Android apps

10 Oct 2010

Jackie and I both get nervous when she installs any app* on her Droid Incredible. It always presents us with big scary orange messages before installing. It warns about viewing your current location, call history, or access to the disk among other messages. A warning like “access to call history” raises some flags for me. I immediately think:

Can I trust the app developer? He’s probably making money by selling personal information about me. Or maybe he’s just spying on me to steal my identity.

Compare this to my IPod Touch. There are no warning messages. It just installs.

Google is absolutely being more transparent about what is going on in your phone. Apple is not telling you anything. So why can Apple get away with not warning you like Google does?

I can only assume it’s because Apple reviews all apps in their store. They believe all apps to be safe since they reviewed them first.

Google decided to not review apps. They have to present the warnings. Google is doing a bit of cover-your-ass here. They cannot guarantee that the apps are not malicious. So they throw these big warnings in your face. It’s up to you, the phone user, to decide if you are OK with what the app can access.

Sounds like an onerous request to make for any user. Its a bad user experience.

The end result: I install way more apps on my iPod Touch than Jackie installs on her Droid Incredible and thus I spend more money on apps in the Apple App Store. I’d say that reviewing apps makes more money for Apple and Developers.