Last Updated: August 19th, 2012

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see If Your Device Had Google Wallet Support, Would You Use The Service?

We've heard developers gripe that paid apps are very rarely successful numerous times in the past, be it because of piracy or because Android owners simply aren't willing to pay. About a year ago, we asked how many apps readers had purchased in the last month; 71% had purchased 2 or less, and 45% hadn't purchased any at all. But that was a year ago, and Android is a much more mature OS now. Time for an updated poll.

The question is this: about how many apps (including games) would you say you purchase in a month? (As a reminder, you can only purchase paid apps.) Sound off below, then head down to the comments to discuss.

On Average, How Many Apps Do You Purchase Per Month?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • myocom

    If average voting for 3/4 exceed above from others, then people are most likely addicted with checking only new app & its usefulness, not with what app they really are looking for.

    • http://www.androidradar.de/ Leif

      True, it's also some kind of fun factor. Same like going out for a drink, spending 40 bucks for an evening with the knowledge next morning it will end in the toilet :)

      This is one of the reasons why I think that both appstores, the Google Play Store and the iOS Store, are still far away from what they could be. Discovering apps could be way more fun and social. Let me see what friends installed and uninstalled, let us discuss about apps in a proper way and not in the ratings, make it easier to share apps without annoying people.

      AppAware did a little step into that direction with their app which tries to build some kind of social experience around the Google Play Store but this is something which needs to be done by Google so everyone has access to it.

  • anzensepp1987

    I think it is not a shame at all to pay for good apps or even good concepts of apps. And I do so regularly. AppBrain tells me, that I am currently running 150 paid apps. Unfortunately I often buy too quickly - the legacy Play Store shows me another 200 paid apps that I don't have installed currently. Call me an app-addict ;)

    • http://www.androidradar.de/ Leif

      Agree, Bought also some apps I've never really used or just for a few hours but I liked the idea or the effort the developer spent into it. It's almost the same like going down the street and see an street artist or musician and you give him a buck although you might just see or listen to him for 2-3 minutes.

    • Abhisshek Das

      i would like to know your AppBrain Profile to fowllow you AppBrain

  • Chris Sanner

    I used to buy more. but then google reduced the trial period to 15 minutes, which isn't near enough time to tell if the app is good enough to keep or meets my needs. so I stopped buying a lot of apps.

    the fact that many apps have a "trial period" version should be enough to suggest that that reduction was a bad idea. (not necessarily the "lite" apps - rather, the ones that give you full functionality for a limited time. see: doggcatcher, swiftkey, etc)

    in most cases, the feature I'm on the fence about is one that's not available in the light version (if it were, I'd just use the light version, obviously). but usually it's something whose utility isn't obvious immediately. in the case of podcast apps you really need to see if it's going to work for a day or two before you can say "yes, this is the one".

    I frequently do buy apps whose light versions I've been using for a long period of time. in fact, that's mostly what I buy. oh - and games like Cut the Rope where it's obvious that $.99 is more than worth the amount of entertainment you're going to get out of it.

    • sgtguthrie

      Agreed, and we'll both get flamed to hell for it, but the 15 min return period has reduced my number of purchases. Heck, If you're on sprint 3g,it would take about that long to just download the app!

      I've heard several ppl say that now they illegally download apps to try them before purchasing them! That's a bit extreme to me, but they were pushed by the new return policy.

      Disclaimer: I'm not condoning the use of pirated apps, do not pirate apps myself, think there's a special place in hell for app pirates, etc. don't flame me for what these ppl do!

      • Christopher Lee

        Definitely agree that it's too short, and I'd like to see a half hour window at least. If piracy is a concern, they should realize that if I want to, I can buy the app, pull the APK via Titanium Backup, and then refund, all within about two minutes. So what's the solution, reduce the trial to one?

        I do hear that they're going to change it so that the trial period at least starts from when the download completes, which will make things more palatable.

        • Mike Reid

          I'm a dev and I realize it, and I think most devs do.

          Return window length has virtually no impact on piracy, unless we are talking about "throwaway games" that become boring/mastered within the return window.

