How to track app price drops to get the best deals

Who could ever say no to saving money on apps?

How many times have you wanted to buy an app but found it too expensive?

The good news is prices of mobile apps are dynamic and thus, likely to drop. The bad news is, it's hard to keep track of the constant price changes.

We're big proponents of buying and supporting great software and services, but who's to say no to a sweet price drop? Here are two services that will help you save a bit of money too if you’re patient. Case in point: WolframAlpha on Android is still priced at RM12.99 but we managed to snag the iOS version back in 2015 when it dropped to US$0.99 (RM3.53 after conversion).

AppSales (Android, web)

AppSales has been around for years and it’s still one of the best at monitoring Android app price drops. It's pretty straightforward, and more importantly, works very well. Simply search and add apps to the Watchlist, and AppSales will notify you when there are price cuts. That's it. 

Besides the Watchlist, there is a raw feed of the latest sales, a curated Highlights feed, and a newly-introduced Now Free tab. There is another section called Watchlist Charts which contains trending apps that people are monitoring (adding to their AppSales Watchlists). You can even filter to only show apps with a minimum discount from 25% to 100%, and with minimum downloads from 100 to 100,000. If you were to sign in with your Google Account, all of your Watchlist apps will even sync between your Android devices.

The Now Free feed is a very recent introduction. With this recent change, we are set to see more paid apps go free for a few days to promote themselves, and that’s a good thing for all users.

All that being said, it is very bare bones and could be unintuitive to use at first. Because there is no search bar at the top, you’ll have to go to the Watchlist tab to tap on the “+” icon to search. While you can filter which categories to show in the feeds, you’ll have to go to Settings each time to change the filter.

Notifications for every new sale is enabled by default, but you can change it in Settings to only show Watchlist price cuts. Also, it's worth noting that the web version of AppSales doesn’t allow you to search or sign in and view your Watchlist. AppSales’ Watchlist is also not synced with Google Play Store’s Wishlist, which is a minor annoyance.

AppSales is free and ad-supported, but there is an in-app purchase (IAP) that’ll remove the ads, bump the price history from 60 to 360 days, and allow you to add up to 100 apps to your Watchlist, amongst other things. Even though the IAP is an annual subscription, it’s only RM7.50 a year. If you're big on apps, your subscription will go a long way.