Friday, January 6, 2012

5 ways to load up your iPhone or iPad with good free apps

Finding good free apps on Apple's iTunes Store is difficult. Because Apple imposes a $99/year price for an Apple developer account that can publish apps on the store, developers try to recoup this cost by making their apps paid. Hence, even though the App Store has substantially higher quality apps than Google's Android Marketplace, it is a sea of apps that cost $0.99, $1.99, $2.99 and so on. If you're tired with these numbers and looking for good free apps and games, use the following tricks to score some.

This article does not condone piracy. It is just a list of tips and tricks that allow you to legitimately get some apps for free from Apple's App Store.

Search online for best free apps
This one is a no-brainer. But the problem is that most websites keep repeating the same list over and over again. Only a handful of good free apps and games for iPad and iPhone have gained popularity, and most websites just keep talking about the same Zite, Flipboard, Tilt-to-Live, Air Hockey Gold blah blah...

So get all those free apps and then move on to the other steps below.

Use price tracking apps
Get apps like AppZapp and AppShopper. They are generally free and check price drops, sales and apps that are free for a limited time on the App Store. I personally use AppZapp HD on my iPad and I have filters set so that I only get apps that are made for my iPad. It also has a section where you can see the apps that have gone free just now.

This is how you'll be able to score the highest amount of good quality apps without even paying a cent.

Follow blogs that track app sales
Personally, I follow PadGadget, which is a blog that sifts through iPad app sales almost everyday and picks out the best ones, which are featured on their "daily app deals" articles. I look through the ones that are free. TapCentral does this for iPhone and iPod touch apps.

Gizmodo and Lifehacker also regularly have "app deals" posts.

Use some Google-fu
Another good way to find app deals is to search for "daily app deals" or similar terms and use Google's filters to sort the results for just posts that have been published in the last 24 hours.

If you have other ways of searching, post it in the comments.

Be on the lookout for promo codes
If you are a regular on Internet communities and forums, you can often score some promo codes for iOS apps and even other iTunes downloads. I frequent Reddit and keep a lookout on subreddits like /r/apple, /r/iphone, /r/ipad and /r/freebies.

Depending on what you do on the Internet, this one (finding promo codes and using them before others do) can be difficult.