A new study reveals the dangers of free apps on the Google Play Store
Apple's App Store has always been known to test each and every app that developers try to release on the platform, and because of this, it is far less open than the Google Play Store for Android devices. Many find this unappealing, and prefer to use Android devices with the Google's own storefront for apps. According to a recent MIT Technology Review study, Apple's ruling with an iron fist may mean that the App Store is far safer to download applications from.
For the study, the researchers downloaded about 2,000 free Android apps from the Google Play Store and kept track of all the URLs they each connected to. Overall, the apps connected to a staggering 250,000 different websites. While they mainly connected to ad sites, there were some that connected to suspicious sites that are linked with malware. A lot of apps that do not require any connection to URLs, such as a volume control app, would link with a few thousand different sites. The researchers also found that about 10% of the apps connected to 500 user tracking websites, and a huge majority of them are run by Google.
A lot of people dislike the lack of openness found in Apple's app storefront, but now it seems as though the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Google allows all apps on the Play Store besides those that are obviously connected with malware, but it may be time for the company to pay closer attention to which apps it allows its users to download in light of the new data.