Paid Apps for Free (and How to Get Them)


Read First: Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand: About Free Apps

Steed Elementary has downloaded all of our 190+ apps for free. We either get the free version, or we pounce on free app promotions. If an app is free, even for just one day, you can download it (don't delay) to your iTunes account and sync it to all the iPods in the cart. I take the iPod Touch cart dedicated laptops home over breaks, or long weekends, so that I can take advantage of a one-day free app. Our school will be buying some paid apps through the new Volume Purchase Program, based on teacher requests and available funds, but so far, we're doing fine with what we can download for free.

Here's how I find out about free apps:


  • I follow @tonyvincent on Twitter. He always shares news of free app deals for education.
  • Once a day, I search the hashtags #edapp and #iear with the word Free on Twitter, just to be sure I don't miss something great.
  • Moms With Apps has a weekly blog feature called App Friday, and many of the apps are free. Lorraine & Lynette are also on Twitter @momswithapps and Facebook: MomsWithApps. NEW!!! MomsWithApps has their own app!
  • Free App a Day (FAAD) There's at least one free app advertised each day. Many times, the apps are games, but there are educational apps from time to time. Free App a Day is now an app, and they are also on Twitter and Facebook.
  • AppsFire Do a search on AppsFire (Math, for example) and toggle the Free Only box next to the search box. AppsFire has its own app now and is also on Facebook and Twitter. A special feature of AppsFire is http://appsfire.com/nowFree to find apps which have become free in the last 24 hours. Most will be games, but there are often educational apps, too.
  • AppShopper You can do a search for the Top 200 Free IOS Apps in Education for iPhone or iPad at this link: http://appshopper.com/bestsellers/education/free/?device=iphone

I have had some luck in using promotion codes from developers for free paid apps. After redeeming a promo code in iTunes for a featured app, you are encouraged to try it out and give it a positive review or constructive feedback.

In case you are ever audited, it is a good idea to have a printed record that the app was free on the day you downloaded it. Print the page from the iTunes website for the app, showing the word Free. Keep those printouts in a file.