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Should you ever have to pay for an app?

Should you ever have to pay for an app?

By Justin Andersen, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - May 31, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.



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Smartphone usage is on the rise in America, and with it comes an increase in applications, commonly referred to as apps. Whether it is playing games, keeping our phones running smoothly or something for work, we love our apps. With these apps come a price, sometimes a little more steep than we want. More and more people are turning to comparable free apps.

There is a warning that must be heeded when it comes to free apps. In the world of apps, the notion of "you get what you pay for" is not far from the truth. If there is an app that you are going to use regularly or rely on, you are best off purchasing the app. Paid apps are more frequently updated, therefore providing better support.

But there are certain free apps available on the markets that are great products and values. Here are five apps that show us we don’t have to always pay to get what we want.

Finance:

Mint.com Personal Finance (free) is a great app that offers you the ability to see all your accounts in one place and track your expenses and budget. This is perfect for keeping you on budget. Everyone could use a good app to track their finances, set a budget and save, and this is it. This is comparable to EasyMoney 1.0, which is $9.95 and offers you similar features.

Games:

Comment Boards:

Free and paid games are saturating the market, and all have their ups and downs. Most of the free games will have in-application advertisements that some people find annoying and others can tolerate. While purchasing a good game can be a great investment, be careful! Chances are you can find a similar one for free. A great place to look is the Amazon App Store for Android. It offers a new paid app for free every day. This is a great way to get some of those paid apps without the costs.

Health and fitness:

Fitness is something that is on more people’s minds these days, and what better way to keep track of what you eat and your exercise habits than Calorie Counter by MyFitness Pal (free). It allows you to put in all the food you eat and will track your calories and help keep you within your caloric range. Comparable to Calorie Counter Pro by MyNetDiary.com ($3.99), the free app offers the same benefits, including a few extras.

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Productivity:

With the amount of time we spend on our smartphones, LauncherPro (free) is the best way to customize and control your phone experience. This gives you the ability to add new home screens, widgets, 3D app drawers and more. It is comparable to LauncherPro Plus ($3.49), which does unlock certain features. You can still enjoy this app and reap the full rewards without the upgrade.

Lifestyle:

A great option to keep the news and tunes playing wherever you go would be the TuneIn Radio (free) app. It has over 50,000 channels of music , sports, news and podcasts. It is comparable to its paid version, TuneIn Radio Pro ($0.99), which gives you the same stations with the added ability to pause. The free version is where it is at.

As you can see, lifestyles in this fast-paced age of technology rely on information at our fingertips. People have crunched their budgets due to the economy, but with the variety of free apps available, it offers methods to help make our lives more convenient and affordable.

Justin Andersen is a freelance writer and has a love for technology and history. He loves spending time with his wife, three children and his gadgets. You can contact him at justincaseandersen@gmail.com

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