While plenty of useful smartphone apps and games have embraced the freemium model, meaning they cost nothing to install but do involve in-app purchases to unlock their full potential, there are still lots of paid-for Android apps that are only available if you splash out cold, hard cash.
Thankfully there are some clever ways to avoid eating into your bank balance while still getting access to paid apps for free, so here is a look at just a handful of the top options to try out.
Generate Google Store credit
You can bump up your balance on the Play Store and use the credits you have to pay for apps and content of all kinds without needing to transfer funds from your current account. In fact this list compiled by WaHAdventures demonstrates just how many legitimate solutions there are to the problem of earning Google Store credit.
One example is to play games offered via a service like AppLike, which effectively leverages ad revenues generated by users to provide credits as a reward. This system is ideal if you would be delving into digital entertainment on your phone anyway, and gives you a means to make money from this pastime.
Take advantage of time-limited offers
Pricing on the Google Play store is rarely static, and you will frequently find that certain developers are running deals that let you download premium apps and content for a limited time period without paying a penny.
Of course actually staying on top of which apps are available in this way manually would be tricky, which is where a service like AppsFree comes into play. It is an Android app in its own right, and is essentially a curated list of paid apps which are currently available free of charge. You can track apps you are interested in getting, filter results according to your preferred keywords and hide irrelevant apps as you see fit.
Sign up for Google Opinion Rewards
We have already touched upon the third party ways to earn Google Store credit, but another first party option is to create an account with Google Opinion Rewards. This platform is essentially a consumer research service that lets you fill out surveys and receive credit for your participation.
The obvious advantage here is that because it is natively run by Google, you can easily link your earned credits with your account and use them to pay for premium apps. It is this interconnectedness that makes it an attractive option.
Use a rival app store
Google Play is not the only place to find Android apps; there are other platforms out there, such as Aptoide, which have plenty of mainstream apps available free that are priced at a premium elsewhere.
You will still need to do your research, compare prices and strike while the iron is hot to make savings, but with so much competition around, it really is a great time for app users looking to save a buck.