How to Try Android Apps Before Buying?

android appsGoogle’s online Android Market, now called Google Play, is huge with more than 200,000 apps for your Android mobile phone and tablets. A lot of these Android Apps are available as free downloads while the paid apps can cost anywhere between 99 ¢ and $200.

Amazon runs a parallel online store for Android Apps and one good thing about Amazon’s store is that it lets you test and test apps before you actually buy them.

Say you have found an interesting app in Google’s Android Market that you are quite willing to buy but as the app price is a bit on the expensive side, you would like to use the app and test the various features before loosening your purse strings.

Google doesn’t offer “try before you buy” apps but there’s an easy workaround that will help you test any paid app before buying it – you buy an app from the Android market, use it for about 10-12 minutes and then refund the app. The app will be uninstalled from your mobile phone and your account won’t be charged.

How to Refund an Android App

It take a few easy steps to refund an app to the Android Market:


Step 1: Visit the Google Android Market, either on your desktop or your mobile phone, and buy any of the ‘paid’ apps.

Step 2: The app is now installed on your mobile phone. Launch the app and you can test it for the next 10-12 minutes.

Step 3. Go back to the Android Market app on your mobile phone and under “My Apps,” tap the app name that you are trying to refund. Hit the “Refund” button and the app will automatically uninstall from your mobile phone.

Step 4. Once the App has been uninstalled, it may ask you to specify a reason for removing the app. You can check “I’d rather not say” here and the app amount will be refunded. You’ll also get an email from Google saying:

You have uninstalled the application from your phone. We have cancelled your order and you have not been charged.

The refund process is quite easy and 10 minutes are often enough for you to get a good idea about an app. I tried this with at least two different paid apps and the whole thing worked without a hitch. There are however two things regarding Google’s refund policy that you should know:

1. You only have 15 minutes to return an app to the Android Market from the time of download after which the “refund” option will disappear from the app.

2. You can return an app only once; if you refund an app and purchase it again, you won’t be able to refund it to the Android Market.

Also see: How to Get Refunds from iTunes’ App Store

Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


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