Google's app store has one key advantage over Apple's (AAPL, GOOG)

Antonio Villas-Boas

The free TweetDeck desktop app is one of my main windows to the world. The columns I've arranged of constantly incoming tweets are like the descending green code from The Matrix. Those columns tell me what's going on, and I personally, as well as professionally, need to know what's going on.

Suffice it to say, I think TweetDeck is a pretty important tool. But I'm always open to explore new ways to keep on top of the news. That's why my colleague Alex Heath's article about TweetBot intrigued me. TweetBot looks like it has a nicer, cleaner interface than TweetDeck, and I'd like to check out how it's better.

But for $13? No way. And that's a price drop from the previous version of  the app, which costs $20! And yes, I'm willing to spend $650 for a smartphone, but I won't pay $13 for an app I haven't myself tried before. That's because $650 is what premium smartphones generally cost, and I know what I'm getting with a new $650 phone.

This chart from BI Intelligence gives you a good idea how much people are willing to pay for apps:

If there was an Android version of TweetBot, I'd be able to pay for the app and get a no-questions-asked refund within two hours of installing it on my phone. Two hours isn't exactly enough time to fully evaluate whether you'd like an app or not, but it's something, and I don't need to write in and plead with a company to give me my money back.

I first experienced Google's Play Store refund and return policy when trying out different watch faces for an Android Wear watch. I bought one I thought I liked, but realized when I opened it that the watch face didn't quite work aesthetically with the Android Wear watch I had.

I went back to the watch face's store page in the Google Play Store and saw it was an option to get a refund.

And just like that, the watch face uninstalled itself and I got my money back.

Some app developers make free, basic versions of their apps that don't have the same "premium" features as the paid version, and the free versions often have annoying ads while the premium versions don't. But other app developers like TweetBot don't offer limited free versions, opting to go for a paid-or-nothing model instead, and I feel like they're losing out on potential users by asking a lot more money than we're willing to pay for an app without offering some sort of trial.

If I could at least try TweetBot, I could then make an informed decision based on experience to buy the app. Otherwise, I'm not going to gamble $13 that I'm going to like it.

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