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The Paid App Pledge And You: Let’s Start Buying Some Apps!


A trend’s been revving up around the Android-related blogosphere lately, and as a huge supporter of quality work from all of Android’s hard-working developers, I would love to help get the word spread about the Paid App Pledge. I recently joked about me not taking the pledge (and it was just that: a joke. I pay for many apps even if I don’t plan on using all of them often), and it seems some people got confused. Then, I realized Phandroid wasn’t talking about it! So let’s do this cause some justice.

What is the Paid App Pledge?

It’s a trend that got its humble beginnings on the insanely-popular social networking site Twitter (I’m sure some of you have heard of it). The goal of the pledge is to get you to spend $5 every week on apps alone: whether it be on a $7.99 game or five $.99 apps, we want to let developers in the Android market know that they can make money on our platform just as well as on – say – the iPhone (I honestly can’t think of a better example). At $5 a week, you’ll be spending $250 a year on apps alone. It seems steep, but I’m sure you can sacrifice a value meal one day out of the week to make it work, no? Currently, some developers have to provide free, ad-supported versions of their apps in order to make a buck. This is quite the catch 22 considering most users don’t really identify with advertisements and are quick to uninstall an app if they see any.


Surely they can’t expect developers to pour all of their blood, sweat, and tears into their projects only to see no more than $1,000 in revenue, right? (That figure was pulled straight from the air, but you get the idea.) Android is an open source platform, and with that comes the mindset that apps should always be free! “Give me what you’re offering and I will give you nothing but the tingly feeling you’ll get knowing someone’s using something you built.” In a dream world, that would suffice, but developers have to eat and pay bills as well, and they’ve spent a ton of their own time (and an over-abundance of whatever sanity they have remaining) making sure that you can get through your day-to-day tasks in a timely manner through the use of apps.

In the end, the only thing that matters is that you make an “effort” to reach that goal of $250. I don’t think it’s sensible to spend money on an app that you will have absolutely no use for or that isn’t worth paying for, but if there’s a trial version of an app that has everything you’ve been looking for, then pull the trigger on buying it. Don’t pirate apps. Don’t settle for something less. Buy what’s useful to you and help the developer out. It’ll encourage them to do even more and make even better apps. It’s a full circle that starts with the developers but can’t continue without you.

Alright, you’ve convinced me! How do I help?

The biggest thing is to make an effort to buy apps. Games will probably be the easiest to swallow seeing as it’s easier to find unique games than it is useful, unique apps. If a particular app has saved your butt in a tight situation one day, let the developer know by opening your wallet. Buy it, and who knows? Perhaps it’ll come in handy again if you face similar dilemmas.

You must know at least one friend with an Android device, no? If you don’t, then you haven’t been doing your job in trying to convert them over to our greener pastures! Encourage them to go beyond $Free.99 and grab up an app that you recommend. Show a particular app off to them and make them envy you until they have no reason (as they’ll have already raced to the market to download it for themselves). It’s long been said that word of mouth is the most effective tool in getting a message out, so start there!

If you have a Twitter account, be proud of your willingness to throw down coin for good, quality code by clicking this link and clicking the “Update” button. You’ll broadcast to all of your followers that you’re no cheapskate and that you appreciate the developers that have gotten the Android market to where it is today. Perhaps your initiative will push them into the right direction, as well (if they haven’t started on their way, already).

Android_Market_1st_Impressions 7

And don’t stop there! Be proud of the apps you’re downloading and using. Explain to your followers why those apps are special to you and deserved your hard earned money whenever you buy them. Your 140 characters could go a long way in spurring some well-deserved income for some of the nicer developers out there.

Finally, if a developer would rather have you donate to them, then don’t hold back! I’ve donated to a few market developers just to show them their work doesn’t go appreciated. I’ve also donated to a lot of ROM developers who’ve been the saving grace for getting my device exactly way I want and need it. This is also a great option for those that can’t access the paid market in certain countries. If they are asking for donations through PayPal or another outlet, go for it! Every bit helps, and it makes it clear to developers that their work is valued around the globe.

Whether or not you take this pledge up isn’t what’s really important, in the long run. Noone’s forcing anyone to do anything (nor can we expect everyone to be able to spend $250 on apps in one year, and subsequently find good uses for them), but working toward the goal would be more than enough to let Android’s supporters know that their time is not going to waste in targeting the platform that many of us refuse to part with. We always see the bigger companies coming out with great apps for the cost of absolutely nothing, and that’s great, but remember that some of the smaller guys in this equation bring just as much quality to the Android market, if not more.

Other things you should do to help keep the wheels spinning

Firstly, be sure to follow Chuck Falzone’s (of list on Twitter that follows everyone that’s taken the pledge. Chuck adds everyone that’s pledged to participate in this needed movement, so be sure you’ve tweeted the official pledge:

They say we won’t pay for apps, so I took the #PaidAppPledge to spend $5/wk. on #Android apps. How ’bout you?

The idea here is to get the list big enough to show some developers their hopes on the Android platform need not be thrown in the dumpster. Also, once you’ve tweeted the official paid app pledge, don’t stop using the #PaidAppPledge hashtag! If you buy an app, talk about it on Twitter and include that hashtag. It becomes a nice little discovery tool that could – in turn – have you buying a quality app that you otherwise might not have known about, and it could stand to bring and keep more members of this budding community together.

We all love Android, but if we don’t start showing some tender love and care to the developers that enable us to do what we want with our phones, then we’re at risk of losing them forever and – just like Vic Gundotra said at Google IO – that’s a future we don’t want.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Sorry, Google’s stupid fingerprinting system blocks my phone from seeing copy-protected apps in the Market.

