As a general rule, apps are cheap. Lots of them are free, which is pretty cheap, and others cost just a buck or three. Do you really have to go bargain-shopping?
My take: Why pay more than you have to? It’s not uncommon for apps to go on sale, often for significantly less than their regular price — and occasionally for free. This is especially important if you’re a gamer, as premium titles typically sell in the $5 to $10 range. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay $6.99 for the award-winning “FTL: Faster Than Light (iOS)” than the regular price of $9.99. Last I checked, three bucks was still three bucks.
There’s just one problem. How can you find out when there’s a price drop on one of your wish-list apps? Manually checking the app store every day is not the answer.
Fortunately, faster, easier solutions are easily available. If you’re an iOS user, head to AppShopper and register for a free account. The site not only catalogs recent price changes for iPhone and iPad apps, but also lets you build a wish list. Whenever there’s a price drop for an app on your list, AppShopper will notify you via email.
Once you’ve verified your account and signed in, simply search for an app — something like the stellar Infinity Blade III, for example. It normally sells for $6.99, but as you’ll see in its App Activity box, it often goes on sale for $2.99. Just click the “Want It” check box (below the price box) to add the game to your wish list.
One last step: Click the “Wish List” tab, then find the Price Drop Notifications box (on the right) and enable “Notify me of price drops via e-mail.” Now you’re all set to get alerts when Infinity Blade III or any other wish-list app goes on sale.
Android users should check out AppZapp, a price-tracking app that runs right on your mobile device. It’s similar to AppShopper, providing app news and listing daily sales. It also lets you set price alerts for apps you want to track.
AppZapp is available for iOS as well. And if you’re an IFTTT user, check out Jason Cipriani’s AppZapp for IFTTT recipes, which can sling you a daily dose of newly-on-sale app news. (Jason is an eHow Tech contributor — go Jason!)
Look, I have no problem paying a few bucks for an app, or even $10 for a game. It’s still a lot less than you pay for most PC and console games. But it’s so easy to set up price alerts, you might as well wait for a sale. Even if you save only a few bucks here and there, those savings can add up to a lot over time.
Photo credit: Rick Broida