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Poll: Free App w/ Ads or Paid App w/o Ads?

Poll: Free App w/ Ads or Paid App w/o Ads?

In its current form, the Android Market is full of apps with two different “versions”, one being free and supported by advertisements and the other being paid and ad-free. Ideally, Google would let developers give users the option between the two and therefore remove this form of duplicate content (but that’s a different discussion). One example of this strategy in action is XDA-Developers (Free, ads) vs. XDA Premium ($1.49, no ads).

So, if given the choice between installing a free, ad-supported version of an app or the paid, ad-free alternative, which one would you download? For the sake of this poll, assume the app is one you’d use frequently and the price is reasonable. Share your preference in the comments below!


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  1. Free apps with AdFree.

  2. i would use paid apps without ads. the only problem is, here in the Netherlands, we barely use creditcards, so we can not buy any paid app even if we wanted to. we need Paypal or iDeal in the market, which is a Dutch alternative to Paypal.

  3. Ads ruin apps! Plain and simple.

    First, ads slow down the app and/or phone, especially feature rich apps.

    Next, they give a convenient opening for malicious apps. Since most apps anymore require access to some kind of personal information on your device, if the they have ads as well, in theory they could be mining your info.

    Next, most devs who put ads in their apps aren’t doing to simply make a little extra money. Ad revenue in such apps is ridiculously meaningless with just views alone. They get a little more for actual ad clicks. So what do these shady devs do? They place the ads right next to frequently used and functional buttons. Why? Because they intend for you to accidentally click on those ads to rack up more ad revenue for them.

    The point is that if a dev really wants to make a few extra bucks with an Android app then they would just flat out sell it. If they want to still give the app away for free, then keep it ad free, but give it only basic functionality. Then give users the option to purchase a more feature rich version.

    To this day, I have yet to install a single app that has ads in it for all these reasons. Nobody likes ads. Hell, that’s why we can record live TV and then fast forward through the ads later. All of these reasons are also why you will never see an ad in any of my apps that I design or publish.

  4. I like having both options available as it allows me to try-before-I-buy which is important while there is still a lot of inferior apps on the market. I nearly always “upgrade” to a paid (or donation) version of an app that I like or have found useful, especially if it is only a few dollars. Apps that have ‘limited features’ are annoying I feel and I avoid apps that use this upgrade strategy. If there was to be only one version of app in the market I would be more willing to try one that has all it’s features available for a limited time so that I can tell if it’s going to be worth my money.

  5. I prefer having both. An app with ads or some limited functionality for free disbanded great way to test an app before buying. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve missed the 15 minute refund window. “Try before you buy” disbanded perfect strategy. Great examples of tgisbare Plume, TiBu and ROM Manager. If I like an application, but not enough to pay for it, I have no problem at all letting the developer make some money with ads.

    • What about the third option:

      “Free app without ads.”

      A truly free app.

  6. That last one should not have been a reply, but a comment

  7. I will definitely go for free! coz free is the best hahaha


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