Have you ever come across an app that looks amazing, only to find out it costs money to download? As tempting as it may be to shell out a few bucks, not all of us can afford to splurge on apps. The good news is, with the right methods, you can build up an impressive collection of paid apps without spending a dime.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share various tricks and tips to score paid apps 100% free. I‘ve used these techniques myself as an avid smartphone user on a budget. With a bit of effort, you‘ll unlock access to premium apps to enhance your iPhone or Android without emptying your wallet.
Why Do You Want Free Apps Anyway?
Before jumping into the how-to, let‘s first understand why free apps are worth the trouble.
Paid apps offer some great perks over their free counterparts:
- No annoying ads disrupting your experience
- Unlock more advanced features and options
- Access member-only content and privileges
- Support ethical developers who put effort into their craft
According to data from Statista, the average price paid for apps has risen over the years:
|Year||Average Paid App Price|
While under $2 may seem reasonable, costs add up if you download multiple paid apps. Subscriptions for recurring access can run over $10/month for popular services like Spotify Premium or YouTube Premium.
As a fellow app lover on a budget, I get the appeal of scoring these premium apps the free way. Why fund some billionaire tech CEO‘s next mega-yacht if you don‘t have to?
Now let‘s explore some clever, ethical techniques to enjoy paid apps without spending.
Take Advantage of Limited-Time Discounts and Free Trials
The most straightforward way to get paid apps at no cost is when developers run temporary promotions offering free access.
Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have dedicated sections showcasing discounted and free apps. But with hundreds of thousands of apps, how do you find the good freebies?
Here are my go-to strategies to discover temporary app deals:
Follow sites that curate lists of temporarily free apps. My favorite is BestAppFree – they post daily lists of iOS and Android app promotions. Check their site regularly under the Apple and Google sections to find deals before they expire!
Enable alerts on your device‘s app store. On the App Store, enable notifications under Profile > Notifications > Products. For the Play Store, turn on Promotions alerts under Menu > Notifications. This way, you‘ll get notified directly when interesting sales pop up.
Search using relevant keywords. Try searching "limited-time", "sale", "free trial", "free weekend" etc. in the app stores. This often surfaces apps with special promos.
Browse the front page and featured lists. The app stores promote apps having limited-time discounts on the home page and in featured lists. So check them regularly for deals.
Temporary freebies typically last 3-7 days, with the most common being apps going free over weekends. So you have to act fast once you discover a good promo – be sure to claim them before the deals expire!
Developers also often run free trial periods for new apps to get people hooked before charging a fee. Keep an eye out for these, and set a reminder to cancel the subscription if you don‘t plan to continue.
While this method requires more effort checking for deals, it guarantees access to authentic paid apps legally via official app stores.
Earn Rewards and Redeem Paid Apps
If hunting down temporary app deals isn‘t your style, consider rewards platforms that literally pay you to download apps.
By completing simple activities like taking surveys, playing games, watching videos, and more, you earn points and credits. These can be redeemed for gift cards and cash credits to the App Store and Play Store.
Here are some of my favorite rewards programs compatible with paid app downloads:
Google Opinion Rewards (Android, iOS): Hands down the most popular rewards app, Google Opinion Rewards sends you short surveys paying out Play Store credits. I average $10-20 credits monthly just by answering 3-4 questions whenever surveys pop up.
AppKarma (Android): Upload receipts, complete offers, watch videos to earn credits across 10+ rewards networks. AppKarma pays out consistently and works even for light users.
Swagbucks (Android, iOS: An oldie but goodie, Swagbucks lets you earn "Swagbucks" through surveys, games, videos, web browsing. You can cash out earnings for gift cards from many stores including App Store and Play Store cards.
Embee Meter (iOS): Made specifically for iOS users, Embee pays you to test and review new apps, take surveys, sign up for sites, etc. I managed to earn a $10 App Store card pretty quickly here.
Mistplay (Android): If you‘d rather earn credits by playing games, check out Mistplay. You get rewarded for trying out new games and can redeem points for Google Play credit. It pays significantly less than survey apps but can be more fun!
