At the Good App Guide we often get asked whether apps are worth paying for. There are a huge number of free apps available on the market. Some of them are really great, such as the CBeebies Playtime App, but we would always recommend caution when downloading free apps for children.
At the Good App Guide we encourage parents to research apps before downloading them for children. On our website you can read reviews of apps selected by price. We have reviewed a number of good free apps and we have clearly marked where there are in-app purchases available. For information about preventing accidental in-app purchases, please see our guide. We are concerned that free apps are often associated with third party advertising. After all the developers need to generate revenue from the apps somehow! We very rarely list apps on the Good App Guide that have third party adverts (there has to be something truly exceptional about it for us to consider these), as we believe that children shouldn’t be bombarded with adverts when using apps.
Paying a small amount for an app can be better than restricting your children to free apps. After all, they are usually inexpensive to purchase – typically 69p – £2. The quality of children’s apps that you can obtain for less than £2 is remarkable and several of these have a free or lite version that you can try out first to help you decide whether to buy the full app. We really recommend this feature.
What else can you buy for children for such a small amount of money these days? Magazines and comics are at least £2.99 and a good quality app represents a lot more educational value for money than many comics!
Whether your child enjoys using apps to help their education or to relax with a game, you can be assured that choosing an app from the Good App Guide’s reviews means that there will be no nasty surprises when you get your bill, or when your child tells you what they’ve seen! Remember that screen based play should form part of a balanced play diet and that children get the most out of tech when an adult is available to supervise them.
What criteria do your family use for selecting apps? We’d love to hear your opinions on our Facebook page.