How To: Use These Price Trackers to Find On-Sale and Newly Free Apps for Your iPhone or iPad

Use These Price Trackers to Find On-Sale and Newly Free Apps for Your iPhone or iPad

To the end user, mobile apps are sometimes expensive. To the developers, those costs are justified for all the hard work put into making the apps. Sometimes app creators will meet in the middle by putting their apps on sale or giving them away for a limited time to gain more traction in the App Store.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't have a section in the App Store for all the apps with temporarily reduced prices. So how can you find out when a developer changes the cost of their apps or makes their apps free for a limited time?

While Apple does not provide price change data for users directly in the App Store, it does have a partner feed with a complete set of metadata for the App Store, along with other Apple services like Apple Music and Apple TV. A full report is created every week by Apple, along with daily incremental snapshots that only list changes compared to the last full report, such as differences in price.

That's what makes most of the app price trackers in the following list possible.

You'll see many of the same discounted or newly free apps listed in each one because they all use the same metadata, but the data isn't implemented the same across the board. Some of the price-drop trackers below are updated more quickly than others, and regional availability and crowdsourced data can be factors too. That's why I like to check all the apps and websites seen below in my spare time.

1. AppRaven

AppRaven is my favorite option, which I use all the time. It seems to list almost every app on sale or newly free in the App Store and is very simple to use.

The tracker has an integrated social media component for users to comment on apps, follow others, create lists, like apps, dislike apps, and watch apps. Additionally, you can see a list of apps on sale and popular apps within AppRaven.

If you decide to create an AppRaven account, you can mark apps as owned to know which apps you have already purchased. Additionally, you have a profile that shows how much money you may have spent on apps if you didn't buy them on sale or for free.

AppRaven locks some features down with an in-app purchase (IAP). These premium features — including a rare app filter, tracking in-app purchases, mail notifications, removing ads, and VIP sections — cost $1.99 a month, $11.99 per year, or a one-time fee of $29.99. However, the IAP isn't necessary to find great apps on sale.

2. AppSpree

AppSpree is a great, simple app price tracker that only shows you all the apps that have gone free recently. It doesn't list apps on sale, nor any other categories that some of the other app price trackers on this list provide, but it's a valuable tool if you never want to spend any money.

AppSpree is straightforward to use and even allows you to track apps you want to watch for sales. The tracking features look for available promo codes and sale campaigns. However, the free version limits you to only tracking five different apps.

As you can imagine, a tracker like this needs to make money somehow. Along with ads, it has a Pro version, which removes ads, allows you to track more apps, and lets you view apps that have been on AppSpree for more than a week. The Pro version is a one-time purchase of $4.99.

3. AppAdvice

AppAdvice, once named AppleiPhoneApps, has been around since the existence of the App Store in July 2008. The website isn't dedicated to sharing free and on-sale apps, but there is a Apps Gone Free section if you want to skip right to the deals.

AppAdvice also has an iOS and iPadOS app you can install for Apps Gone Free. It has everything the AppAdvice website shares, but there's an option to turn on Classic Mode to see only the newly free and on-sale apps.

The great thing about Apps Gone Free is that each app it features has a small review and more information about it. It also includes when the app was released and if AppAdvice has featured it before.

4. App Sliced

App Sliced is a great website you can use when searching for app deals, and it has a unique feature that gives each app's pricing history. App Sliced advertises that it does not miss any sales on the App Store, but no price-drop tracker is perfect.

If you sign up, you can customize which devices you have — iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch — giving you a personalized experience with recommendations, price alerts, and a social shopping experience.

Unfortunately, App Sliced does not have an iOS or iPadOS app available.

5. iOSnoops

iOSnoops has been around since 2010, developed by two friends that loved hunting for good deals on their favorite iPhone and iPad apps. They're still around today, looking to save you some money and time.

The website features New Releases, Apps Gone Free, and App Price Drops, and it also curates an App Deal of the Day and Free App of the Day. You can also find the top apps downloaded on the Top App Charts page. When you find a deal you're interested in, it will tell you if it's a reasonable price under the "Our Verdict" header.

App Sliced will even send you alerts if an app goes on sale. To set it up, simply search for and select an app on the website, and you'll see a "Deal Alert" form towards the middle of the page (on an iPhone) or on the left-hand side (on an iPad or computer).

Unfortunately, there is no mobile app for iOSnoops. Additionally, unlike other app price trackers, the website does not have a way to personalize recommendations to suit your devices or interests.

  • Web Link: iOSnoops (works in any browser)

6. r/AppHookup

For Reddit users, there's the r/AppHookup subreddit dedicated to finding deals on software. Users can post any deals they find on any apps or games, including those outside the App Store. That means you'll find apps and game deals from Steam, the Epic Games Store, Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, etc.

If you find a free or on-sale app and have a Reddit account, you can even post there to keep the community thriving. Just make sure you follow the community's rules, as with any subreddit.

  • Reddit Link: r/AppHookup (works in any browser or Reddit client)

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Cover photo and screenshots by Daniel Hipskind/Gadget Hacks

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