE of what I spend my money on.

      Without going into the nitty-gritty details, I have a pre-paid phone by Tracfone that costs be $29.99 every 3-6 months, depending on use. Every time I refill my prepaid account, it TRIPLES my data, texting, and minutes automatically. All data, minutes, and texting accumulates and never goes away, unless I let my account expire. The current expiration date is May 20, 2016 so I have little to worry about concerning that.

      Apps are intangible and if I find something that appeals to me that I wish was free, I search for an alternative. If no alternative exists, then I just let it go and live without it.

      Note that I am not one of those texting-every-minute, social network addicted, instagramming, or vine persons. My cell phone exists as a communication device when I am traveling to and from work, out at an event, or when I am unable to access my desktop PC. And it is a true Desktop PC: 5" tall, 19" wide, 22" deep with a 24" monitor standing on top of it and a 42" HDTV plugged into the HDMI card that cost me a whopping $32.95 and can run Doom3 at max settings without breaking a sweat.

      Old school? Yeah. But there's nothing wrong with that.

  8. Bern
    September 25, 2014 at 10:59 am

    LastPass paid version. $12 a year for secure password management across just about any device or operating system out there along with auto fill on my mobile apps and form filling.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Just $1 per month? That seems pretty damn reasonable.

  9. Hildy J
    September 25, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Evernote Premium. $45/year but it covers all your computers/tablets/phones. Expanded note/upload size, search inside PDFs/photos, offline access for mobile, and more.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      That price will put some people off, but I can see how it would be fantastic value for money for some people.

  10. likefunbutnot
    September 25, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Plex. $5 per platform to enable universal access to one's personal media collection, free of geographic limitations and transcoded to the format that best suits the device's payback capabilities and network connection? That's ridiculously powerful.

    • Dave P
      September 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      When you put it like that, Plex sounds like an absolute bargain.

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