Weekly iCross: I’d buy that for a dollar

, | Features

Today, I’m going to save you literally tens of dollars. Maybe.

After the jump: If you’re not using AppShopper, you’re wasting money

There’s this app/site called AppShopper, and it’s ever iPhone gamer’s best friend. It’s a catalogue of all the apps in the App Store, which in itself is no big deal. You can see what’s new and what’s popular, though I’m not really sure where it gets it’s “popular” data. You can check the top 200 apps in every category, and see how its rank has changed in the last 24 hours. Kind of cool (especially when it helps you identify a big up-and-comer), but not that big a deal. The real treat comes when you register with the site, a blissfully trivial affair that requires only a username, password, and email address.

Registering with AppShopper lets you mark the apps you own, a tedious process that would be well-served by some sort of “search my phone for all the apps I own” function. Doing so lets the app notify you when there’s an update, if you want. Or, the site can email you. Again, no big deal, right? “Get with the money saving,” you say. You can also mark an app you want, and have the site mail your or app notify you when it goes on sale. Plus, you can see previous changes to the app — dates when it updated or changed in price. This lets you spy how deep previous sale cuts were and how long they lasted. You’ll never pay $4.99 for Metal Slug Touch again when you could grab it for $0.99.

No, I’m serious, Metal Slug Touch went on sale today for 80% off. I wouldn’t have realized this if it didn’t pop up on the “popular recent changes” list. It’s not the kind of game I’d necessarily mark for later purchase, and for five bucks I would have passed. For a buck? Yeah, I might just jump in for a buck. Hell, you can’t buy a can of name-brand caffeinated sugar water for a buck anymore.

If there’s a problem with AppShopper, it’s the aforementioned Metal Slug factor. Sure, you save a whole lot of money. I’m not going to buy NBA Jam until it goes on sale. You also spend money on apps you never really wanted, because they’re such a great deal. What the hell am I doing buying Metal Slug Touch? Eh, it’s just a buck. Ooh…and Tapper World Tour HD is on sale, too! Did you know Don Bluth did the animation for that?