How I spent $280 on Android Apps
I have spent $280.69 on 129 Android apps in the Play Store since I bought my Motorola Droid on October 17th, 2009. That’s average of $2.18 but that doesn’t mean much because there are a number of apps I bought on sale for less than $.99. I haven’t accounted for the number of free apps that I’ve downloaded and installed but it’s probably north of 500.
I decided to take a look at how I spent that cash by downloading my transactions from the Play Store and putting my pathetic Excel skills to work. Onward!
Sorry for the reverse order, but this is my average spend per year. Even though 2009 is a partial year, its third highest for spending because I bought Touchdown Exchange for 9.99 and Docs to Go for 14.99. 2014 is also a partial year, but I think my purchasing is slowing down. In 2012, I bought a number of games and other tools. Yikes.
Here is a break down of apps per year. It’s a crappy chart and the colors run together, but the upshot is … Nah, it’s a crappy chart. And redundant. Just look at the pretty colors and move on.
Here is another view of my spend based on category. The category is from the Play Store. Tools are mostly system tools like Llama (automation), File Browsers, Wi-Fi tools, and so on. I’m not big on in app purchases (IAP)overall. I only spent $10.93 but I use those items often and they were additional features to the app added well after the fact.
I took the top 8 apps based on volume and plotted out the average price of the apps I bought per category. The Business would be higher than $5.69 except that I bought two font packs for OfficeSuite Pro for $.25 which brought that price down. Removing those raises the average price to $9.32. Today Touchdown Exchange is $19.99 and Docs to Go Premium is still $14.99.
Finally, I broke down the number of apps I bought in price ranges ending with anything over $5.00. I bought almost as many apps under $.99 (on sale) as I did at full price up to $1.99. There are few apps that I bought that were more than $5.00. They are mostly productivity tools with Docs to Go being the most expensive at $14.99.
A few parting thoughts:
I bought each of these apps once and used them across three different devices (two phones and one tablet). Some of these apps I’ve had for over 5 years with updates (going from Android 2.X to 4.X). That is incredible value.
I think the quality of the apps I have bought is overall outstanding especially considering what I spent. There are some apps that I bought even though I don’t use them just to support the developer. There are some apps that were rough at first but have improved with age.
For the most part, every app I have bought has also been available for the tablet and has been perfectly useable. I honestly can’t think of a single app that wasn’t useable on my tablet, though some, like Touchdown Exchange got better with a dedicated tablet layout.
There are, of course, a ton of free apps that I use as well and I am deeply appreciative of those who write software and make it freely available. I want to give you money!
There is one potential down side and that is support. Sometimes the developer is very responsive—I once spent the better part of an afternoon installing and testing iterations of an app to help a developer track down a UI issue. Other times the developer isn’t helpful (I had trouble with Box transfers with Titanium Pro Backup and was told it was a network issue. But I can reach box with the it’s app, the browser, and other apps. Just not with Titanium, I replied. They stood firm that it was a network issue. Um, no, it ISN’T.)
Smarter smart phone: Automatically silence your phone during meetings
I hate remembering to do things and having a smart phone is supposed to help with those mundane chores. Why then do peoples phones still ring during meetings, presentations, etc? Do yourself and those around you and let your phone silence itself.
I don’t know about Apple’s IOS, but Google Calendar app doesn’t automatically silence the phone when a calendar event fires. Seems like a no brainer to me but then again, I actually use my phone. There are likely many ways to do this automatically, here’s how I do it.
First, I synchronize my Outlook calendar with my Google Calendar using Google App Sync. That keeps everything current. Then I use an Android app called Llama (it’s free but buy a license anyway. You get nothing more than a warm-fuzzy but supporting the developer is worth it).
Llama is positioned as a location based app for automating actions based on course (Wi-Fi or cell tower based) or fine (GPS) location data. I don’t use any location features mainly because I don’t need to. However, Llama has a bunch of other triggers defined that can launch an event. For example, I have a time based trigger so that every night at 10:00 pm, my phone goes silent and at 8:00 am it can make noise. No more late night wrong numbers to wake me up!
For calendar events, I set a trigger so that when an calendar event is active, Llama set’s my phone to silent. When the calendar event ends, my phone can make noise again. It’s really simple to do and I have never had my phone go off during a meeting. But wait, there’s more. I can also set up exceptions so that if my wife calls, for example, that will always ring my phone regardless of the setting. When I’m on the road, she would only call if it was important and, of course, I want to take that call. It just works.
Llama can trigger on other events like NFC tags, if a headset is connected or not and other stuff. It’s easy to use and makes your phone smarter. There are other automation apps out there like Tasker (which I don’t find as easy to use) and others.
Anonymous asked: Are those your shoes? What is that dark slime spilling out of the shoes onto the plate? Do you need a full set up for that meal? What's holding up the right side of the table? And, last, white bread? Really? BTW - Good thing you have grounded circuits! You never know.
Not my shoes though if I were a woman and had size 6 feet, I’d wear them. That pic is a still life called “Toe Jam” taken back in my long hair days when I shot, processed, and printed film. The table is a one-arm table similar to the ones you see in hospitals, though this was for home use. Cast iron and the top was leather covered wood.
Net Neutrality, Common Carrier, and Unintended Consequences
While many are calling for the FCC to reclassify broadband as common carrier as a way for the agency to enforce rules, there is a very real downside—broadband rot.
Reclassifying broadband ISP’s and cellular data under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as common carrier seems like a good idea. The FCC would be able to regulate them under the Title II classification, they can impose rate restrictions, enforce competition by forcing broadband providers to wholesale their networks to others (effectively separating last mile access from service), and so on. I think these goals are good and worthy and I have long been a strong proponent for network neutrality(as far back as the early 90’s).
Here’s the downside. Common carrier status reduces broadband providers to plumbing where broadband providers are required to maintain the pipes but they are also restricted on the profit they can make (rate limits and so on). In an environment where broadband providers can’t control their own pricing and thus can’t control their own profits, the natural inclination is to reduce capital and operational expenditures—stop adding more capacity—in an effort to squeeze every last penny from hardware investments.
In fact, purchasing decisions will be made with a eye towards spending the least possible. The net effect (pun intended) is that capacity upgrades will slow to a crawl since broadband providers have no reason to add more capacity or improve performance. Broadband providers already have a defacto monopoly due to the high cost of running new last mile infrastructure that makes having a true alternative impossible.
We don’t have to look far to see a nearly identical comparison with Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) in the US. The Bells had a monopoly on local telephone service and they were highly regulated in all operating aspects from pricing to services. They had few ways to make a profit from the network and that’s why they charged exorbitant prices for things like princess phones or extra phone jacks in homes. The Bells fought tooth and nail, for example, to stop the use of answering machines in homes because if customers could attach their own equipment, the Bells couldn’t jack up prices.
During all of this, the POTS network was rarely updated with new technology unless there was a defined ROI and an extremely long lifetime to milk the money from the cost of upgrades. That meant advanced services never made it to market at a price that consumers could afford.
I think if broadband is reclassified as common carriers, the same thing will result. Broadband development will slow to a crawl. Obviously this would be bad and it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s economic value in providing the pipes and plenty of room to make profits (I think I’ll save those thoughts for later) but I think broadband providers are too short sighted to see it.