These days almost everyone uses a smartphone. In 2017, the number of phone users worldwide is expected to rise to 4.77 billion. Almost all of these phone users will be using some variation of Android, IOS or Windows Phone.
Android and IOS are the two widely used and trusted phone software. Android has an 87.5% market share of the global smartphone market while Apple has a 12.1% share. Each of these mobile operating systems has their own marketplace with millions of apps. The Google Play Store contains about 2.6 million apps while the Apple Store has around 2 million apps.
Although there are a huge number of apps available in these app stores – more than you could ever use in a lifetime – not all of them may be useful or have high quality.
Statistics show that 77% of users delete an app 3 days after installing it. Reading up on app reviews before downloading an app could help you select the apps that are actually useful and filter out the rest.
A ton of websites out there are dedicated to reviewing apps, while both major app stores usually provide multiple reviews for each app they publish. In other words, reviews aren’t very hard to find. Here are 4 reasons why you should read reviews before downloading an app.
There are a large number of fake apps out there
Every app store is littered with hundreds, if not thousands of fake apps. Some of these apps contain malware which will severely slow down your phone, some of them steal users’ personal information, some of them could even steal your credit card information and some are just plain terrible.
There is a surge of apps like these during the holidays as people are more likely to download apps related to shopping, etc. To protect yourself from malware, you should read app reviews before downloading them. A fake app will have none to a few reviews while a real one will have hundreds if not thousands of them.
When downloading an app, make sure to read the app title and its description properly as English may not always be the first language of the people who develop these apps, so they are more likely to make spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.
Look at the publishing date because fake apps will have recent ones and real apps will be relatively older with an “updated on” date.
Some apps get bugs with updates
This might have happened to you: You ask your friend for an app recommendation for a specific task and he tells you about an app he downloaded for that task, 6 months ago. You proceed to download the app but you uninstall it after 15 minutes of use because its too buggy or slow or just not useful. Now you will have wasted valuable time doing all this.
Your friend wasn’t trying to sabotage you it’s just that some apps start out really good but with certain updates they become slower and less functional than they were initially.
Reading app reviews can help with this problem as you can sort them based on the date added.
For example, an app that has existed for 2 years may have an overall 4-star rating because of the reviews they received right after launch, but if you check the more recent reviews, they could all have 1 or 2 stars due to bad updates.
So the overall app rating would stay strong due to positive, old reviews, but the app won’t be worth your time.
Certain apps might invade your privacy
As phone software gets updated regularly, there has been a change in app permissions. Now every app has to specifically ask for your permission for every single thing it requires access to on your phone.
Some people aren’t comfortable with this as it could lead to loss of personal information or scam. Read the app reviews and description before downloading an app and you can see if it requires access to your phone’s camera, contacts, gallery, your Facebook or Twitter info etc.
If something seems off, like if a music app wants to access your camera, then you can choose to stay safe and not download the app. Everyone wants different levels of privacy so you can do what you think best and protect your phone from malware just by reading some reviews.
You get a good idea of the app features
Most apps now come with a wide variety of features. Gone are the days when you had a music app for just listening to music and then another one to download album art and yet another to find songs and download them.
Now you can do all of these things in one app. You can read up reviews for apps to discover all the various features of an app so you don’t have to download multiple apps for the same task.
Reading app reviews will also help you see whether or not all the features are useful. An app may have a hundred different features and tasks, but it’s all for naught if the features turn out to be useless.
A lot of apps run on a “premium” model now. This means that they may be free on the app store but after you download and use them for some time, they require you to pay for further functionality and features. For example, a game could be free but after reaching level 2, it may ask you to pay to unlock the rest of the levels. Apps for music and video editing also come with a trial period which you wouldn’t know about unless you’ve read app reviews.
Certain apps have both free and paid services in the app with the free features being more basic and the paid ones being detailed and extensive. Reading reviews can give you an idea of whether or not it’s worth it to pay for the paid features.
The world of online applications has expanded great lyto the point where none of us can afford to assume details about the apps we wish to download. It is, therefore, imperative that we read reviews of every app we wish to download to make a well-informed decision.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. She is currently associated with AirG.