ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more

Saturday, January 12, 2013

FeaturePoints – Lots of features, not so many points

If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself frustrated by the recent lack of sponsored apps available on services like FreeMyApps and FreeAppSlots. Hey, no worries! They’ll get apps again eventually, but in the meantime it sure would be nice if there was yet another points-for-apps/cash service to start racking up some points on. Well it turns out there is, but don’t necessarily expect as much out of it as the other two aforementioned websites.

UPDATE: FeaturePoints is now available for Android as well!

Wait, so what’s all this ‘FreeSomething’ stuff about?

For those who have yet to figure out what I’m talking about, FreeMyApps, FreeAppSlots, and now, FeaturePoints are all web-based services that you visit on your iOS device (Android users may also use FreeMyApps and FeaturePoints). Developers sponsor apps they’ve made on the website you visit, and when you download the apps and try them out, you get some points. Build up enough of these points, and you can share in the profits of the sponsorship by redeeming your points for free app downloads, gift cards, or individual prizes.

Developers get their apps in the hands of users, the company hosting the sponsored apps gets money for hosting them, and users get free stuff on the side. Not a bad deal, is it?

Well, there are certain downsides, like developers essentially being able to buy a rank on the iTunes downloads list, and you ending up with hundreds of throwaway apps stuck in your download history, but overall it is indeed a pretty good deal for everyone involved.

The Good of FeaturePoints

In most respects, FeaturePoints works just like similar services. You’re confronted with a list of apps to download to get points, or alternatively, refer the service to other people and get some points as a result of their participation. Then there’s the Rewards page, which is what everyone is really interested in, featuring a wide range of products and gifts to redeem those points for.

The huge difference? FeaturePoints is nice. Really, really nice. Everything about the interface is smooth and slick. Web app integration is flawless, meaning you can add a shortcut to on your iOS homescreen and from there on out you can forget it’s a website at all–FeaturePoints looks good enough to be mistaken for a full app, not a website. Everything performs nicely as well, even on older Apple devices that struggle with running FreeAppSlots.

The Bad of FeaturePoints

The big downside, as you may have guessed from the post title, is the amount of points awarded for each app vs the cost of rewards. You can expect downloads to give you half as many points as FreeMyApps would, and rewards to cost you twice as much as FreeMyApps. This is not an exaggeration. As nice as FeaturePoints is, you better plan on using it a lot to get any serious return.

There is a bit of saving grace here, though, and that comes in the form of the other two websites I already mentioned. FreeAppSlots will get you the most points, FreeMyApps will get you enough points, and FeaturePoints will get you the least points, but used all together you can, for example, add up a $15, $10, and $5 Amazon Gift Card to purchase a $30 product at no impact to your wallet. So while on its own FeaturePoints may not win you much, if you play your cards strategically, it can be used in conjunction with similar services well enough to be worth your time.

Try out FeaturePoints…with a bonus!

If this sounds interesting to you, then whip out your iOS device and visit the following link in mobile Safari (not Chrome or Opera or Dolphin or another browser–Safari only). By following my referral link below you’ll get 50 free points to start you off!

Try out similar services, also with a bonus!

If you have yet to give FreeMyApps and FreeAppSlots a whirl, I recommend you do so! Just visit the links in Mobile Safari, add shortcuts to your homepage if you like, and start racking up points! By following my referral link to FreeAppSlots, you will be awarded 5 extra spins for each app you try, and by following my referral link to FreeMyApps…well, actually, you won’t get any bonus. But you’ll still get access to a great service for earning some cash on the side!

UPDATE: If you would like to squeeze a few more points into your FeaturePoints account, check out FlickPoints, a downloadable companion app to the FeaturePoints website that will score you 4+ points for just watching a 30-second ad. As FlickPoints and FeaturePoints are owned and operated by the same company, it all goes to the same pool of points!