Have you ever downloaded an app from any of the app stores? I know the question is vague in today’s world, where there’s an app for everything. What are the factors you consider while downloading an app? The first thing that comes to mind while reading this is usability and reviews.
But did you know this isn’t all? There should be numerous other factors that you should keep in mind while downloading an app.
Both Google Play store (Android) and App Store (iOS) are home to millions of apps. According to a report, as of 2021, the iOS App Store alone had over 3.6 million apps and 984,000 games. Out of which, 92.3% are free to download.
Besides these two, there are other app stores like Huawei App Market, Oppo Software Store, MyApp by Tencent, etc. Millions of users download apps each day from all these stores. However, Android and iOS rule the market. Reports reveal that 143.6 billion apps were downloaded in 2022, out of which Google Play noticed 111.3 billion downloads and iOS experienced 32.3 billion app downloads.
While Apple has a carefully defined privacy and protection policy, there have been security breaches in the recent past that exposed the vulnerable side of the app world. Some current app store leaks and breaches, like the Amazon Ring App, Slack Mobile App, etc., exposed users to highlight threats underlying today’s ‘mobile world.’ A recent data breach was shared by Cleartrip, wherein hackers stole their data and put it for sale on the Dark Web.
Acknowledging this, you must stay extra cautious while downloading an app. To help you make a decision, here are some of the critical factors you should consider while downloading an app. Let’s begin:
Key factors to consider while downloading an app
Let’s have a look at some of the key factors you should consider while downloading a mobile application on your iOS or Android device:
Which data does the app collect from you?
While the Apple technocrats leave no stone unturned in verifying that the asked/collected information is relevant and will be used to improve the user experience, it is essential for you to as well to have a look at the collected data. Only a few people know this, but on the app page, before downloading an app, you can check which data you share with the app publisher, such as your location, contacts, images, etc. An example of this can be seen in the image below.
If you are comfortable with it, then only download the app. It has been noticed that App developers at times collect user data that are not relevant to the mobile application. Let’s say, for example, you are downloading a gaming app that seeks access to your phone gallery or contacts. Sounds strange? This is why it is always recommended to check this section before downloading an app.
Do proper research
Before making any decision, never forget to read reviews posted on the App Store or any third-party platform you can find on the web. User reviews will help you spot if the app is a scam or any other loopholes you should know before downloading. Even for apps rated 4.5 plus stars, look for critical reviews. These reviews usually give an in-depth insight into the functionalities of the app and the way it performs during downtime.
If you find the app suspicious while scrolling through reviews, see the developer/company in the app details. If the developer/company is well-established, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if it looks even a bit skeptical, leave it then and there.
Keep your OS updated.
You must keep your OS updated to ensure protection against possible malware attacks. OS updates are to prevent you from potential security loopholes and malware threats. So next time you skip available updates in your OS, remember, it’s not a good idea.
It’s crucial to learn that the chances of online threats are also increasing with the constantly evolving technology space. Amidst this, it becomes vital to ensure overall safety.
Suppose you don’t receive any notification about upcoming and current updates. In that case, you can check for the same in your settings menu.
Download only from a legitimate and credible source. You must avoid .apk versions available across the web. The best place to download an app is the official app store. Industry experts strongly recommend iPhone users download from Apple Store and Android users download from Google Play Store. Users should be extra cautious while downloading from any third-party source as it may contain viruses or collect data from misusing it.
However, if there’s an app that you need to download from a third-party source, at least visit its official website and check for reviews. If there isn’t any official website, it is recommended that you drop the idea of downloading that app.
Name of the Application
An app’s name speaks a lot about the purpose and audience it is created for. If the app is incorrectly spelled, there are chances of it being a phishing app, impostor, or non-legitimate. One example of this can be noticed with apps that spell ‘Android’ and Android. Such apps are possibly created to gather user data and sell it to make some money or for other unauthorized purposes. Incorrect spellings are undoubtedly a no-go and should be avoided without any second question.
Who’s the owner
There are possibly two types of app owners. One is a developer, and the second is a mediator/company. The app might be uploaded by any of the two. Before downloading an app, know the app developer or company. Look for the vendor or developer on Google and check their credibility. Credible apps will always have a link redirecting you to the vendor’s page. You’ll at least find the name if there’s no link to any page.
Once you locate the same, you’ll be able to spot other apps built by the developer/vendor and security policy. It should also reveal how your data will be utilized and whether or not your information will be shared with advertisers. By getting acquainted with these details, you can stay assured of sharing your data with the correct application.
Apps have become a necessity considering the mobility and ease of experience. Perhaps this is why we don’t hesitate to share our data and give these app developers and vendors permission. However, it is equally vital that you stay aware of how and by which your data will be used.
I hope the article answers your questions and gives you an insight on things you should consider while downloading an app. Companies like Mobifarm have been a pioneer and are one of the most trusted sources to download business and photo apps. If there’s any doubt, feel free to connect with us in the comment section. We’d be happy to reply.