How to get paid iPhone and iPad apps for free

Posted in iOS 7, iOS 6 by Steve Sinchak

Trying to find high quality paid apps when the price drops to free can be difficult.  Some paid apps never go free.  Your best bet to find a quality paid app for free is through promotional giveaways.  There are a growing number of sources giving away paid apps. But where should you look? 

I avoid most of the “free app a day” sites as they rarely have high quality apps.  Instead, I frequent some lesser known gems that give away promo codes for quality apps as a benefit to their customers. As you will find out, you don’t even need to be a customer to participate.


You may already know about the promo cards Starbucks gives away to their customers that can be found near the registers in stores, but few know about the “virtual cards” they give away via the official Starbucks app.

Download the Starbucks app now.

After you have the app installed you will begin to receive messages in the app once a week for new app and music promotions. Simply start up the app, touch Home and then Messages. A list of recent promotions since you installed the app will be shown. 

Cut the Rope: Experiments was one of the past app promotions.  Just touch the Download Now button near the bottom of the message and your promo code will be automatically redeemed in the app store.  You may need to enter your app store password and the app will begin to download.  

App Store

In May of 2012 Apple started the free app of the week promotion.  Unlike many of the “free app a day” sources, apple seems to get some of the most popular apps and has a high bar for quality.  You can find the free app of the week in a featured box on the app store page in iTunes.  Alternatively, you can follow the AppStore on twitter.

View all previous free "Apps of the Week"

Apple Store App

The official Apple Store app has started giving away free paid applications in August 2013 similar to Starbucks.  It looks like these apps are available via embedded promo codes within the app and change once a month.  You can find the free app on the main featured screen of the Apple Store app. 

Download the Apple Store app now.

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