I don’t have an exact count, but I’ve purchased somewhere north of 150 applications for Android. There was a time I would go on buying sprees and buy anything and everything that looked interesting. Back then, it was easy to get away with. If the application wasn’t up to snuff or wasn’t as described, users had 24 hours to uninstall and get refund for the application.
However, that habit carried over to through the implementation of new policies prior to the Play re-branding, where the refund window was shortened to 15 minutes from the point of installation.
Recently, I explained that I have the tendency to impulsively and compulsively buy applications for all my devices. I’m in constant search of new apps and services, and if something looks like it might remotely solve one of my problems, I purchase with no remorse … until later.
Take LockerPro, for example. I saw it run on Lifehacker and immediately went to the Play Store to check it out. There weren’t a ton of ratings, but the ones that were there were heavily distributed over four and five stars. And reviews showed those who had purchased the app were happy with it. So I purchased it on a whim and used it for several hours.
It was great. The lock screen itself was gorgeous, and I loved my screen lighting up for incoming notifications and the iOS-like chronological order of missed messages, calls and other notifications. It was a vast improvement over the native TouchWiz Nature UX lock screen, so I decided to write about it.
It wasn’t until after I spent about five days with LockerPro before it started giving me serious trouble. It started with duplicate notifications. I would get multiple chimes for a single notification. Eventually, I got past this problem. Then something much worse started happening incessantly. The lock screen would randomly activate. I would be typing a message or reading a long email and … boom! The screen would lock. It eventually got to the point where it was happening numerous — 30 or more — times every day.
I had put up with all I could take, so I uninstalled LockerPro and never looked back. It was fun while it lasted.
But it was at this point that I realized just how many times I have done this over the last two years. I have purchased at least 50 (probably many more) applications on Android that I used for a week or so before metaphorically tossing it aside and never using it again. And when you begin to quantify that number with the price of mobile apps, that’s not exactly chump change.
In the past few months, I’ve probably spent upwards of $100 on applications alone. Most of those, I no longer use.
So last week, I decided I was going to stop buying so many applications – or at least ones that I’m not positive I’ll continue to use. I’m all for supporting developers, but I’m not made of money. Just like anyone else, I need to budget. And application purchases have grown to be one of the most lax and out of control parts of my budget. A dollar here and five bucks there may not seem like much. But when it’s consistently exceeding $20 per month, and sometimes significantly more, it’s not a terrible idea put a cap on it for a while.
Back in October, Google added a new feature to the Play app: My Wishlist. In essence, this is a bookmarking tool for the applications you may want but aren’t willing to purchase on a whim. I practiced some self-control, for once, and in just about a week’s time, I have accrued 12 applications in My Wishlist. The total price of those 12 applications, not including tax, is $58.84.
I do plan to buy at least most of these applications at some point, but I definitely need to start spreading my purchases out a little. The most notable on My Wishlist are: Action Launcher Pro, Light Flow, Tasker, Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Need For Speed™ Most Wanted and SPB Shell 3D.
Do you have any applications in your Google Play wishlist yet, readers? If so, which applications? Does it help keep you from buying too many applications, too?