In my experience, Google Opinion Rewards pays out the most for time spent, with AppKarma being a great passive earner. But try a few rewards apps to see which style suits you best.
While it takes more patience earning rewards to redeem paid apps, I prefer this method since it avoids risky app sources.
Explore Third-Party App Stores on Android
Since Android allows installing outside the Play Store, you can find paid apps for free on third-party app stores – albeit through questionable means.
These stores host uploaded apps, some modified with hacked features to unlock paid content and remove licensing checks. Here are some well-known third-party sources:
- Aptoide: User-uploaded app store with over 1 million apps. Find lots of modded/cracked apps and games.
- APKPure: Repository of APK files uploaded by users, including paid app versions with all features unlocked.
- ACMarket: A foreign app store with modded English apps, but fewer choices than the Play Store.
- Blackmart: Provides direct download links to popular paid apps patched to work for free.
The apps on these stores often get around licensing and payments via unethical means like piracy, ad injection, and app modification. So proceed with caution.
While third-party app stores can save you money, there are also significant risks to be aware of:
–Malware potential: Apps could inject viruses, show intrusive ads, or spy on your activity without you realizing.
–Stability issues: Hacked app code can introduce bugs and crashes or compatibility issues.
–Lack of updates: Modified apps likely won‘t receive updates from the developer with new features and fixes.
–Legal concerns: Downloading paid apps for free from unauthorized sources could violate copyright laws in some regions.
Personally, I avoid these third-party Android app stores since free apps aren‘t worth the security trade-off. But if you decide to try them, stick to reputable options like Aptoide and limit downloads to lower-risk apps from recognized developers.
Steer Clear of Piracy Sites Offering "Free" Apps
Beyond third-party app stores, there are a number of outright piracy and torrent sites offering extensive libraries of paid iOS and Android apps for free.
You may stumble across these while searching for app downloads online:
- iOS app piracy repos like AppDB, iOSNinja, iOSGods, and iPAStore
- Torrent sites like Apkfollow, Androeed.ru, Mobilism, and ThePirateBay
- App installers like TweakBox, PandaApp, CokernutX, and TweakDoor
However well-intentioned, I strongly advise against using these sites. Their "free" apps often contain malware, violate licenses, and can land you in legal trouble.
Trust me, the risks are not worth the lure of accessing a few paid apps and games for free. Avoid these unauthorized piracy services for your own good.
Smart Tips to Use Free Apps Wisely
Now that you know how to find paid apps for zero cash, let‘s make sure you use them wisely:
Add apps to your wishlist so you get notified right away when they are discounted or free. Don‘t miss out!
Claim limited-time deals as soon as possible before the promotions end. Set calendar reminders if needed.
Build up rewards points over time instead of cashing out instantly for gift cards. More points = more free apps!
Read reviews and ratings before downloading any apps to confirm they are high-quality and safe. Don‘t compromise privacy and security.
Avoid "freemium" apps with excessive advertisements trying to upsell you to premium. They negate the whole point of free apps!
Check app sizes – some can be GBs large. Avoid massive downloads if you have limited storage space.
Enable app update alerts so you get important bug fixes, new features and don‘t miss out.
Organize apps into folders to access your growing collection of free apps easily.
Getting paid apps without paying takes some patience and effort. But utilizing the right free methods pays off, helping you save money and still enjoy premium apps!
Enjoy Your Paid Apps, You Earned Them!
And there you have it – the inside scoop on scoring paid apps for free! As a fellow app lover on a budget, I‘m happy to spread this knowledge.
The key is using legitimate methods like temporary discounts, rewards programs, and free trials instead of shady app piracy sources. Yes, you may need to wait for the right deal or put in some effort. But isn‘t that better than compromising your privacy and security with illegal app downloads?
Now put these tips into action before your next app splurge. Search for newly free apps, complete some survey rewards, or check third-party Android stores. With the right strategy tailored to your needs, you‘ll unlock access to paid apps and still keep money in your wallet.
Here‘s to enjoying the perks of paid apps gratis! Let me know if you have any other creative tips for scoring great apps without spending. Happy freeloading!