Monday, December 24, 2012

Are mobile apps worth more?


I have been using an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) and an Android tablet (Asus Transformer Pad) for the past few months. Involved in this ecosystem, I got used to being able to find free apps to do everything I needed. Until recently, I had hardly done any intense gaming on either one of these devices. I used to be an avid PC gamer many years ago. With the Android OS, I usually would play games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja or something like that. But all that changed during the last few days when Google Play had their holiday sale. They dropped the prices of games like Need for Speed and Grand Theft Auto to $0.99! These games are usually listed between $4.99 to $6.99.


Being so used to playing games like Angry Birds on Android, I didn't think the devices had enough processing power to handle such intense high-res games like Need for Speed. With a price point of only a $1, I thought I'd give it a try. I was really impressed with the result!! The gaming experience on these devices are on par with PCs. I was so excited by seeing such good graphics, that I even tried new games like Dead Space and Order and Chaos. They were as impressive!


Seeing such good results on those devices, I started to wonder: why are we not willing to pay the price for software on a mobile device which we would willingly pay for PC software? These mobile apps require even more programming to work with different devices and they are much more usable, since we carry our mobiles everywhere (and sometimes tablets too!). On PCs, we would easily shell out $20-$30 for software. It could be even as high as $100+ for software like MS Office etc. But when it comes to mobile apps, we just don't feel like it's worth more than a couple of bucks. The most popular apps in Google Play are either free or $0.99. Maybe it's because we have been too spoilt? With the advent of such cheap apps, we keep trying to find the most suitable app for us within that budget rather than pay $15-$20. There's also very limited choices when you try looking in the higher budgets.

On the other hand, this gives us more variety since we can afford to try different apps and use the ones which best suit our needs. In my experience, I have probably saved a lot of money in the last few months, since I haven't paid for a single app (until I got tempted by the Google sale last few days!). I was even able to get an app like OfficeSuite Pro ($14.99) for free when Amazon featured it as the free app of the day. Currently, the same app is for sale on Google Play for 99 cents!