New website details apps’ data usage prior to purchase

“A first-of-its-kind website and corresponding service was rolled out on Thursday by CTIA – The Wireless Association with an intent to inform mobile device users about app data use and their impact on wireless data plans,” AppleInsider reports.

“CTIA’s website allows users to estimate an app’s data usage before they download, a service that is likely welcome to those with pricey wireless contracts, reports PCWorld. While tools capable of measuring an app’s data use after downloading have been around for some time, the new site is the first to offer estimated information prior to download, according to CTIA,” AppleInsider reports. “Users visiting the site can search for specific apps to find estimated data use and impact to data plans ranging from 300MB to 4GB per month.”

AppleInsider reports, “Currently, the site is limited to the top 50 free and paid apps on Apple’s iOS App Store and the Google Play Android app store.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Finally. It would be nice if Apple took it upon themselves to tell the user EXACTLY what he is getting with the paid version of an app before purchase.

    Most everyone knows the vast majority of free apps are just marketing data gatherers & ad-pushers, but thanks to Apple, there is no more “try before you buy” of real, non-ad-supported software.

    CTIA’s site offers some useful info, but nothing to enhance the user’s privacy. It merely posts the amount of data an applications sucks based on one or two tests. YMMV _greatly_.

    And while Apple fans are overall pretty darn complacent & overly trusting in security issues, iOS has become a freaking marketing platform. Apps are constantly sending back “metadata” to random servers somewhere. Does anyone know or care? Could anyone explain how these 3rd party app developers anonymize or secure your data? Of course not. This site doesn’t help there either. It’s not quite intelligent enough to tell the user what data is being uploaded behind his back, or why. Why do games require so much data to be sent back to the mothership? We may never know … and Apple is too busy developing more iAd crap to care, apparently.

    1. I can’t speak for all developers, but I decided that my team should develop our own analytics framework so that we would know definitively that no identifiable information was being accumulated at our servers, and that the analytics we did receive would be incredibly tight so that users wouldn’t find their cell data impacted by it. We focus solely on what features in the app are used by our customers, with explicit disregard for any data they put into the app.

      My hope in sharing this is that your concerns for the platform might get softened just a little bit. I know of other development companies who share our ethics – it’s not as bleak as you might be feeling.

      1. So how would one distinguish your app from a less user-transparent one? What does Apple do to assist in making sure that apps respect users’ privacy? Everyone here hates Facebook and Google, as do we, but they seem unable to explain in detail what makes Apple any different — especially with regards to iOS and iTunes. One sees unannounced data gathering ad nauseum, and Apple is right in the thick of it too.

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