The market offers an expansive selection of free and paid phone apps for both business and personal use, with anti-malware applications being a good example. It isn’t hard to guess which gets downloaded more often either — with free apps, you get the features you need without having to shell out any money.
But this doesn’t necessarily make free apps the better option. Paid apps may cost you some, but they more than make up for your investment with higher quality and the ability to meet your needs better.
Take these factors into account when considering whether to pay for apps or settle for zero-cost alternatives:
1. Paid apps have more and better features
Most free apps on the market are freemium applications, which means they are free, stripped-down versions of existing software. They function like samples in grocery stores, which let you test a small amount of a product to entice you to buy the full-sized item later on.
These free apps contain just enough features to give you the gist of what the product offers, and then keep everything else behind a paywall. For example, a free anti-malware app may give you basic functionalities like virus protection, scheduled scans, and download protection. But if you really want to fortify your phone’s security with high-end features like virtual private networks (VPNs), internet security, ad blocking, and theft recovery, then you should commit to a subscription.
2. Paid phone apps are more convenient to use
You’re probably thinking, “An app with fewer features is lighter on my phone, so I’m okay.” That’s not necessarily true, though, for several reasons.
Many freemium apps are programmed to send you notifications that advertise the features you’re missing out on by not paying for the service. Imagine getting several random messages in a day telling you to pay up — it gets old really fast.
Truly free apps — those that do not have premium versions — aren’t always better. In order to earn, developers allow brands to use their apps as advertising space. This means an ad will either always take up a portion of your phone’s screen or interrupt you as you use the free app.
But ads aren’t just annoying; they can also be downright harmful. Some ads lead to malicious websites, while others install malware onto your phone. Others are less sinister but cripple your phone by using up much of its battery, mobile data, and computing power.
3. Free phone apps may actually cost more money to use
Certain applications let you pay in exchange for getting rid of ads. The cost is low, but there’s a catch: you only get a few days of ad-free usage. Once you’ve used up your time, you’ll have to spend more money. If you use the app long-term, you’ll eventually pay more to remove ads than you would have if you purchased the full, ad-free version of the app in the first place.
4. Paid phone apps are more secure
Paid apps usually get earlier and more frequent updates than free alternatives. These updates sometimes add new features, but they also improve the stability and the security of the program and your mobile device.
Updates are typically implemented to fix issues in an app. These updates may be as simple as a fix to extremely lengthy load times, or they could be a patch for recently recognized vulnerabilities. Such vulnerabilities can be used by cybercriminals to access the app and steal sensitive information stored in your device, so it’s important to implement updates as soon as they’re available.
Updates are especially vital to anti-malware apps. They contain the latest information on cyberthreats, so anti-malware apps may be unable to detect a new virus or worm without these updates.
When choosing mobile apps that your employees will use, don’t settle for something just because it’s free. At Tech Squared, our experts can help you come up with a list of apps that match your company’s needs and will bolster your workforce’s productivity, efficiency, and security.
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