Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

Great work is worth paying for; why free apps are a bad thing

Let's not beat around the bush. Free apps are evil.

Now it's not that I think the quality of free apps is bad—there are lots of wonderful apps that don't cost a penny and a million more that are dreadful. No that's not why I have a problem with free apps. The problem with the free app is it's commoditised creativity. I believe great work and even just plain old good work should be paid for.

When you make an app that you've sweated over and spent days crafting—so it's as good as it can be—you owe it to yourself to charge for that app. Otherwise what you're saying is your app is worthless; it's literally not worth even a small amount of someones hard earned cash. What, not even the cost of chocolate bar? Seriously can this be right?

The thing is when you make an app free your audience doesn't thank you for it. They don't hold back on critiquing your app because you gave it to the world for free; they're just as vitriolic as if they had paid a million dollars for it. So you get all the hassle and not even the glow of some money in the bank to make up for it. 

Yes I know there are certain cases when free apps have value—promoting a service, building a brand, creating so called buzz about something, then yeah fine, I get it. But long term I believe free apps are a terrible thing.