          I offer cancels/full refunds at any time (even months later) on request. I'd prefer 0 unhappy customers. Other devs/co's do similar also. I had a Minecraft order cancelled 4 hours after my 9 yo son downloaded it without permission.

          BTW, IMO too many people pirate using the excuse of "try before buy". And they never get around to buying, using various excuses including "dev is greedy". LOL. Pirates will pirate and that's life.

          On payment methods, it's a bit of a hassle but I accept Paypal for the 1% of customers unable to use Play. I'm sure other devs do too. If in doubt, email the dev.

          • Christopher Lee

            I probably should have made it a little clearer, I meant Google (since I don't believe developers have any control over the refund period via Google Play, although you're free to correct me on that one).

            Pirates are never really going to learn, simply because it's never going to impact them. I'm interested to see if Jelly Bean's paid app encryption will do anything, but time will tell.

            Greatly appreciate your stance on returns, by the way. I've had some devs who took that view and others that didn't. Hope your business keeps going well. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/alexslx Alexandre Leites

          This method still working? I think that are corrected in last Market versions... Anyway, apps for android is cheap than my xbox indie games, so i buy then without looking my credit card. :(

      • http://www.androidradar.de/ Leif

        The refund time begins after the download is finished. On games it depends since they like to download additional content. If the additional content is downloaded from developer server the refund time begins before and is useless, but if they make use of the new Play Store feature so the content is downloaded from Google Server as well the refund time begins at the moment you can start and use the app/game. Too bad that the user can barely see it before. Just the download size in the play store can be a little hint but that's not consumer friendly.

  • Thx84

    I only bought two apps since I have an Android phone: Titanium Backup and Sprinkle

  • http://blog.ravrahn.net/ Owen Cassidy

    If you don't count the time before I got a card I could pay with, I have bought about 3 per month on average.

    And I've sold about 3 per month too. So that's nice.

  • scuttlefield

    I would probably buy more, but you can so often find a "freemium" app that does what you want. It may be a self perpetuating process in that users know they can get something for free so don't get a paid app. Devs see that people aren't paying, so either stop producing or put out a free (or freemium) app....and the cycle continues.

  • Jon Garrett

    When I was an iOS user I pirated over 2,000 apps between 2009 & 2011. when I became an Android user Ive pirated about 20 apps to preview then purchased more than half of them and deleted the rest. Since coming to Android in Oct 2011 Ive purchased over 200 apps.

    Over 200 apps with Android in less than one year but with iOS for 2 years I purchased 2 or 3 apps from the app store and 4 apps from Cydia !!

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      It's all a hype that iOS users buy apps more I guess. Maybe because iOS apps have less free apps and more paid apps, so people buying those paid apps because there are no free alternatives gives the impression that iOS users are more happy with buying apps.
      But I guess if the developers say so about Android, must be some truth in it. Or not..

      • GazaIan

        It's not a hype at all, there was actually a chart that showed how much Google Play and Amazon AppStore makes for every dollar the App Store makes and the chart was just disappointing.

        • Abhijeet Mishra

          Hmmm. Might also have to factor in the fact that Google's Play Store doesn't accept all cards everywhere. I myself had to go through five different banks here in India before getting an account with one that supported payment on Play Store, haha. Before that even I used to pirate apps. :P

        • Jon Garrett

          disappointing for who? I don't benefit from either Google or Apple's profits, I do however benefit greatly when I can get quality apps from developers like Glu and Gameloft for FREE.

          • GazaIan

            Freemiums? No thanks.

          • Jon Garrett

            At least you can try before you buy--unlike the app store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/csoulr666 Ahmad Nadeem

    Still 17........cant buy apps

    • Flaz3r

      I'm 16, and can buy with my visa ;)

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        Not all kids can though. I have a 16 year old friend in the UK, not allowed to buy apps using his parents' cards, doesn't have his own debit card. One friend here in India, 17 years old, no debit card, parents don't allow, so can't buy them. So in some cases not being able to buy is a factor as well :P

  • Charles Barnard

    I would purchase apps if I could, but Bermuda is not on the "list" Hati and Yemen are on it, but not Bermuda!

