Freemium is another one of Android’s “f-words” that never really seems to sit well with users (fragmentation being the other). Most often used to describe games in the Play Store that are free-to-play, but also impossible to beat without forking over tons of dough via in-app purchases. It’s because of this Android users typically wince whenever they hear the mention of the word.
Looks like another Android developer is looking to embrace the freemium business model, but it’s not another game. Enter Plume and Beautiful Widgets creator LevelUp Studio. Chances are you’ve come across Beautiful Widgets in the Google Play store while looking for clocks and weather widgets to dress you your Android. The application has been around since the Android Market was on the G1. But it seems therein lies the problem. You have to pay for Beautiful Widgets and according to a lot of data, Android users are more frugal than other other mobile OS users. While many feel BW was well worth the $3.50 they plunked down for it back in ’09, there are still thousands of Android users who have simply passed it up due to the “steep” upfront cost.
LevelUp Studio hopes to remedy this by offering a free-to-download version where users will only have to pay for the options they like. It’s definitely clever, and for someone like me who only ever wanted the default widget — could possibly work out to being cheaper for some. Even better news is for the first 2,500 people that sign up for the beta via the link below, Beautiful Widgets will give you discounted access to all the features in the freemium app as a thank you gift.
If, like me, you’re already a paid user, there wont be any benefit in downloading the freemium or beta version of the app. Just carry on and enjoy the many beautiful widgets already at your disposal.