Appthority: Free iOS Apps Riskier than Free Android Apps


According to a recent report [PDF file] from Appthority, free iOS apps generally exhibit more risky behaviors than free Android apps.

Appthority examined the 50 most popular free iOS apps and the 50 most popular free Android apps, looking for specific behavior such as sending and receiving data without encryption, location tracking, sharing data with advertising or analytics networks, accessing the user's contact list or address book, and accessing the user's calendar.

The company found that all 50 iOS apps send and receive data without encryption, potentially including user data collected by the app and delivered back to the developer, while 46 of the 50 Android apps do so.

Appthority president and founder Domingo Guerra told SC Magazine's Marcos Colon that the most alarming finding is that 54 percent of the iOS apps studied access the user's address book, while only 20 percent of the Android apps do so. "In a BYOD environment, the corporate address book are a big thing," Guerra said. "There's a lot of data that cold be proprietary to a company that could be obtained."

"It's generally perceived that Android devices are more 'dangerous' due to the increasing amount of Android malware," the report states. "But in actuality, mobile malware infects less than one percent of apps. The real concern should be over how mobile apps are handling personal info and company data. In that respect, iPhones should not be considered any safer than Android devices. Any Internet-connected device can ... put data at risk."