How to get paid/premium Android applications for free (sort of) legally

We all want free applications. No one likes parting with their money, right?
While there are hundreds of thousands of free applications on the Google Play Store, quite a number of them are either based on a freemium model (free to download and use some basic features but you have to pay to access some locked content/features) or require an outright purchase.

There are several ways to get free Android applications. Here are some of them:

  1. Download applications when they are absolutely free. How would you know that? Using several handy applications. There are several applications that track changes in Play Store app pricing and inform you on deals on a daily basis. My favourite application is AppSales. With AppSales, it will show you applications whose price on the Play Store has dropped. The beauty of AppSales is that on the free version of the app (sigh), you can bookmark a limited number of apps so that you get to know first hand when their prices drop thanks to the app’s Watchlist feature. You simply hit the share button on the Play Store then select AppSales from the resulting menu and the app will let you know next time the price has been slashed by 25% (or whatever figure the discount is).

  2. Alternative Stores like the Samsung Galaxy apps store and the Amazon store usually have daily freebies. Amazon provides at least a free application every day and runs some promotions occassionally where tens of premium apps are available for free. The Samsung Galaxy store is also doing the same. It may not be universal (may vary per device model) but if you have a Samsung device it is worth opening the Galaxy Apps store at least once a day to see what is on offer. Apps available range from those tailor-made for smartphones and tablets to those targeted at Samsung’s own watches. Google also gives away lots of applications for free on the Play Store when it feels sufficiently philanthropic. Recently, it offered several EA Sports titles like Need for Speed Most Wanted, one of the best racing games you can play on mobile, for free. You can look out for awesome deals from Google on special Android occassions like say the Android birthday or public holidays like Christmas or on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  3. Earn some free Google Play credits that you can use to buy premium apps on the Play Store. Through the Google Opinion Rewards application, you get up to $1 every time you complete a survey online using the app. Google pays you for just completing surveys. The only problem here is that the Opinion Rewards program is currently limited to users in the United States so it may not benefit you as much.