  2. Sure. Oh wait I have no credit card…

  3. How are we supposed to buy apps when Google hasn’t even enabled paid apps in our countries? I’m desperate about buying apps, but so far I’m just pirating them from the internet because there’s no other way for me to get them..

    More countries, better market available from a browser and other content as well (like music, movies, newspapers, books and web apps).

  4. 5 bucks a week? I can do that. I just purchased RADIANT…which is an awesome 2d shooter. An other r-type games on the market?

  5. I buy apps when they are worth buying. Which quite a few of them are.

  6. im sorry, im all for apps getting money for what they make but i’m not just going to spend money to spend it… if they make better apps, guess what, i’ll buy it if i need it! but im not just gonna go on a man hunt for apps just to give people money because “they need it” i need money too ya know…

    it’s simple,
    1. PROBLEM – not making enough money?
    2. SOLUTION – make a better app people might actually enjoy
    3. OUTCOME – people will actually give you money if it doesn’t suck!

    WHOA no way

  7. This is a great idea, but in my case (and I suspect many, many others’) it’s a little impractical purely due to Froyo and its Apps to SD function not being available yet. I use an HTC Desire so am expecting a Froyo update soonishishish, and could in fact use the Apps to SD functionality now; but I’m waiting on the HTC release of Froyo so that it can all be done as nature intended. I think you guys need to make some noise about this again once Froyo’s (officially) on more devices than just the Nexus.

  8. I like this alot. I have a guy who is currently developing for the Iphone and said he won’t develop for Android until he can make money on it. He has a sweet application on the Iphone that can be used to replace some instruments in an airplane. Especially with the 6 axis accalorator (or however it is spelled). So once I get my Android phone, I will pledge to help support our developers. :) I’m also planning on becoming one myself. Let’s show those Apple people that we can pull together and can help each other.

  9. I fully understand that a lot of you might not agree with this. I think – the way we’re angling it compared to others – is that it should be more of a mindset than something you actually strive for. Always keep the developers in mind when making a decision in the Android market. That decision doesn’t even have to include opening your wallet. I see too many comments of people pledging to uninstall a perfectly good, and – in many cases – useful app just because the developer added an ad. It would be nice to scrub that way of thinking out of everyone’s brains. It probably won’t change much, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

  10. @Covert, exactly. I’m not going to buy for the sake of buying. Right now, every app I use happens to be a free app. A handful of them are from Google. Android: a free & open source OS for your phone, now for only $250 a year!

  11. But piracy is how I know what apps to buy!

  12. I’m saying this as a dev planning to release an app in a couple of weeks…. This makes no sense. If an app is truly compelling then people will buy it. If it takes 10 minutes for someone to make a similar app and give it away then maybe the original app is not worth the value. All this is going to do is reward people for poor apps. I’m not ready to believe that people aren’t buying apps simply because they don’t want to pay. I think they simply don’t see any of the paid apps as compelling. I don’t know what goes on in the iPhone world but I suspect many people over there literally just buy anything that comes out just to try it. Its amazing how they talk soooo much about all these quality apps but I never really see anyone talking about the actual apps. Regardless I’m taking my own pledge to strive to come up with useful apps that people feel are worth the money. If no one buys them then I’ll work harder.

  13. I *do* buy apps from the market (Touchdown, NESoid, PixelZombies), but I won’t commit to a weekly quota. I buy them as I find ones that I will actually make use of.

  14. Now reading you comment on ads….I agree. Its become cool to complain about ads when they aren’t bothering you at all. If you don’t like it then don’t look at it or touch it. Somebody else might see something interesting and want to follow up on it. My only problem with ads is that the stock is often not compelling or really related to the app. I can see geo based ads if they were going to be some sort of exclusive “just because you’re near our store” type of stuff.

  15. I’ve only bought 3 or 4 apps myself because most of the apps that I have have free versions. Now the problem with me buying more apps is that a lot of them are being coded for higher end phones. So my little myTouch is going meltdown trying to play FIFA on it. On top of that I’m noticing that a lot of developers aren’t making versions of their apps for phones on 1.5-1.6. Its not there fault TMo is taking their time with updates, but help me help you developers. I’m a web designer and I code for the lowest common denominator browser. How about a similar philosophy with apps if you want to broaden your earning potential?

  16. So we should buy apps because there aren’t apps worth buying in hopes this will spur developers into making apps worth buying.

    Brilliant dude.

    Still haven’t seen a game worth buying in the marketplace. I want monkeyball, street fighter, lemmings, good name, good graphics, fun games. When “robo defense” tops your game play list, you need to step it the f*** up. If Google and the massive growth of Android can’t pull big names into the fold, then a few of us chipping $5 into the fold every week won’t either.

  17. The only app i’ve paid for since joining Android in 08′ is “Robo Defense” I started with the free version, and advanced to the paid version. I dont even browse through the “Paid Apps” so I dont know whats there. I’ll start to keep an eye out for em.

    PS: Death to G1

  18. This seems like a really contrived way to create a paid app market that just isn’t there. If the apps are worth paying for, people will pay for them. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. There isn’t some big pirate Android app site where people are finding these paid apps for free and that’s why the developers aren’t getting paid as much.

    To me, this also sends the wrong message. It sends the message that Android apps aren’t good enough to stand on their own merit and need the begged goodwill of the userbase to be viable. How does that make the Android platform more attractive to new developers?

    It’s almost like we’re trying to prove to the iPhone developer community that, “Hey! We’re worthwhile too! See? People pay for apps over here just as much as in the app store!” But it’s so forced. One of the reasons I like Android is that there /isn’t/ a culture of “everything remotely good costs money” like there is with the iPhone.

    What this really seems to come down to is a culture mindset. There is a culture with Apple products that you need to pay to get a good experience. This is visible in the app store where apps are more expensive, and in the fact that there are minor utilities that cost $15 on the mac and yet are free by the score for the PC, and in the much higher price for Apple products in general.

