Free apps? They might not be as “free” as you think.
Are apps free to download in 2022? Yes. There most certainly are free to download apps out there. Check out the screenshot from our phone.
Do you see the word “GET” there? Those apps are free to download. Now, check out the first app on the list, “A Musical Story” it costs $4.99 to download. That’s a paid app. But, if you look a little closer under the “free” apps you will see “In-App Purchases”. Are they really free?
Your “free” app could just be a trial
You might be able to download the app for free but that doesn’t always mean you will have access to all of the main features. Sometimes it will be a 7-day trial. Sometimes you can only play the first level of a game. Sometimes you get the whole app for free. Sometimes.
Your powerbill will reflect the cost
Researchers at the University of Southern California, the Rochester Institute of Technology and Queen’s University did a study on phone usage found that phone apps with ads use 16% more energy. This translates to 1.7 cents every time a user used the app based on a per MB charge by AT&T. So if you are the type of person that plays on your phone throughout the day, your “free” app is actually costing you.
Do you consider your data free?
In 2018 Semantic did a study on 100 free apps in the Google Play Store and the data that they were able to gather on their users. Here’s some numbers:
45% had users’ locations tracked
46% had access to a user’s camera
25% could record audio
10% got your phone log
4% had user addresses
If you put a price on this kind of information would you really call it “free”?
You might want to check your data usage
with your phone carrier
Free doesn’t mean that it doesn’t use cellular data. If you don’t pay for unlimited data free apps might cost you, and if you pay for unlimited because of all of your “free” apps, they already are.
So are apps free in 2022? Sure if it says “GET” that app is free to download. But is it really free? We’ll let you be the judge.