May 12, 2021

Why are my mobile apps updated so much? | Technology

Why are my mobile apps updated so much? | Technology


When we turn on our new smartphone newly purchased, one of the first steps that tells us to do is update the applications that are installed. This may surprise us, but the reality is that the updates of the apps they will always be with us.

If we do not activate the function to perform automatically, our phone will remind us continuously through constant notifications. We may wonder why they are necessary or what happens if we deny them.

An unfinished product

An application of software it is, in general, a tool in constant evolution. If this were not so, it would most likely disappear in the short term from the market. The development of an application does not end, much less, when it is left accessible to users in a virtual store.

There is still much to be done to build loyalty to those who have already installed it and increase the chances of attracting new people. Let's not forget that one of the criteria that most look at when choosing an application is its popularity, determined by the number of users who already have it downloaded.

The most common reasons why applications are updated are to correct errors, improve their performance, improve their interface and include new features. Reasons that are explained in more detail below.

  • Although the process of developing an application must include thorough testing, the tool will never be tested long enough for end users to use it. It is then when possible failures will be detected. These errors, often reported by those who use it, must be solved quickly, since otherwise they will uninstall it.

  • The performance of an application also it is a key point for the user. We like that the apps respond quickly when we interact with them. If we perceive that with its use the phone goes slower or consumes more battery than usual, we may consider looking for another tool to replace it.

  • The interface improvements are another key point. Users prefer, in general, Simple and attractive interfaces to the eye, that allow us to access the functionality we want in the quickest and easiest way possible. We do not like to go through multiple screens, press several buttons or fill in long forms to get what we want. Any improvement in this regard will always be welcome.

    Sometimes, these changes in the interface are necessary to adapt to the style guides that define the design of the new versions of the operating systems.

  • Many applications come to light with a limited number of functionalities that are completed over time. The rhythms of the market impose this. Probably, some of the new features included did not make sense when initially created. Others are sued by the users themselves through the forums that have the application stores. Fulfilling the wishes of the recipients will always facilitate their loyalty.

Do not forget either that the frequency of updates has psychological implications.

On the one hand, the continuous modifications create a bad impression: we can think that the software It contains many errors that have to be corrected continuously. On the other, its scarcity can convey the opposite idea: that the developer does not try to improve or give us the best possible service. Therefore, marking good times for updates is a great challenge for those responsible.

In general, if we use a app we should update it to continue enjoying it

In addition, the updates also have a certain component of marketing. That non-specialized media echo the new functionality of an application makes users eager to receive it. Proof of this anxiety is that, at times, alternative channels are used to install the new version before it is available in the official store. This is not a recommended practice because the official application stores perform controls on the apps that they offer, while other platforms do not.

The importance of reviewing the changes

In general, if we use a app we should update it to continue enjoying it. Maybe, for us, some of the improvements were not necessary, even if we liked the previous interface more, but it is always good to have a version that corrects programming errors that could be used to access the information stored in our phones ( contacts, messages, personal notes, locations of our house, our work, photographs, videos, etc.).

However, consent to the update does not mean that we have to accept it without further: it is important to examine the changes you have. The usual ones are those indicated in the previous paragraph, but in some cases, an update can bring changes in permissions that the previous version did not need and that we might not want to give, such as those that give an application from the shopping list access to our contact list.

When the update implies new permissions, the application must indicate it and the user has to accept them explicitly so that the new version is installed. Normally, a notification appears asking for the user's intervention to complete the update. When it is opened, a screen usually appears to accept the new permissions or not. If there is no consent, it will not be installed.

In the same way, there may be changes in data use policies that put our privacy at risk, a precious asset that we should preserve. Do not forget that a mobile store a lot of personal information that used improperly can compromise our lives. As in the previous case, these modifications must also be explicitly accepted by the user so that the new version is installed.

In general, companies are very careful with this issue because they may have problems if they do not have the approval of the users. But there is a risk that these will not read the information and click on accept automatically. It is important that we are aware that we are the ones who protect our data.

If after reviewing all these aspects we decided that it is better not to perform the update, what would happen to the application?

There is not a single answer and it depends a lot on the decisions of the developers. Nothing could happen and continue to work without problem or you could stop doing it. This will depend, in large part, on whether that application interacts with external applications to function, as occurs, for example, with a web service: the server just respond to the updated versions.

Operating system updates

Although the update of applications is important, I do not want to finish this article without remembering the importance of the operating system updates, especially those dedicated to solve some vulnerability detected, what we know as security patches.

From the point of view of cybercriminals, it is much more profitable to find a vulnerability in the operating system that allows access to data of all the applications that one in a specific application. Although the developers try that is not the case, the complexity of the development of software It makes it difficult to guarantee that you do not have errors.

In this case, if we decide not to install the update, the phone will not necessarily go slower. When a mobile is launched to the market, it is validated that the operating system version is suitable for the hardware (the processor, the memory, …). And the same must do for updates.

Moreover, some older mobiles do not receive updates (they should receive the security patches) because the new version of the operating system could not be executed due to limitations of the hardware. The negligence of the manufacturer, who prefers you to buy a new phone model, can also make some phones never receive updates to the operating system.

In multi-manufacturer operating systems, such as Android, users should buy those phones whose manufacturer guarantees at least security patches during the life of our device. With this and the responsibility of knowing why our applications are updated, we will have the precious information stored in our mobile phone safely.The Conversation

Celeste Campo She is a lecturer in the Department of Telematics Engineering, Carlos III University

This article is republished from The Conversation. Here you can read the Original article.

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