What is a mobile application?
A mobile application is a program that you can download and that you can access directly from your phone or from some other mobile device – such as a tablet or MP3 player.
What do I need to download and use an application?
You need a smartphone or some other mobile device with internet access. Not all applications work on all mobile devices. When you buy one of these devices, you must use the operating system and the type of applications that correspond to that device. Android, Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry mobile operating systems have online operating application stores where you can search, download and install applications. Some retailers also operate app stores on the internet. You will have to use a store that offers you applications that work with your device’s operating system. To establish an account, you may need to supply a credit card number, especially if you are downloading an application that is not free.
Why are there some free apps?
Some applications are freely distributed by application stores. The creators of these applications can earn money in the following ways:
- Some providers sell ad space within the app. The creators of these applications can earn money with the ads, for this reason they distribute the application for free to reach as many users as possible.
- Some applications offer free basic versions. Those who develop these applications hope that you will like the application sufficiently to move to an improved version with a greater number of functions for which you will have to pay a fee.
- Some applications allow you to purchase more features from the same application (“in-app purchases” in English). Usually, purchases of those additional features are billed through the app store. There are several devices that come with settings that allow you to block these purchases.
- Some applications are offered free of charge to spark your interest in other company products. These applications are a form of advertising.
What kind of data can applications access?
When you register with an app store or when you download individual apps, you may be asked for permission to allow access to information on your device. From some applications you can access:
- Your email and phone contact list.
- To call log.
- To the data transmitted over the internet.
- To the information in your calendar.
- To the location data of the device.
- To the unique identification code of your device.
- To information that indicates the way in which you use the application itself.
Some applications can only access the data necessary for its operation. Others can access data that is not related to the purpose of the application. If while you are using your mobile device you are supplying information, someone can collect it – be it the creator of the application, the application store, an advertiser or an advertising network. And if they collect your data, they may share it with other companies.
How can I know what type of information can be accessed from an application or if the data will be shared?
It is not always easy to know what data will be accessible through an application, or how the data will be used. Before downloading an application, consider what you know about who developed it and the usefulness of the application. App stores can include information about the company that developed the app, as long as the creator provides it. If the creator of the application does not provide their contact information – such as a website or email address – the application may be less reliable.
If you use an Android operating system, you will have the opportunity to read the “permissions” just before installing an application. Read the. You can find out some useful information that tells you what information on your device can be accessed through the application. Ask yourself if the authorisation is logical regarding the purpose of the application; for example, there is no point in giving permission for your text messages to be read through an e-book or wallpaper application.
Why do some applications collect location data?
There are some apps that use location specific data to provide you with maps, coupons for nearby stores, or information about someone you may know who is nearby. Some applications provide location data to ad networks that can be combined with other information stored in their databases to specifically target ads based on your interests and geographic location.
Once you give your authorisation to allow access to your location data through an application, you can continue to access your location until you change your phone settings. If you do not want to report your location to advertising networks, you can disable location services from your phone settings. But in case you do so, applications will not be able to give you location-based information unless you enter the data by typing it yourself.
Your phone uses general location data so that the phone service provider can route your calls efficiently. Even if you disable location services from your phone settings, it may not be possible for the device to stop broadcasting your location data completely.