Free Catholic apps: a couple of myths and a caution

Who doesn’t like free apps, especially if they’re Catholic? Here at Catholic Apptitude, we try to include free apps in all of our categories IF we find they are worth your consideration.  Before you dive into those freebies, let’s first dispel a couple of myths about free apps and then consider a practical warning.

Myth: You get what you pay for. Free apps are not quality apps.

A selection of free Catholic apps on my iPhone.

A selection of free Catholic apps on my iPhone.

This is not necessarily true, especially in the Catholic app world where many app sponsors and developers offer top-quality apps as a means of evangelization. Some spectacular examples of free Catholic apps include: Laudate (iOSAndroidKindle Fire); iBreviary;  The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception’s Divine Mercy app; and Jesuit Media Initiatives’ Pray as You Go mini retreats.

These apps and many others are gifted to the public to help users live their Catholic faith more fully or to give them convenient access to resources to help them in their faith journey. Indeed, we can point out many free Catholic apps that are superior in quality to their paid counterparts! So, as you read through our app reviews, take special note when the text sizzles with enthusiasm for the free ones.

MythFree apps come loaded with annoying ads. That’s the trade-off.

Again, this is not necessarily true in the Catholic app world where evangelization trumps profit for many sponsors and/or developers. Besides, those annoying pop-ups, banners and notifications would take away from the spiritual experience tied to so many Catholic apps. Suffice to say, most free Catholic apps (featured here at Catholic Apptitude, anyway) do not contain advertising.

Caution: Free apps might cost you in other ways IF they contain advertising.

If your free app does contain advertising, it may actually make you “pay” in terms of your mobile device’s battery life, data consumption and processing speed. According to a recent study, some of the market’s more popular free apps imbedded with advertising were found to cause mobile devices (Android in this study) to run significantly slower. Besides interrupting your app experience with annoying pop-ups and animation, the same study found those ad-laiden apps also drain your device’s battery power and gobble up its memory.

Of course, the apps tested in the recent study were not Catholic apps, but the principle applies. For this reason, Catholic Apptitude makes every attempt to avoid serving up apps that contain advertising unless there’s a good reason to include them. My Virtual Advent Wreath is one such rule-buster wherein I tolerate the opening ad in order to enjoy the beauty of the lit candles.

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Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother and avid Catholic app user who works in the field of corporate communications --BA Journalism; MA English--and communications director at her parish. What began as an e-mail service to priests and seminarians looking for quality Catholic apps for mobile devices has grown into a world-wide community of Catholic app enthusiasts looking for and recommending great Catholic apps.

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