Buying apps and keeping my New Year’s resolution

Published July 7, 2012

One of my resolutions this year was to support small developers by buying the “paid” version of apps I was using on my tablet or phone. If I liked it after a few weeks, I shelled out the three or four bucks for the full version, even though if there was no difference other than the karma.

Halfway through the year and I’ve done pretty well. I’ve bought almost every app that I use regularly provided that there is a paid version available. (There are, in fact, several I would happy spend a few bucks for, but that don’t offer a paid version of any sort — Go Launcher EX, AutoShare, and Instant Radar come to mind.)

In one case — Greader — the paid app is marketed specifically for its additional features, none of which I’m interested in, so I’m sticking with the free, “lite” version.

There have been a few minor frustrations. I paid for Titanium Backup, but when I had to reinstall it, it didn’t recognize that fact and the company refused to help. So now I go the pirate route and use a nifty app called Lucky Patcher that turns the free Titanium Backup into the paid version. (I have a similar problem with the Gemini App Manager, but there’s no difference between the free and paid versions, so I simply choose not to pay again.)

There are a few apps that look great, but that don’t offer free or trial versions — Kaiten Mail in particular. It looks like a really good e-mail app, but I don’t want to spend $5.00 without trying it first.

So here’s a mostly-complete list of apps I found worth buying:

Antek Explorer — excellent file manager (especially on a tablet), with lots of useful plugins

Gemini App Manager — if you have a rooted phone/tablet, this is an amazing app for managing installed apps. You can “freeze” the bloatware that comes with your phone, and, more importantly, you can customize when certain apps start automatically. (I.e., you can prevent them from auto-starting.)

FolderSync — automatically update any folders on your phone with any cloud service you can think of. So I sync my pictures and documents folders with Box and Dropbox and Google and my FTP site.

JuiceDefender — wonderfully configurable power management. Adds hours to my battery life.

RedditNews — best Android Reddit browser/reader out there.

So many apps are created by small companies or individuals, it’s worth sending them a few bucks to keep it up. My take, anyway.



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