1. Do you have enough data?
Downloading large apps may consume a chunk of your monthly data allowance. It’s always best to wait until you are connected to wifi before you download a new app, just to be safe. It will often download much quicker this way too!
You will also want to keep an eye on how much data an app is using. You can check this in your settings and also limit which apps use your data and which ones only run when connected to wifi. This is really useful for avoiding going over your limit and incurring additional costs on your bill.
2. Is the app official?
Check the app is an official one approved by the Google Play store or Apple App store. There are lots of copy cats out there. You should also check the developer name, for example, for the official Amazon app, it should name Amazon as the developer, not another company. If in any doubt, visit the website for the app you want and follow links from there.
3. Has it got good reviews and ratings?
There are a lot of apps out there doing the same thing, in slightly different ways. If there is more than one option available, it is always a good idea to check the rating and reviews to see what other people think of it. This will also give you an idea of how many people have downloaded and used the app. You might want to wait until a significant number of people have trialed an app before downloading it yourself, this will help ensure there aren’t any significant problems with the app. Or you might want to be an early adopter and be part of that early testing!
4. What will it need to access on your device?
Different apps will request access to different areas of your phone, for example, your camera, your location and your contacts. Depending on the purpose of this app this access may be essential (e.g. Google maps needs to be able to access your location) or it may not (e.g. why would a location app need access to your contacts). Where possible you should limit access apps have to your phone and if an app is requesting access to unnecessary areas, consider using an alternative app and uninstalling it.
5. How much will it cost?
Many apps are free to download and use but many come with either an initial purchase price or ongoing costs once you are using the app e.g. to gain full access to all of its content. Always check the description of the app before you download it and be careful of what you click on once you are using the app. You can set your account to always ask for you password before making any purchases in the app store as an extra layer of protection.
6. How much space will it take up on your device?
You only have a limited amount of space on your device and different apps will use up different amounts. As well as the space taken up by the app itself, it may use additional space to store any content you generate through its use, including back ups of all of the information you are creating. This can be checked on the app info in the store and also under the settings on your device.
7. Have you got anti-virus protection?
Although this doesn’t really apply to Apple devices as they have their own systems in place, if you are using an Android device you will want to make sure you have anti-virus software installed before you download new apps to ensure your device is protected.