    I can’t stress enough that this is not a culture I want to be a part of. It’s why I patiently waited 3 years after the release of the iPhone for a competitor to come along that is “at least as good” but wasn’t attached to that culture. And now I own an HTC Hero and I love it.

    Please understand that I don’t want to disparage the /intention/ behind this push, which is to reward developers for their hard work and efforts, but I do think the /method/ is wrong and sends the wrong message.

  19. As a developer, I love this idea.

    As a consumer… I don’t have enough space on my phone to keep spending money on apps :)

  20. ok i get what everyones trying to do but you must be out of your mind if i’m gonna spend $250 a year on apps. apps that arent even that good. i buy way more apps on my gf’s iphone than i do our market cause our apps arent that good. now i’ve purchased apps in the past that i was happy with but the burden is gonna have to be on the developer and the makers of these phones.
    dont get me wrong, i wanna buy… make some stuff worth my pennies.

  21. this is ridiculous, I cant even purchase an application from my location, the Philippines. This is where google let me down…

  22. The problems with this are:

    1. I can’t fit any more apps on my phone, so I’m sure as hell not going to buy more.
    2. I can’t pay for apps without having a credit card.
    3. I’m not going to buy an app when there is a free app that does the same.
    4. I don’t spend $250 on software for my PC/ PS3 etc why would I spend that just because for apps that I’m not going to use.

    A better pledge would be an if you like it buy it pledge. To be honest I’m surprised that Google haven’t got a pay what you want/donate to developer option in the market. I’ll happily download a free app and then donate $5 to the developer if I like the app. In fact I’d rather do that than spend $0.99 on the promise that an app will be good, and finding out it’s not.

  23. Can Google Apps accounts buy anything from the Android marketplace yet? Yeah… that’s right, we can’t unless I create a gmail account too, which I don’t want. Couldn’t purchase using 2.1, maybe Froyo allows it (assuming in conjunction with some changes in Google’s servers).

  24. I’ll pledge to buy apps when developers pledge to make them worthwhile for buying.

  25. As a developer myself, I’m very glad to see this. I made a time card app called “Android Time Card” (shameless plug :-P). And between that and the free version, I am a little disappointed how few people are willing to fork over the $2.95 for the paid app which I’ve spent months refining :-(

    Thanks Quentyn for the article! :-)

  26. FWIW I’ve Added a suggestion on the Android market google help forums for this. Feel free to post comments:

  27. I have already got stacks of paid apps ie Vlingo, pixelzombies, Aniaquarium, Aquarium donation,CuircitLive Wallpaper, 3player donation, mixzing paid, Advanced ruler Pro, Antivirus Pro,Isyncr, Motion and sound alarm, Myback up Pro, Picsay Pro, Winds of Steel, Raging Thunder2,Speech alert,World series of poker, Websharing, Securet Spycam, etc, BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT

    I have run out of space ( HTC DESIRE 2.1 ), until FROYO comes available I cant download anything else, I know I can ROOT and do Aps2SD but until a 3 step root like the EVO has got becomes available I am cautious of rooting.

    If an App is good enough I WILL PURCHASE it or pay the donation, but I really dont want to uninstall the ones I currently have.

    When FROYO is available to ALL I can see paid apps becoming more popular but all the while everyone is having to juggle space, the free ones will be king

  28. Yeah! Go buy Blackjack Attack, or at least try out the ad supported version ;)

  29. Whats that? The android market place is getting stagnant? oh dear this is terrible.. that walled garden over there with all its apps that actually work and work well must be getting very tempting about now. All those millions of users over there with all of their credit cards just waiting for a really great app to spend their money on. Looks like a developers paradise to me.

  30. When I have the option to bill purchases to my cell phone bill, or the option to setup an Android Market account where I don’t have to enter in my credit card info every time I make a purchase, I’ll start buying apps. With the current method, as I pull the credit card out of my wallet, and look at that long ass payment form, which is cumbersome to fill out on a cell phone, I just have too much time to talk myself out of buying the app. If I didn’t have to think about it, I’d be buying apps left and right.

  31. $5 / week would feed alot of hungry people in developing countries.

  32. When you say “App” what you really must mean is “game”. I have no intention of playing games on my phone and I haven’t seen a non-game application yet that did something I’m interested in doing (aside from Touchdown for e-mail which my company provided for me). I’ve tried some so-called apps and they weren’t worth the time to download them much less pay for them.

  33. Claiming that ANDROID users buy less Apps is an urban myth which needs to be debunked.

    we buy Apps, it is just that App developers were giving us the stink eye for a while now, while they polish their iPhone apps to the max, they give us half broken Apps on ANDROID because somehow they think they can get away with it and that the ANDROID market is less important and less lucrative.

    i recently paid for a popular ANDROID exclusive online game called “what the doodle”, the game is awesome but plagued with technical issues like sudden frequent crashes and as soon as the server gets close to 200 people, massive network lag starts happening… “Rune” which is an mmo for ANDROID is also a great game, but because of the amateurish approach it is being handled with, servers are never updated and people can’t even sign up because the num of accounts is limited…

    Developers are not taking the ANDROID market seriously, that should change.

    paying for broken crap is not the best solution.

  34. I’ve found that I’ve bought a lot of apps over the two years of having android phones. If the search engine was better in the market, people would find more useful paid apps to buy. Most if not all the apps that I have, have been recommended by some tech site that I visit, including a number of useful suggestions from this site. But I wasn’t able to find any of these thru searching manually they the market. And a lot of them I’ve paid for.

