) has started rating Android apps based on security, battery
consumption and data usage. The company claims such initiatives are
part of its plan to enhance the customer experience and promote
energy conservation. This new initiative counters logical reasoning
where one would assume that a carrier would promote high data
consumption apps to generate higher ARPU. This policy may affect
small android app developers who may have to revisit their existing
apps to improve ratings.
See our complete analysis for Verizon here
According to the
, the different criteria it uses to evaluate the applications
are as follows.
Apps are scanned to identify any potential threat to system or
privacy and is rated on the scale of such threats.
Verizon Wireless App Rating Guide for Security
||No known security threat has
||Minor security threat has been
detected. Example: Non-sensitive user data captured from
device without user notification.
|Major security threat has been
- App can be used to gain limited control of user's
device without user knowledge.
- App captures user data, such as messages and location,
without notification to user.
|Significant security threat has
been detected. This includes:
- App can be used to gain full control of user's device
without user knowledge.
- App captures confidential user data such as user IDs,
location, contact list, browsing history, without
notification to user.
||Critical security threat to
user. Harmful impact to device performance and content.
App will cause irreparable damage to the device.
Rating Method for Security
The Android Application Package file (APK) is scanned for known
malicious software including viruses, Trojan horses, boots and
spyware. Potential risks are identified and classified.
The battery drain from the app is measured when the app is
running in the background.
Verizon Wireless App Rating Guide for Battery
How much battery life will be lost when the app is
running in the background?
||Current drain less than or equal to 5mA
||Up to 30 minutes
||Current drain greater than 5mA and less than
or equal to 10mA
||30 minutes to 1 hour
||Current drain greater than 10mA and but less
than or equal to 15mA
||1 hour to 1.5 hours
||Current drain greater than 15mA and but less
than or equal to 20mA
||1.5 hour to 2 hours
||Current Drain greater than 20mA
||Greater than 2 hours
Battery Consumption Measurement
The battery drain from the app is calculated when it's not in
use by comparing the battery drain on two devices over a period of
time. One device has the app running, and the other does not. Both
devices are allowed to fall into deep sleep mode, and then battery
drain measurements are taken. The difference in drain between the
two devices tells us how much the app uses when it's running in the
background. Battery drain measurements are taken using a digital
power measurement system while a device is operating on the Verizon
Wireless 4G LTE Network.
This examines the data consumption when the app is idle and
doesn't factor actual data usage when a customer is actively using
Verizon Wireless App Rating Guide for Data Usage
Percentage of 1GB plan the app consumes in
||Less than 10MB
||Less than 1% of 1 GB plan
||Between 10MB to 25MB
||Between 1% to 2.5% of 1 GB plan
||Between 25MB to 50MB
||Between 2.5% to 5% of 1 GB plan
||Between 50MB to 100MB
||Between 5% to 10% of 1 GB plan
||Greater than 100MB
||10% or more of 1 GB plan
Data Usage Measurement
The amount of data that the app sends and receives is measured
when it's running but not being used (i.e., when it and the device
are in idle mode). The measurement is performed with a real time
device data collection and diagnostic monitoring tool that logs
data traffic during the test period.
What About Apple Apps?
While it is commendable that Verizon wants to generate awareness
among customers of malicious apps and promote energy conservation,
we will wait to see if this program will be expanded to cover Apple
apps as well.
Considering Apple's app store generates four times the sales of
Google Play, Verizon should have rolled out this initiative with
iPhone apps too. If the company doesn't launch a similar program
for Apple in the next couple of months, it could be viewed as being
biased against android app developers. According to Trefis
estimates, Apple's app store has witnessed over 40 billion
downloads while Google is lagging behind at nearly 25 billion
downloads. Given Apple's iron handed control of Apple app store, we
are highly skeptical that Verizon would want to rate Apple apps for
the fear of affecting its relationship with Apple.
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