Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Get Paid Apps for Free

If you know me personally, you know I'm a pretty cheap gal! If I can walk away from a purchase feeling like I got a good deal, I'm a happy camper. With that said, I do have a lot of "paid" apps on my iOS devices...but I didn't pay for them.

Here's how I get "paid" apps for free {legally!}:

1. Download Apps Gone Free. This is a [free] app that tells you 5-10 apps that are free for the day. My favorite part is that it tracks the iTunes market and only tells users of free apps that rarely go free. I set up the notifications on this app so that I'm notified once a day at noon. I've been checking Apps Gone Free via my iPhone while I eat lunch for a couple years now, and I've snagged a ton of regularly paid apps for free this way {including things like Splashtop and Wifi Mouse Pro}.

2. TCEA's Twitter feed. This account tweets about a handful of free apps every day, like this:

3. Join TCEA and sign up for a daily digest of the latest free apps. Once you join TCEA {$45/year}, find and join the group called iPad in the Classroom. Opt to receive daily e-mails about postings in the group. Afterwards, you'll receive an e-mail every morning that gives you a huge list of apps that are free! The list is divided by category/subject so it's easy to scroll to the apps you're truly interested in. Apps that are newly free are italicized so that once you go through all the apps, you only have to read the italicized ones on days after that. Apps that are of exceptional value {for instance, there was a special education app with a value of $150 that went free once!} are bolded so they easily stand out and you know to download them. 

I know $45/year sounds like a lot, but TCEA truly is more than just a daily list of free apps! Below is a list of what you get when you are a TCEA member:

You also get discounted rates to TCEA sponsored conferences, such as TCEA in Austin, Tots and Technology, or TechStock. 

Other options {that I've never tried but have heard of}:

4. App Advice Articles. There's a daily article on this page of apps that have gone free. I'm not sure when it's published, but if you could get into the habit of checking the site every day, it looks like you'd find lots of free apps.

5. appPicker. This website updates daily to tell you which apps are on sale and which apps are free for the day. If you're looking for apps for your school iPads, I'd just ignore the "sale" apps and focus on the free ones! 

The App Store features a lot of really great free apps {Seesaw, Shadow Puppet Edu, ClassDojo, ThingLink, and Tackk are my favs}, but there are plenty of instances where paid apps go on sale for FREE -- you just have to know where to look!

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