Advertising
Advertising

Determine Whether an App is Worth Your Money in 1 Minute or Less

Determine Whether an App is Worth Your Money in 1 Minute or Less

With more than 1 million apps available in the App Store, it can be difficult to decide what’s worth your money and what you can live without. Although $1.99 might not feel like a risky investment, those periodic impulse downloads can add up. Just consider the fact that 80 to 90 percent of all apps are eventually deleted.

Luckily, there are a few universal indicators of a great app versus a glitchy mess.

Quick: Your phone is dying, and you have about a minute to decide whether or not to download the app before you leave that Wi-Fi hotspot. A quick evaluation of any one of these factors can give you better insight into the true value of the app, but all of them together paint a clearer picture that ensures you’re getting your money’s worth.

Advertising

1. Cost

If an app costs money, look for a free version first. Lots of apps offer a “lite” version that allows you to try out key features to determine whether an app fits your lifestyle.

The only time you should pay for an app is when you absolutely need the features the paid version offers and you’re familiar with the company making it.

2. Reviews

Don’t just look at the average star rating. Take in the whole package. The more reviews an app has, the more likely the aggregate rating is accurate. Read a few of the actual comments in the reviews. Are the most critical reviews about quality, reliability, or something else? An app could have a negative rating just because of an iOS or Android issue that’s already been resolved in a recent update.

Advertising

3. History

If you haven’t heard of a company, check out its website. As software companies gain experience and grow, they accumulate large catalogs of apps and games. How has their other software held up? Do they make regular updates to their apps? If a company has a track record of building good apps, it’s a strong bet that its next app will retain that level of quality.

4. Utility

Apps can drain your battery, even when your smartphone or tablet is asleep. When you fill your device with apps you never use, you have less space for pictures, videos, and music. It also slows your phone down considerably.

Before you buy an app, make sure it’s one you will use regularly. I use a little app called Genius Scan. It’s a very simple program that saves scans of documents as PDFs, which is very handy on the go. I started using the free version and then upgraded to the paid version, which allowed me to upload PDFs to the cloud. It’s incredibly simple, but the $3.99 I paid saved me the cost of buying a scanner.

Advertising

5. Privacy

Many apps ask you to log in with your Facebook or Twitter account. Use caution when doing this. It’s not worth exposing your personal information to a company simply to unlock another level in a game. Many games and apps ask for more access than they need and, once they have your information, it’s theirs forever.

If you’re uncomfortable with the access an app you’re downloading is asking for, don’t allow it. If it’s a necessary permission, you can always enable it later. Treat your personal information (including social media accounts) just like your Social Security number. Keep it safe.

With so many apps to choose from, it’s tempting to download a bunch on impulse just because they seem cool. But just because your friends are buzzing about an app doesn’t mean you need it on your phone. Listen to their recommendations, but also factor in user reviews and your own research. In the end, it’s not really about the $1.99 you pay–it’s about the valuable home screen real estate you’re giving up and the privacy you could be sacrificing.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Photo of an iPhone 5C/ Dedi Grigoroiu via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Determine Whether an App is Worth Your Money in 1 Minute or Less shutterstock_130320863 7 Tablet Hacks That Will Make You Leave Your Laptop at Home

Trending in Technology

1 8 Replacements for Google Notebook 2 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 3 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 4 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 5 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

Advertising

In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

Advertising

Advertising

Read Next