Many app creators are trying to cash in on the iPad craze by creating iPad versions of their apps – at a premium.

While many iPhone apps settled in to the 99 cent pricepoint, iPad apps seem to be 2 – 3 dollars more expensive.

iPhone apps can sync and will run on your iPad, and if the art was done properly for the iPhone, blowing it up to iPad size with the 2x button in the corner is no big deal.

I have the EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour for my iPhone (there isnt an iPad app) and I play it on my iPad.  The graphics arent as crisp as you would expect when you see native iPad apps, but the game is entirely playable and the lesser graphics arent noticed unless you do extreme closeups of your ball.

I snagged the game for 99c during an EA Sports sale and it’s easily my most played on the device.  Currently its $4.99 and still worth the price.  If EA Sports does step up and offer an iPad version at a premium price, I’d still recommend sticking with the iPhone edition.

Scrabble is $1.99 for the iPhone, $9.99 for the iPad.  Guess which one I bought?  The iPhone edition which, for 20% of the cost, let’s me play the game on two devices.  Sure, the iPhone app played on the iPad is marginally pixelated, but this is Scrabble we’re talking about, not some in depth first person shooter game that needs subtleties of graphics displayed.

The main difference between the Scrabble iPhone and iPad app is the ability to use iPhone/iPods as tile racks.  You can sit with the iPad as a game board in the centre and each person has their own tile racks on their personal iDevice.  You can play via WiFi on the iPhone version, or through Facebook Connect, so multi player games are still possibe, just not as sexy.

Still, I’m quibbling over a $9.99 board game here, buy it in your local toy store and the deluxe version is over $50.

Choosing the iPhone version over iPad is one way to save money in the app store, the other is by researching your app purchases before you buy them.

I’m still not satisfied with the previewing abilities through iTunes for apps.  There are so many duplicates within a category that it’s hard to tell which version is the best.  It’s good to see many app creators offering  limited freeview editions of their apps so you can test out the interface and quality of production before buying. 

The Three Little Pigs Lite SD - So Ouat! for iPhone and iPod touch on the iTunes App Store

I’m finding the freeview versions particularly handy in discovering worthy alphabet and reading apps for my 3 year old son.

Keeping your eye out for sales is a great way to capitalize on the cheap apps.  As mentioned, I snagged some EA Sports apps for 99c a few months back. Hot Wet Apps and 148Apps are blogs that monitor the sales offerings in the app store and serve up reviews of the apps that are marked down and ones that are free.

Finally, taking the iPad App Genius for a tour will help you make better App purchases.  Tris wrote about it last week.  Basically the App Genius monitors the apps you currently have and makes suggestions on others you will most likely find interesting.  Some are duplicates, others are great new finds and the more you use it the better it will be at recommending.

Until there’s a method of gaining a refund on apps we buy and find ultimately useless, employing these tips might help you make more economical app purchases.

What’s your favourite way to discover new apps and make sure you’re not blowing money on bad or overpriced ones?

catch the buzz … pass it on.

buzz bishop future shop tech blogThis post was originally published on The Future Shop Tech Blog

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