All smartphone apps fall into one of two categories: paid or unpaid. For many, free apps satisfy all our needs, even if they fill our lives with a bunch of ads. But are any there pricey apps — either with a big upfront cost, or with in-app purchases — that are worth their price?
Editor’s note: We haven’t checked whether these apps are available in Australia, or what they cost. If you can get them, expect to pay slightly more than the US prices listed here.
Last week, we asked you what the most expensive app you’ve ever bought was, and why. Many of you fell victim to crazy expensive GPS apps during the early smartphone days, or fell into the ever-growing sinkhole of in-app purchases (believe us, we know that feel).
These are the 11 apps that you all think are worth their asking price — some are only a couple of dollars, while others require a steeper investment.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown for $US10. One of the best games on Android or iOS. It’s the full game with the controls modified for touchscreen, and that’s it. No ads, no micro-transaction crap. Just 20+ hours of gameplay on your phone/tablet.
SkySafari Pro is probably my most expensive app, but it’s pretty much a one-stop-shop for any amateur astronomer.
AmpKit. Probably paid more than 150$ for everything. + 100-something $US for an audio interface. Why? because it’s still cheaper than buying ONE real piece of gear. Perfect for playing at home and experimenting with different effects etc, recording (into garage band for iPad).
If you need more music-making suggestions, consider BeatMaker 2 as well.
The most that I’ve actually ever spent on an app is $US10 for RadarScope. But considering that I’m a meteorologist, I’ve spent much more on websites.
For the 2 bucks you get a lot. Access to a huge user-driven database of sound masks, everything from a rainy afternoon in Idaho, to camping in Algonquin, to a distant busy streets. You can blend up to 4 sounds together, all seamlessly looping, and program fade-out times and alarms. I would pay ten times the amount for this thing and it would still be worth it. Still being updated after 5 years.
Only $US4.95 (Android), but you need the $US25 dongle to go with it. Still, considering the cost of a standalone OBD reader, it’s still a bargain. You only need to use it like once to recoup the cost. Plus, in addition to being able to read the Check Engine codes, if you were really up for it, you can do a lot of data logging with it that is not possible with a regular OBD reader.
Tasker before its price cut. I would do it again. Listing the awesome automation I do with it would require me to write a novel, no joke.
Worth every penny. It’s a golf GPS, scorecard, and handicap keeper. Similar devices sold for ~$400 before the apps started coming out.
My largest repeat purchase is about $US50 for a game called Pinball Arcade by Farsight, they make about 20 pinball tables based off of real ones and you can either buy each table for like $US3 or the whole set and some extra features for $US40-$50. So far they have had 2 sets, and are building a 3rd with 10 tables so far.
OmniFocus, which is arguably the best task management platform around, is not only what I’ve spent the most money on (iPhone $US20, iPad $US30, OS X $US80), but it’s also the single reason why I can’t abandon iOS and go over to Android. Once it becomes core to how you manage your work, life…everything, then there is no turning back.
via Jonathan Sorum
Goat simulator… FOR THE WIN. It is basically a goat… simulator.
Don’t need to say much more than that.
Are there any other paid alternatives to free apps that are absolutely worth the asking price?