  35. Hold the phone… apps can be pirated aswell? Neato :p
    we’ve had android phones come out in our country for over 2 years but still no access to paid apps -.-
    the only option is justto hope the devs have paypal or some other way around the market. And even after that, updating apps is a hassle or impossible.
    FIX THIS FIRST GOOGLE! When Google actually opens up the market to all countries that have android, THEN will devs see a serious increase in revenue.
    nice initiative tho..

  36. Yeah, great, I would LOVE to do so, but Google won’t allow paid apps in my country. I had a rooted HTC Magic and I was able to workaround this stupid limitation, but now I upgraded to HTC Desire, which I don’t want to root, and I’m cut off the paid apps for good.

    This really piss*s me off, how the hell do they expect to make money out of a product they don’t even sell?

  37. @Developers (Jared, Eric and anyone else) – I have an idea and would like your input. Please shoot me an email at [email protected] to start a discussion. :)

  38. I already posted in a thread there seems to be a bunch of tight-wads in regards to buying apps and cry like wittle’ bitty babies when an app is more than a dollar.

    Since my G1, I have spent about $300 on apps and now have space for all of them on the Inc. Just bought MLB Power Pro, Hockey 2010 and MS Soccer. $13 total.

    I think part of the problem is app space for a lot of folks and they are not tight-wads.

  39. I just paid $5 for upgrading Sound Hound, it was well worth it. If they want people to purchase more apps though, they need to start coding for them to be loaded onto the SD card. Right now I’m maxed for space and need that option before expanding my app base.

  40. F this, man. I’m not buying apps out of charity. I buy apps when the expected benefits exceed the costs.

    If the market says there’s no money to be made then there’s no money to be made. As a software engineer myself that doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy but there’s no use denying reality. The ultimate arbiter of success is always the consumer.

  41. This is a bad pledge!!!
    $250 a year is a lot of money. People pay less for their phones. I change my phone every 6 months by selling the old one and buying the latest and I spend less than $250 a year.
    As mentioned in a comment above, a good pledge will be: “Buy it if you like it”.
    Personally I think Google should have made a paid version of their apps. e.g. Maps is free but to add Navigation, you pay $5. I would’ve gladly paid $10 for the navigation as a one time cost.
    Google giving out all their apps for free set a precedence of high quality apps being free in the market. This led to users like me expecting the same from other developers. If not all high quality apps from Google were free, people would’ve been more accustomed to paying for their apps.
    Personally I have only found 2 apps that I have paid for. They are both games and I’ve bought them because my nephews like playing those games.
    I agree with other comments that apps with ADs should not get a lower rating just because there is an AD in there. But then on another thought, Google, being the king of advertising, should have created a better way of delivering ads through apps with easy integration for developers. In this case, I think they should learn their lesson from Mr. Jobs.

  42. I would happily buy Android apps if my MyTouch phone delivered a user experience worth enhancing. But the quality of time I spend with the device simply for calls and web is so poor, the OS so clunky, it is not worth it.
    I write this on my iPod.

  43. I buy apps that I will use. One of the things I always hated about iPOS was that everything had to be an app. Everyone I know downloads these apps that are little more than frontends for web content. This idea that I should be nickel and dimed for every little thing I used to get for free on the web is a major reason I use Android over iPOS.

    That said, I buy apps on Android when they are ones I will use. Quite often I download the free version of something and if I end up using it for more than a week, I shell out the $1-2 for the full app. No biggie. Still, I’m not going to start spending money just for the sake of spending money. Worthwhile apps will be purchased and ones I don’t want or need will not be purchased. Same as always.

  44. Ah, the truly American view of economics: let’s not leave the market alone to balance itself, let’s try to inspire (or force) everyone to unnaturally manipulate it.

    I believe someone else has said this (in a different way), but if you leave the market alone, it WILL balance itself. If people don’t pay for apps, than developers will stop making apps (unless they fully intend to make no money). If supply decreases, the price people are willing to pay for apps will increase. And if people are willing to pay more for apps, than more people will be willing to develop apps…and so on and so forth.

    Any kind of market, whether it be currency, or the Android app market, is subject to the laws of supply and demand. Leave the market alone; it will take care of itself.

  45. Root cause is LACK OF APP SPACE on probably 90% of the Android install base.

    If devs want to point a finger, it should be at Android themselves.

    I think the focus is directed at the wrong place. I have said this several times:

    Android created a mall (app market)with no parking space (app space).

  46. Obama would love this ‘App Stimulus Plan’.

    Write a killer app and I’ll buy it. Subsidize development as quasi charity…nope.


  47. This isn’t a bad idea, but if Phandroid wants me to buy more apps, it’s going to have to help me find apps worth buying. I don’t like wasting cash, even in $2.99 increments. The quality of the apps out there is spotty, at best. My ability to find good apps is severely hampered by a crummy user experience on Google’s Market. Most of the apps featured in articles on the front page of Phandroid that I check each day are free ones (Yahoo mail, Google Maps, Google Earth, etc.). I’m sure I’d buy more apps if you steer me toward some good ones.



  49. I’m glad to spend a dollar or two and buy what I think are worthwhile apps. I’ve done so just about everyday I’ve had my Evo and am enjoying the work of many very talented developers. I actually prefer the paid apps over the free apps because of the wider selection of options available.

    Keep up the good work, developers and keep the good stuff coming.

  50. Sorry if I’m in the minority here but I don’t mind ads in free apps at all. I think the developer should continue or begin to release two versions, one paid without ads and one free with ads. If a user doesn’t like ads, then go buy the app. Seems simple enough to me. Free apps is one of the main reasons I prefer Android to Apple, lets not deviate from what makes Android more attractive than the Iphone.