  • http://www.androidradar.de/ Leif

    It varies a lot for me.
    There are maybe 20-40 Apps I really use every at least once a week, but I also like to test others to see if they do something better. There are also sometimes Apps where I just like the idea so I like to support and see how the progress of the app is going. Sometimes I buy 1-2 in a month, sometimes much more. Regarding to Google wallet I bought my first android app in august 2009. Since then about 180-200 paid apps in total, where about 10-15 went back for refund. When I do refund it's usually a) because it's a horrible iOS port which feels just wrong on an Android device, or b) it's just not running.

    When I look at my google wallet stats I notice that my puchases raised a lot since the beginning of this year where Developer did much more Holo Theme styled apps and apps who also make use of fragments for a tablet ui.

  • TechGuy21

    i only paid for apps i really love and need. like titanium, rom manager, N7 player, MX player, Vplayer im a sucker for awesome video player lolz. i dont play games much on phone or tablet. plus i can always get them for free i want to. i have a VITA and ps3 for games :D

  • http://twitter.com/zackeryfretty Zackery Fretty

    I buy apps that I really use whenever I can. I love supporting the developers. :)

  • Himmat Singh

    Mostly games. A few other apps. Around 2 a month on average I guess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dacha.liceknjiga Dacha LiceKnjiga

    Never ever bought a single app, and I'm rolling android from the G1. It's funny that you can use your phone normally without any paid app. Btw, I never ever had more than 20 app on my phone. I have few computers so there is no need to many apps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonardtj Troy Leonard

    I am a rom flashing addict so I have paired down the number of apps I have installed to just the ones I use. I only have about 30 apps installed on my tablet. That being said of those 22 are paid apps. What I have been buying the most has been content lately. I buy about a book a week and have bought a couple of movies and magazine subscriptions.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Um, I rarely start using new apps anymore so I rarely have to buy any :P Have bought around 70 apps in 1.5 years of using Android, and I don't use around 45 of them since a long time. But I buy apps if I like them, for sure. But nothing weekly or monthly :P

  • Nicholas Loomans

    I have bought 3 apps in the 2 years I've had Android as I don't have a credit/debit card and am not going to get one. Certain apps (ROM Manager) were used enough I just had to borrow a credit card to stop feeling guilty about getting so much use out of without paying.

  • Adam

    If you enjoy Android and it's apps then you seriously need to buy one here and there and don't pirate unless you live somewhere where it's not possible to legally obtain/purchase the app. One more exception - if an app costs over roughly $5 and has additional data that takes over the 15 minute refund period, it'd be understandable if you "pirated" it with the intention of purchasing if you like it and uninstalling if you don't.

    Why? Because it takes time to make these apps and games. Somebody worked hard to provide you with something (and that something happens to be cheaper than a fast food meal anywhere) and will be around as long as you like whereas food is one time use. Plus, if you support the wonderful developers who make things you like, guess what, they will be inclined to make it even better or other cool things you like as well!

    Considering the price of everything else in our daily lives, the average app price (unofficial statistic I'm making up right now that seems reasonable) of $1.99-2.99 is a pittance! Have you ever bought a game for your gaming console? Even USED copies for something relatively new might cost you $20+. Want a new PS3 game? That'll be 60 f'ing dollars, sir. I'll take Dead Trigger for free (though I proudly bought it when it was $1) and spend less than 5 dollars on IAPs even though I don't need them to beat the game (there is a difference between freemium and free to play) and just to support Madfinger.

    • Adam

      I agree with myself so much that I'm commenting on my own post. Ahem, I agree!

  • Andrew

    The actual number is around 10, but I've never tried to keep track, so that could be wrong. As long as something is reasonably priced and has functionality I can't find for free, then I don't mind paying at all. Always happy to help good Indie developers.

  • Jez

    What these devs fail to understand is they aren't losing nearly as much money as they think they are on piracy.

    A huge percentage of people wouldn't have bought the app if the pirating methods were closed off.

    If they don't like it they should move onto developing for iOS

  • der

    i might be the only idiot that thought that 1/2 meant half an app, as in 1 every other month. That's about how many I average so that's what I picked. d'oh!

  • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

    I only buy apps when Google has it's 10p sales

    • Himmat Singh

      That was like...once?

      • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

        I remember 2 times....unless the other one was a bit more expensive

  • ElfirBFG

    I've no need to buy any more apps. I have everything I need. HD widgets, PowerAmp, a few games I never play anyway. Actually, I think I will buy Battery Widget Reborn and Call Blocker gold, but their free offerings do the trick at the moment.

  • Follower

    ZERO, In two years I purchased ZERO apps.
    Because I can't, I simply can't.
    Thanks to Google to simplify purchasing process for non U.S. residence!

  • http://tablified.com Ayman Suleiman

    I have apps on the market and what annoys me the most is the return rate. I have lost a lot of money on returns and I know that it's not because my app isn't good, because it is. I suspect that folks are backing it up with TB and then returning it since the whole process takes less than a minute or two. After all, if they disliked the app, why don't they rate it 1 star before returning it? Doesn't add up.

    But I've made the decision to stop it once and for all. I switched my apps to IAP. I offer a free version/trial for my app and that should be more than enough to know if you like the app or not. If you haven't decided, then you're making up excuses not to shell out money. And piracy is just as bad, just harder to track. I found my app cracked on a site and it had a counter for how many times it's been downloaded. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that it was almost over 100! So now I am taking a more proactive approach and protecting my investment. I hope IAP will keep me secure for now.

    • Himmat Singh

      Yea I know of people buying apps/games and copying the APKs via Airdroid and returning the app. However, if you would be proactive enough to use Google's latest encryption method, you will know that this method doesn't work for new apps (especially games).

      • http://tablified.com Ayman Suleiman

        Google's latest method also breaks many apps running on JB. I am proactive enough to know that much.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/52RMHX6AKKSZ75OKTJYQQWLRVU DCMAKER

          Guess what..If someone is that cheap to copy the APK for your app...they never would have bought it in the first place....so quit bitching. It is like hollywood bitching about torrents...guess what people who pirate movies would have not bottom them either way....whoop de doo.

          • http://tablified.com Ayman Suleiman

            Yeah well just because someone is never gonna pay for my app doesn't mean they are going to get it for free. So until you can figure how many of those people were 'never going to pay', you good sir, can kiss my ass.

    • montgoss

      I often uninstall apps/games without leaving a 1-star review. It's not that the app was bad. It just wasn't what I wanted. I don't see any reason to punish the developer just because a well-made app/game isn't my cup of tea. I only leave a bad review if an app/game is so bad as to be almost malicious (intrusive ads, bullshit IAP, etc.). Don't assume everyone are pirates.

      I know no one will convince you of this, but your time is better spent making your app better and giving people a reason to support you. Not worrying about piracy.
      After all, if your goal is more sales, only one of those approaches has a chance of convincing anyone to buy your app.

  • Tee

    It's way less than 1. During my 2½ years in Android world, I've bought 6 apps.

  • ioop

    i wold love to buy. but here(nepal) i cant so .... i pirate so i am sorryy

  • Martin Pedersen

    I don't really know how much my vote would count(yet) as I have only been able to buy apps for about two weeks, when they started accepting all available credit/debit cards from my country.
    But within those two weeks I've bought 3 apps, of which I had previously used pirated versions.
    I don't really see the need to pirate apps when most of them only cost a couple of bucks.

  • Knlegend1

    Depends on the app

  • marrila

    All Google needs to do is open up the payment options in the Play store , so we can pay by DEBIT CARDS like i can in the apple store and I would buy Apps.
    Why restrict it to people with Credit Cards only?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/52RMHX6AKKSZ75OKTJYQQWLRVU DCMAKER

      why would you use a debit card? also nearly all debit cards are credit cards......seriously? Plus debit cards hold very little protection unless you have like USAA for a bank. I have never seen debit cards that are not also a VISA/MasterCard

  • Chahk Noir

    I used to buy 4-5 apps per month, but then I pretty much got all the ones that help me do the things I need to. Now I only buy either games for my kid, or some utility apps for a new device when I change phones.