Saturday, April 9, 2011

Here today . . .

I've been spending a lot of time recently searching the net looking for other people's suggestions for iOS apps worth downloading. No matter how perfect the app sounds, I want to be able to play with it before I recommend it. Remember as you read reviews of apps (including mine!), that the other reviewers may have had different criteria than you. Sometimes people rate an app poorly because they expect it to do things that were never even promised in the app description! Make sure that the review is commenting on the current version of the app, as their criticisms may have been addressed by the developer. On the other hand, an app that is rated highly may not have any educational merit, even if kids love it. It helps if there is a free version to try out, even if that free version is limited in some way, with fewer features or with ads.

As I've been looking for apps that other people have recommended, I've been surprised at the number of apps that seem to have disappeared. In particular, many of the free apps that people have recommended are simply no longer there. It's not that they've switched to being paid apps - they're simply gone.

On the other hand, I've also found that some of the paid apps have come down significantly in price. One that I was interested in was listed on another blog as costing $9.99, but when I went to iTunes, it is now listed as $5.99. One that I bought a couple of months ago for $1.99 is now $0.99. Some apps have temporary sales, with reduced prices, or even short periods when they are completely free.

So the moral is - if it's free and you think it's worth trying out, download it now, because it may be gone next time you look.  If the app is lacking in some way, let the developer know - many are working hard to update their products to make them more useful and appreciate the feedback.

If it's a paid app and you really want it, it may be cheaper at some point in the future or it may not. Most apps are relatively cheap anyway . . . When I think of what it would cost to take my kids to the movies, and how much fun they had playing with Toontastic for the small amount it cost, it was worth it, even if it does go on sale at some point for less than I paid for it!

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