In the world of mobile devices, free apps are the ones that seem to get all the attention, and rightfully so. Living in a world where consumers struggle to make the most of their hard-earned money, "free" is few and far between, and to stay entertained, we need to make the most out of what we can find. Even at a price range of $2 to $5, the cost of paid apps seem to add up quickly.
In our digital world, freemium seems to be the norm. However, there are consumer-focused apps that stand out, and you have to pay for them. In all likelihood, they won't save you time or money, so you won't be able to justify them from a monetary ROI perspective. Still, they're innovative, fun, and some of the coolest ways to spend your extra $2. Next time you're thinking of splurging on a lottery ticket or a fast-food meal, consider these apps instead:
StartupStats describes this app as a fun way to "turn your friends into a movie production team." Truly innovative and technology-driven, the app allows users to integrate short film clips with still photography. Costing $2.99, Cinemagram isn't the most practical way to spend your money. There will be plenty of ROI, however, in the form of fun.
In today's technology-driven climate, you need a well-rounded and in-depth skill-base to advance. Hosting a wealth of software-based tutorials, Lynda.com addresses this need, helping professionals learn from anywhere, at their own pace. Thinking of picking up some skills in Photoshop or hoping to better understand regular expressions for data processing? If so, you'll likely enjoy a Lynda subscription. Beyond its computer-based platform, Lynda's tutorials are available through Android, iPhone and iPad platforms. While the app is free, a subscription will cost you anywhere between $25 and $37.50 per month. What a great way to make more out of your lunch breaks, train commutes and waiting room downtime.
Between iPads, iPhones, laptops, desktops and Android devices, consumers have many options for digital engagement. More often than not, people will own and actively use more than one. However, what happens when you want to experience your media on a different platform? When you're trying to transfer your movie from your computer to phone, for instance, you'll likely hit some roadblocks. Costing $4.99, Plex aims to help people navigate through those gaps.
If you or someone in your immediate family is a frequent traveler, FlightTrack may become a go-to resource. Using the app, you can get real-time departure info, delays and gate numbers for virtually any flight. As another perk, the app gives users access to zoomable maps. If you find yourself stuck at the airport, FlightTrack will update you on cancelations and help you find alternate flights. Without a doubt, five dollars that help you avoid spending the night at the airport are five dollars well-spent.
If you're a game aficionado, but Angry Birds isn't your cup of tea, check out DrawSomething, a social app that helps you do what the name suggests - draw something with friends. For 99 cents, the app lets you draw, guess words, play with friends and compete with rivals without an interruption from ads. Have fun, stay entertained and do it all creatively.
The Bottom Line
Your cell phone has immense entertainment potential. For the most part, you probably don't want to splurge on multiple apps a day. As with many vices; however, it's OK to spend every once in a while. Even though apps are just a few dollars, make sure that you spend well. Have fun. Don't regret it.