'A $5 App Isn't Expensive'

Lex Friedman for Macworld, on the importance of paying for apps:

Many free apps are fine. But when you pay for a premium app, you are often paying for a deeper, more well-considered experience—one in which you are truly the customer, and not the advertisers supporting the “free” app behind the scenes.

[…]

You don’t buy a Kindle just to enjoy the dictionary and manual that come pre-installed on the device. You shouldn’t buy an iPhone to enjoy only free apps, either. You’re cheating yourself, all because we’ve become conditioned to feeling that $5 is a lot to spend on an app. It’s okay to pay for good products.

This is a terrific piece. I shared it on Facebook right away for everyone to see.

I’ll take Lex’s advice a step further and say that if you’re able to afford at least $99 for an iPhone, then paying $5 for an app shouldn’t be a problem. Myself, I have no problems paying for apps, on iOS or the Mac -- in fact, the other day I dropped $20 on Ulysses III on the Mac. Likewise, I spent $6 on Tweetbot for iPhone and iPad because I prefer the experience over the (free) official app from Twitter. I just don’t mind paying for good products, and I feel good knowing that my money is supporting Tapbots’ cause in making Tweetbot even better for me and others.

All this isn’t to say I don’t like or can’t appreciate free apps. I like “free” as much as the next person. Given a choice, though, I’d rather pay for something worthwhile than pay nothing for something mediocre or crappy. I’m with Lex in his belief that paid apps, in general, are of superior quality to free apps. And, as Lex also notes, it seems silly to me to pay so much for a smartphone only to fill it with a bunch of free software.

(via Ben Brooks)