A Third of iOS, Android Apps Grab Location: Report

Security firm Lookout has put out its "App Genome Report" for February. There's a lot of interesting data about iOS and Android apps and apps stores in there. However I want to focus on two areas of the findings: location and advertising.

Under the heading "personal info," Lookout reports the following about apps that seek user contact information and location: 

  • The Apple App Store has a higher prevalence of apps with the capability to access contacts and location than the Android Market.
  • 28% of all apps in the Android Market and 34% of all free apps in the Apple App Store have the capability to access location.
  • 7.5% of Android Market apps and 11% of Apple App Store apps have the capability to access users’ contacts.

Apple apps individually request location at the time they're launched or initiated. Typically Android apps notify users of an intent to access location at the time of installation or an update. I would expect the Apple model (or something even more transparent) to become a standard that forthcoming privacy regulations seek to enforce. 

Turning to advertising, Google's AdMob dominates monetization for both iOS and Android. However iAd seems to be growing for iOS.

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It's striking to see how much more highly penetrated AdMob is than other networks, especially in the Android Market. Accordingly one could argue that Google owns both search and display in the two most important smartphone marketplaces.