  51. If developers want to make money on android then they should ALL get together and demand that Google change the stupid return policy to 30 days.
    I personally will not buy ANY app that doesn’t have a free trial of EVERY feature I want in the app because of the stupid return policy and the fact that well over 2/3 of the android market is crapware.

  52. “There isn’t some big pirate Android app site where people are finding these paid apps for free and that’s why the developers aren’t getting paid as much.”

    you can’t possibly be that native….then again, it is 2010

  53. what the hell? this is absolutely stupid.

    we can support the community in ways other than blindly paying developers.

    I pledge to spend $0 per month on the market, as I have done for all except 2 weeks this year.

    I agree with john@comment 52. That’s one of the first steps. 1day return policies are BS.

    Meanwhile, plenty of “paid” apps aren’t even worth the 99 cents they’re charging.

    I pledge to not participate in what phandroid is suggesting , as it is extortionary on android users.

  54. Silliest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Ridiculous. Laughable.

  55. So, 57% of the apps in the market are free (according to recent news.) Essentially that means that for every paid app, there’s at least one free one. This unfortunately doesn’t give people insentive to pay their hard earned money for them. I’ve found the best way to get me to pay for an app is to give me features and then take them away (it’s kinda shady but it works.) For example, mixzing media player. There is a free version an a paid version. The paid version claimed a lock screen widget (something I’ve been wanting) but I wanted to try out the actual player so I snagged the free version first. When I went for the settings, there was the lock screen widget. I thought it was a glitch, that I had gotten a paid feature for free. I had the Widgets for a week, then it went away. I didn’t appreciate the tactic but I loved the feature. Now I own the paid version. I’m not saying secretly take things away from people, you should put it in the description that certain features are trial only. That way I someone likes your free app without the extras they keep it and if they have to have the extras, they can pay for them. Oh and for the record, if you have an android phone you’re in Google’s world. Google’s empire is built on ads so quit your whiny-little-girl pouting about ads. Buying into Google means buying into ads. Deal with it. And for the record, there are ads in the walled Apple orchard too.

  56. this is so retarded, phandroid.

    What ever happened to people giving apps away? Whatever happened to free apps?

    This is just contributing to the greed that ends up with people putting that unwelcome admobile stuff on apps, basically making them *more* useless.

    “Surely they can’t expect developers to pour all of their blood, sweat, and tears into their projects only to see no more than $1,000 in revenue, right?” Yes, they deserve no revenue, unless the market decides otherwise.

    Where this assholeish entitlement comes from is beyond me. Just because you program doesn’t mean you programmed anything valuable.

  57. @John

    What the hell? 30 days? I dont think so! For a $2-$3 app. Get a grip!

    Anyway, for those complaining about not enough space on your phone, you know you can UNINSTALL paid apps and REINSTALL THEM AGAIN AT ANY TIME FOR NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. DUH. I know it may be a bit of a hassle, but you can do that you know. If you are not using the paid app for a while then just uninstall it. You can always reinstall later when you need it again.


  58. If the apps are garbage, no one will buy them. I say let the market decide. Developers have to realize if this is your business, you have to run it like one. You can’t go into a supermarket and take food for free. If that happened, the makers of the “not-for-free” items would go out of business unless they convince people to pay for their merchandise. Last I heard, 57% of apps in the Android market are free. This is not a Jerry Louis telethon. Make compelling apps and people will buy them. Don’t forget about marketing. Your app will need a great description and awesome screen shots. Good luck developers. Let’s make some real money by making some great apps.

  59. I’m a starving student and can barely pay for my phone bill. I have bought a few good apps though.

  60. This is silly. I am not going to buy anything that i do not want. Here is a better idea. Let’s have a weekly list of readers/editors favorite paid apps to get the word out as to which are the best apps. I have only bought a few: feedr, rom manager, dxtop(months ago before launcher pro came out), and Dungeon Hunter. I am amazed launcher pro and adb are still free. The devs would make a small fortune if they charged $.99 for them.

    I would buy more apps if I really wanted them, but I haven’t found too many that I want.

  61. I’m an android developer. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this idea will never work as a sustainable economic model for business. Android development is just a small drop in the ecomomic sphere. I’m sure all businesses would like such a pledge. Unfortunatly, most people don’t go to the cleaners or ice cream parlor because they want to support it’s owners. It turns out only ardent supporters of a business, such as family, friends, or a small community stick to such pledges. And usually, such a small base of supports can’t support you economically.

    Long story short:
    1. Ice cream shop owners can’t get by only by buying each other’s ice cream.

    2. Everyone else won’t see the need to make the pledge because, after all, what are “you” doing to support them?

    Competition! Embrace it.

  62. There are a good number of comments and I don’t honestly have time to read them all so I apologize if this has already been said.
    If a free app is good, make a donation. If a paid app is good, buy it. You may say “hey these aren’t as good as I want them to be” or make some other excuse, but what you’re forgetting is this: you aren’t just paying for the specific app, (pay attention, because this next part is important) YOU ARE MAKING AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE OF THE ANDROID PLATFORM!
    Your generosity directly effects how popular Android will become and how well it can compete with Apple. If you want to be buying an phone whose market is still floundering for great apps in 2 years then by all means, don’t donate… or maybe your just planning on buying an iPhone in 2 years?

  63. @Tommyster. I am 15. I have a bank account but I cannot get a debit or credit card at my age.

  64. I’m all for this pledge which is much more focused:
    Don’t rate apps down simply because they are not free or have ads

  65. To address the comments about “we don’t want to support people just to help them out” or “this business model is stupid and won’t work”, let me direct you to my previous post.
    This pledge is about donating AND being selfish at the same time. I say being selfish, because I’m not donating to help some developer I’ve never met. I’m investing because if I do, I will get better apps and a better overall Android experience in the future. I’m donating because I want Android to trump Apple in every way.
    Why am I going to donate and pay for apps? Because I’m a selfish mother f@$%er who wants to have it all and I’m making an investment to insure that I get it.

