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article imageAndroid M poised to drastically alter app usage and marketing

By Holly L. Walters     Sep 9, 2015 in Technology
The Android platform used to favor app developers over consumers, but the M update will change everything. As a result, the marketing and data collection process is set to change drastically.
In the past, developers were able to collect a large amount of data from each person who chose to download their app. This was used in a wide variety of ways, and it was difficult for consumers to opt out of sharing certain personal details.
Additionally, the marketing aspect for each app enabled developers to share minimal information in their quest for downloads. Fortunately for Android users, this entire skewed formula is about to be flipped upside down...
One of the biggest changes that consumers can expect is the ability to filter out apps based on the type of data that they require. In other words, if you do not want an app to immediately gain access to your contact list, you will be able to refuse those that have this requirement. This more refined level of user permissions is virtually certain to make most consumers more comfortable with the idea of owning an Android device.
Another useful change is that users can individually select the type of data that they are willing to share with each app before they download them. This is similar to the Facebook setup that allows people to edit the data they want to share before accepting the terms for each app.
Before the M update, sharing data was an all or nothing , and users had to make a choice between not downloading an app and providing every requested piece of information. As soon as M launches, developers will no longer have the ability to enforce this type of requirement.
From a marketing standpoint, it will now be necessary for developers to offer a more transparent approach. For example, developers are being encouraged to list the data they want to collect on each app’s download page, along with their reasoning for requesting this information. This will make it easier for consumers to determine if they believe it is necessary and acceptable to exchange personal data for access to a new app.
The user experience of downloading apps with Android M has apparently been tailored after the methods that iOS has been using for a long time. In fact, users can expect to get a pop-up message asking them to allow or deny each app access to other areas of their phone, including the microphone and photos.
This is a nice privacy feature that iOS users have long been able to take advantage of, and Android has been lagging behind for years. The lack of this feature up until now might even help explain the iPhone surpassing Android smartphones in the U.S. last year in terms of units sold. Now the question that is inevitably on the mind of every Apple and Android executive is whether or not the M update will tip the scales back in Android’s favor.
Android has also made the decision to borrow much more from the iOS platform than just the enhanced privacy settings. As a result, experts are recommending that developers who want to offer the best possible Android experience should begin closely studying the iOS version of each of their apps.
After M is released, consumers who opt for an Android phone will have access to battery optimization techniques, intuitive text editing, fingerprint authentication and an option to utilize voice search from the lock screen. Additionally, Android is dumping the Google Wallet and replacing it with Android Pay, which sounds and acts almost exactly like Apple Pay.
Although developers will need to improve their marketing game to attract the attention of consumers, especially if they still want to collect a lot of personal data, the other changes that Android is making may actually increase app downloads. After all, it's likely most people will be very happy about choosing the type of data that they share. As an added bonus, all of the other improvements that are coming with the M update just might convince iPhone users to switch to Android when it is time to replace their phone.
More about android m, iOS users, iOS platform, emhanced privacy settings, android phone
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