key takeaways

  • App tracking collects data about your activities within the app, providing personalized advertising and location-based recommendations for a better user experience.
  • App developers benefit from app tracking by generating revenue through targeted advertisements, in-app purchases, and premium features.
  • However, app tracking compromises privacy, leads to targeted and potentially intrusive ads, and can drain your phone’s battery. So, consider these drawbacks before allowing apps to track you.

App tracking is an invisible force that shapes our online experiences, working covertly to collect data on all your interactions with a particular app. When downloading an app on your iPhone, you may have seen a pop-up asking you to give permission for an app to track you.

If you’ve always wondered whether tapping that button is the right thing to do, we’re here to solve your dilemma. We’ll consider the advantages and disadvantages of app tracking and answer the big question: to track or not to track?

What is app tracking on iPhones?

The term app tracking is pretty self-explanatory and refers to what happens behind the scenes when you use apps on your iPhone. When you are scrolling through social media, shopping online, playing a game, or getting food delivered through different apps, app tracking will monitor you and collect data about your activities within the app. Will collect.

App usage patterns, how long you use the app, your location and interactions with in-app ads are some of the things that are tracked and recorded.

Most app developers and advertisers integrate this feature into their apps to accumulate valuable insights into user preferences, interests, and demographics. This helps them develop their apps to include popular features and provide a better experience for you. If you don’t like it, you can easily turn off individual app tracking on your iPhone.

Benefits of allowing apps to track you

Why is app tracking so integral to technology today? Well, the main reason is that it has many benefits for users and developers alike. We will discuss the major ones below.

1. Personalized Ads

instagram targeted ads

Personalized Ads on Instagram

When your activity is tracked on an app, they can better understand your interests and preferences. This allows apps to show ads relevant to you so you can discover products, deals, services, and content you really like and might need.

Without personalized ads derived from app tracking, you would likely see a bunch of irrelevant content that doesn’t interest you and doesn’t waste your time.

This is also useful for app developers as they can allocate their resources more effectively by targeting users with specific ads that are more likely to engage.

2. Location-based recommendations

Three iPhones showing weather apps in front of a beach background.

Not all apps require your location for their services, but most usually do so for your own benefit. When an app knows where you are, it can suggest nearby stores, restaurants, shops, events and services that meet your wants and needs. This is especially useful if you are traveling and want to explore new places without any hassle.

Other benefits that location-tracking can give you include food delivery updates, real-time traffic and weather conditions around you so you can prepare ahead. If you don’t want apps to see your location, you can turn off Location Services on your iPhone.

3. Monetization

What are in-app purchases?

This is perhaps the biggest reason why app developers incorporate app tracking so extensively. Without this, they will not get any monetary benefits from the free apps they develop, making their efforts in vain.

Once they can track what users are interested in, developers can work toward generating revenue through targeted ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium features. This gives them enough leverage to continue creating free services for users, so everyone wins in the end.

4. Feedback to developers

You may never have looked at it from this perspective, but just by using it and allowing app tracking, you become a part of an app’s development process. Your interactions with the app are a great way for a developer to learn how their app is working.

They can identify everything that needs improvement, fix bugs, enhance the user interface, and determine when to update the app. At the end of the day, using the app will become easier and better for you because of the data you provide.

Disadvantages of allowing apps to track you

A story is never complete without taking into account the good as well as the bad. To be fully aware of what you are choosing, it is important to know its negative aspects. This section will be in brief review The disadvantages of app tracking and why it’s not for everyone.

1. Your privacy has been compromised

Privacy is one of the biggest dilemmas in the tech world today. The lines between protecting information and providing convenience are becoming increasingly blurred and distrust is growing. Apple is in a better position to prevent apps from tracking you if you don’t want them by introducing App Tracking Transparency in iOS.

If you choose to let apps track you, know that your browsing habits, location, app usage, and even some personal data may be accessible by entities. There is always a possibility that your information may fall into the wrong hands and be misused, which may expose you to some risks, no matter how minimal.

2. Targeted advertising

While personalized ads are quite helpful in various ways, you may be bombarded with too many ads, which can be annoying and intrusive. Seeing repeated advertisements about something you searched for may make users feel uncomfortable being analyzed and may be seen as a manipulative practice.

Additionally, you will only see select styles of ads that the app deems relevant to you. This can result in a lack of exposure and variety, limiting what you can see and discover.

3. Battery Drainage

Battery drained iPhone prompting user to charge

Persistent tracking is a process that consumes a large amount of battery and power, especially if it also requires location services to be enabled. No one wants to drain the battery at inconvenient times, and constant app tracking can do just that.

Running out of battery frequently and running around to find a charger is a hassle, and it can also harm your battery health in the long run. Disabling app tracking is one of many ways to maintain your iPhone’s battery health.

Be smart about apps that can track you so you can get what you need while preserving your battery at the same time.

Is app tracking worth its benefits?

App tracking brings in revenue for most apps; Therefore, it is an integral part of the technological world. It has revolutionized the way apps work to connect the world and brings you personalized ads and location-based recommendations to give you the best possible experience.

Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of potentially jeopardizing your privacy and the interruption of a highly filtered browsing experience, as well as battery drain.