  66. Or people can send me $1 a week, not clutter their phones with apps that could never possibly all use, and save $4. Seriously, if the app market isn’t working well, the solution isn’t to artificially prop it up with gimmicks, but to fix the market and create apps that people want to buy.

  67. I already paid for at least 25 apps but that is only if they are really good. I wish some of my favorites had paid versions so I wouldn’t have to see adds like on Handcent.

  68. @Dre. I completely agree a pledge is great if your doing it for a local community or your son’s soccer team not in the business world. Also if Android wants to attractive more developers it seems the market needs to expand to every part of world (or at least where Iphone has presence) to be a viable competitor and attract more developers and consumers. Don’t get me wrong I am excited to see the rapid growth of Android yet worldwide is still a work in progress. P.S. I live in the U.S.

  69. I think the problem is that too many apps are free. I am more inclined to buy an app out of curiosity if I think it looks good. With the free trials they let me play the game and get sick of it before I decide to buy. At this point if I buy the app, it would only be to support the developer. Don’t get me wrong, I love free stuff, but I think losing the free trials would actually help devs.

  70. @66 no. This is paying for developers who didn’t even do anything successful as a business. Just because you program something doesn’t mean you deserve money. The world doesn’t work that way. Just because you put your time in doesn’t guarantee time out.

    People make free versions of paid apps for exactly this reason – because it’s not worth paying.

    This isn’t selfish, it’s brainless.

  71. How about FREE paid apps like this:
    (hit it with your phone!)

  72. If I am interested in an app, I get it regardless of whether it’s free or paid. I am more than willing to get more paid apps. But NOT the gazillionth Twitter client, todo list, home screen replacement, game or calculator. Here is the kind of vertical apps I am interested in, which are available for iPhone and completely missing from the Android world:

    If developers can create something similar, my money is ready for them.

  73. matt I think part of the idea is that we should make a concerted effort to find the worthy developers and pay for their apps. This isn’t about picking 10 random paid apps and paying for them.

  74. I am of the opinion that a lot of the apps are worth more than they charge. I think that the affordability certainly helps spur growth in the Android Market, but it probably isn’t dong the dev as much good.
    I was a little disappointed that the iTunes remote was so expensive, but the truth is the app is worth it. So I paid it. And I have not been let down.

  75. As soon as there are apps worth buying, I will… We at least deserve Plants vs Zombies on the game front…

  76. when 2.2 comes out, i would love to see much bigger games come to android and i would def. buy them if i enjoyed the game. i’d love a good sim city on android.

  77. I do buy apps when i need/want them. For Christ’s sake they are $2-3 on average. But i ran into a problem the other day. I bought rom manager and it got stuck on authorizing. Google market and checkout offer no customer support and this is outside of the Devs help. Im not worried about the money, i would pay it again if i could have the app.

  78. Wow…what a dumb idea to post. I read the posts on this site every day and enjoy them very much. I have never been compelled to post a message…until now.

    @Covert, I am 100% with you. The idea that you should pledge to “open your wallets” or “consider the developers” is so mind-numbingly dumb. What, are we suppose to serve as welfare for developers? If they make a good product, people will buy it, end of story. You don’t need “pledges” when people make good products.

  79. I think it’s as simple as this: MAKE APPS PEOPLE WANT TO PAY FOR AND THEY’LL BUY THEM! DUH!

  80. Android begging for money.

  81. I buy them if they make life easier. Like the Flight Track app that works great. The free ones seemed to be a hassle.

    $5 a week? Meh, I doubt there are enough apps out there that I’d care to use. Even when I was getting all the *cough* free *cough* apps I could want on the Iphone I still wasn’t using a whole bunch.

    The people that need to charge: Handcent, Meebo, and Bloo. Great apps, they work great and update frequently. I can’t argue with paying a couple $ for that when I use them every day.

    Some of the smaller apps I get worried about purchasing because if support stops. Bloo just went open source so hopefully someone picks up where he left off. Glad he didn’t charge for it and then call it quits.

  82. I think it would be better to promote donations. maybe implement micro donations in the apps themselves (like button to donate 1 cent). And then every time you are really happy you just press that button =)

  83. $260 a year and most of that on closed source software?
    I think not. I will pay for good software I even sometimes buy closed source software, but I am not going to spend ~$300 a year on it.

  84. people, you dont have to follow this pledge literally, what he’s trying to say is stop cheap and buy/support apps.
    I really wish i can buy apps but google are not doing anything about this. so far, i held myself from pirating any app, stealing is stealing dont try to justify it.

    As for my favorite priced apps:
    -System Panel

  85. lol what a strange and misguided idea. If the only way we can increase the development of Android apps is paying developers for things we don’t need (In the hopes that they will come up with something useful at some point)then the platform has no future.

    You don’t create a market like this. Im a little embarrassed to see it even submitted on Phandroid.

  86. Ciao!
    I am an Italian dev. I have over 20 apps in the market, some free, some paid, but all more or less revolving around the same idea. I can tell you that, to be honest, I am thinking of switching to ads rather than market. Apart from the Germans (God bless them) no country is really keen on buying apps (well, Americans might be, but in my domain there is too much competition around). This is sad. I deeply believe in Android, but I can barely make 500$ a month from my apps, and this is nowhere near enough considering the time and energy I devote to it. Also, after paying 0.99 for an app, people seem to consider you (the dev) their personal slave from now until the end of time. And I am NOT talking FC (my apps DO NOT FC), I am talking added functions. I happened to be WORKING (you know, I have a job too) very hard in the last 2 months and some are complaining nothing NEW has come from me for a while. It’s a hard world… And I will spend my summer switching softly to ads-driven apps. Nevertheless, I hope you guys (and the users inside of you) prove me wrong :-)

  87. This is great advertising for Apple devs.
    I can see the headlines on some apple fan sites – “Android Devs begging for money”.
    I still think that Google should take more initiative to promote paid apps.

  88. Seems like this has been said enough, but I’ll throw my $0.02 in on top of everyone else’s. I am more than happy to part with a few bucks here and there for apps that I use (Robodefense, Weatherbug elite, and Beautiful Widgets to name a few) but I’m not buying crappy apps just for the sake of propping up the Android Market! Like others mentioned I’d pay a ton for Handcent, just to support them.

    On ad-driven apps, I don’t mind the ads too much, so if I like the app/game I buy it to support the dev, not so much to lose the ads – that’s just an added bonus.

  89. It’s pretty much been said already and i think it shows the general lack of thinking behind the pledge. Equally the end product is obviously positive thinking that i think we should take and try to put into another process.

    I think the pledge should be and i think phanandroid can help with this… to create a app review section especially for games. Thus far there isn’t one. Sites like pocket gamer are great resources for people to check and buy a game if it seems to review well. The problem with this is we just dont know. There arent that many trial versions of paid games and honestly a proper re-view site of “QUALITY” would help us wade through all the gunk.

    I think the pledge should be, if a quality app is released everyone should show their appreciation and download it. Now i know thats an idiotic sentence, but i mean to really get behind the product. Thus spurring on developers. I think KO boxing is a fantastic game ive got the free version but totally going to buy the full game.

    Pricing also needs to be sorted.. doodle jump on the andorid market is $3.49… its a $0.59 game on itunes.

    Thirdly im a games developer. Have been in the industry for a number of years now and im hoping to be able to add to the Android community with quality products which hopefully people out there will enjoy while shinning a light through all the crap the market can’t seem to differenciate.

  90. Hey guys, as a developer I pay for apps that I really like or use a lot. If there’s a free version of the app and I dont use it a lot i don’t feel like I should buy it BUT I do make it a point to click an ad or 2 every once in a while. It’s good karma and it’s a good way for the developer to make some money without it coming out of your pocket. Think of it as a way to donate without actually spending a dime of your own money.

  91. @josh (91) Karma? You should look at your own BS. You’re saying that you should let the developers make money off you by either a: tracking you or b: you paying them via buying the app.

    The real answer is c: you deserve nothing. Want to see people click on apps, make donations, etc? Get the mobile ad thing the hell out of your application.

    Now you’re throwing the same arguments as websites, going waaaah we can’t figure out our own way to make money! someone give us theirs instead!

    sheesh. Developers like that should go get employed by a company and stfu.

  92. So, I’m intrigued by this Astroraider game from your screenshot. Unfortunately I cannot find it on :(

  93. So lets put this simply – think about how this sounds. You’re pledging to pay money for apps on your cellphone.

    does that sound at all like a good idea?

  94. @Matt – No genius! I’m saying that if you like an app and cannot or will not buy the app for some reason then you should consider showing the developer some support. Clicking an ad is one way to do this.

    Im not saying click an ad on a crapp app that you install and use once just to find out it’s a turd.

  95. What is this, charity? How about capitalism? Make a good app and people will buy it! If you don’t want to make a free, ad supported, version, don’t! Make a free trial to get your app out there. There are quite a few apps out there that cost a buck or two or three that have 50k – 250k downloads, so don’t tell me that developers can’t make any money.

    I buy apps that are worth buying. There’s no way I would drop $250 a year on apps just for the sake of buying them. Hell, I’ve purchased every app that’s currently on the market that I want, even the ones with free versions, but I’ve still only spent < $30. But then again, that allowed me to donate a little extra cash to the CyanogenMod team.

  96. as an aspiring mobile platform developer I support the ida of this but as I said on android guys the real draw back to me is finding paid apps to buy. The market is arranged in such a horrible manner that its to much work to wade through the crap to find something worth buying. How can google do so well at internet searches with page ranking etc can’t seem to figure out how to rank the useful apps from the guy trying to sell a couple of mp3s for $.99

  97. To date, i’ve only purchased one paid Android App (out of probably 40-60 apps I’ve installed on my Nexus One over the past 4 months. It’s not that there aren’t high quality Android apps, or even that I have any hesitancy about paying for apps. It just seems that many of the best-in-breed apps on Android for things I want/need happen to be free.

    There are several that I use daily that I’d gladly pay the developer for (to encourage their future development and feature upgrades) — but since they’re not set up as a paid app, there isn’t an easy way to to it.

    Probably no high enough on anyone’s ideas list to implement, but I’d love to see the Android market offer a voluntary option to pay for free apps.

  98. Ye! Oh no wait, no access to paid apps…

  99. The problem is that there so many different types of Android phones that Devs have a hard time coding and recoding for them. I think there should have “System requirements” like what you find on PC software so consumers know they are getting a quality app that will be fully compatible with their device. Like me for example i have a Nexus One and due to its weak GPU i tend to stay away from great 3D games because of their lag and we definately need a place where we can make purchases other than our phones like the OVI store from Nokia

  100. It’s all nice and dandy, but what about the users that are in countries where we can’t buy Android apps ?

    I use a lot of demo/light versions of apps simply because I still can’t buy android applications.

    So, the first thing is to get Google to actually allow users from ANY COUNTRY to buy apps, that would help more than any other idea.

  101. I think it’s admirable to try to find a way to encourage developers come to the Android platform (or stay with it), but I think the suggested method is too contrived. Some points: (1) serious space constraints on most current phones. This will change as more phones get Froyo’s Apps2SD and more phone makers increase the internal memory in their phones. (2) paid app Market not available in many countries, including mine. It is for that reason that I believe it’s better to have both ad-supported and paid versions of your apps. At least I can install the ad-supported ones and still enjoy the app. Or have a free app with limited but respectable (not totally useless/crippled) functionality, and have the paid one hold the good bonus features. At least those in no-paid apps countries can still use it. Also, provide a link on your official webpage for donations and/or allow people to buy the paid version directly from you. While I wouldn’t buy an app from just any site for security reasons, I have done so from a few clearly legit sites, like Sprite Backup and a mobile Bible app. I have also donated when I felt a particular app was worth it. The point is there are various ways of income-generation for the developer, and they all have their pros and cons. (3) some paid apps are not worth it, or I am happy with the ad-supported or limited version because that’s all I need. Often, the paid apps are bigger; if I don’t need the extra stuff, why waste my memory space?

    I think a better pledge would be to not install pirated apps, even if the Market in your country does not have paid apps. And to reward the developers of apps you like, if that developer allows you to (donation links or purchase the app directly from him). Email the developer not just when you are complaining about something, but also to give him praise for his product.

  102. If every developer offered a free to try version and then a paid add free version I would be more apt to buy more apps. I am not a fan of buying apps and then finding they suck, even if they have good reviews, and having to spending a lot of time getting a refund. I personally have downloaded several free/donation apps and found they were great for me and sent them 10 to 20 bucks each for the app. I look at it like a tip at a restaurant, great service gets a bigger tip. I realize these guys work hard and I don’t want to see them go away and work at Wendy’s just because they cant make it in the app world.

  103. Can someone explain what begging for money on a cellphone platform says about… the platform?

  104. There’s a guy in my office who refuses to buy android apps. The same guy will buy a $1.00 bag of salty chips from the vending machine almost every day of the week. I think there’s a different psychology of Android phone users.

    My ratio of free to paid apps downloaded is like 20,000:1. Honestly I haven’t looked recently because what’s the point? I get emails all the time from people who buy my apps saying they are amazing, yet, where’s the sales? I, and many other developers, are taking a break. Google sees this, and is worried.

    I’m not going to break my back and make an “amazing high quality crazy 110% amazing!!!!1” app until it’s worth it to me. The 3 hours I have a night after my kid goes to bed can be spent in better ways.

    I’m not even going to address how crappy the Market itself is for developers.

  105. @104 exactly. It shows that the developers are willing to compromise their ethics instead of make better apps for things that people would be willing to pay for.

    How? a: horrible apps that are pay, and b: putting ads within their aps.

    It’s not a problem with android, its’ a problem with shitty developers. You do not deserve money just because you program. This is not a mystery. You dont’ get to just declare things valuable – other people have to do so.

  106. I think not.

  107. It’s a nice idea, but seeing a 5 to 1 piracy ratio on my iPhone apps doesn’t fill me with trust that people will actually follow through on the pledge. Add to that the variances in hardware across the Android platforms, which massively increases development and testing time, and the complete lack of copy protection, and Android development looks like a good way for a small shop to lose its ass.

    I hope you guys figure out something that works though… I’d love to ditch Apple.

  108. @Lance, do you need a notepad for your phone? Try the one that does it all, NoteEverything Pro by SoftXperience (no affiliation – I just love this app). Regular text notes with no silly graphics, backup to sd card, checklists, durable (re-usable) checklists, photonotes, audionotes, paintnotes, notes from Google docs, notes from QR code. Excellent developer support. How about a calendar replacement that does more than Google calendar? iRT Calendar I find indespensible and still syncs with Google. (hey, I don’t play games, either)

  109. @Droid Almighty, know what you mean. Sent an additional donation to a developer because I felt his app was worth more than he charged.

  110. I recently switched from iOS to Android (sold my 3GS and bought an Evo). I never bought many apps on iPhone–only ones for which there weren’t comparable free alternatives. I only paid for IM+, Beejive IM, and a couple of others. I got lots of paid apps such as MiniSquadron and Crazy Snowboard for free by waiting for them to go on sale and using AppShopper.

    An aside: why does AppBrain not have price alerts like AppShopper does?

    Anyway, I went off topic. I’m happy to pay for quality apps, but many devs put forth more effort on iPhone versions of their apps than the Android versions. The clearest example of this to me is IM+. Beejive looked better on iPhone, but IM+ was still quite nice. On Android, it’s ugly and still expensive. Why would I pay for that knowing it’s so much better on iPhone & the free alternative, eBuddy, is far better as well?

    I love Android and would still use it over iPhone despite the quality of the apps not matching up, simply because it allows me to do things I could never do on iPhone. Already subscribing to Grooveshark ($3/month), which Apple denied from the AppStore. However, Google needs to work on the Market quickly.

  111. this pledge is seriously the dumbest thing I have ever read. Software developers should be compelling us to buy their product with quality apps, not by expecting charity.

    Quentyn, if you really think this is a smart idea then I’ll let you pitch in the $250/year for me as well. Its pure stupidity to buy something when there is an equivalent product on the market for free. I have yet to find anything other than PixelZombies worth forking out the cash for.

  112. I would just like to say, as an Android user that I do like the paid apps, and I use to download/purchase them. However I have had my phone reset and yes I’m using the same account. But I am unable to download any of the apps I already paid for. Google makes it pretty difficult to contact them, and when you finally do they send some lame automated response that is no help at all to the issue, and doesn’t even seem like a real person actually read the email. This coupled with bad experiences with developers not helping with apps… It puts a really bad taste in your mouth about buying apps. Here I am with purchased apps already and no way to use them.

    So maybe instead of people bashing the users, they should really look into the issue, or maybe they already have and it’s just easier to say the users are cheap that our service SUCKS!

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