Rumored Google ‘Mobile Meter’ app may reward users for sharing mobile usage stats

by: Andrew GrushOctober 14, 2013

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We all know that Google already tracks our web usage patterns in order to deliver us ads and improved web services. We also know that many Google apps passively collect information such as location and search activity in order to help Google improve our experiences with these apps.

Now according to a tip received by Engadget, Google is looking to take an even closer look at our mobile data usage through a special opt-in program.

The new program goes by the internal name of “Mobile Meter” and will apparently utilize a special Android/iOS app that monitors mobile usage stats such as what apps we are using and what sites we are browsing. If the program does in fact exist, this data would then be anonymized and sent back to Google’s servers.

Why would anyone opt-in to such a service? Reportedly, Google will be offering compensation for participation in the program. We currently have no clue what form that compensation will come in, though Wallet or Google Play credit certainly make sense.

Google has yet to confirm or deny the existence of the “Mobile Meter” program, sticking to its usual “no comment” routine — so speculation is advised. Still, this doesn’t sound too unbelievable, as organizations like Nielsen already conduct mobile trend research using a somewhat similar approach.

What do you think about getting rewarded to hand your mobile web/app usage details over to Google? Keen on the idea or not?

  • MaestroDon

    First of all, there’s a typo in your 3rd paragraph, last sentence. “Than” should be “then.” (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

    As far as rewards, I’d be willing to bet Google will offer something that’s very inexpensive to them, but valuable to its users. Something like additional Drive space. I doubt there will be any direct monetary compensation.

    • districtjack

      I agree. Disk space or monetary credit? Im sure it would be 500GB of filterable Google drive space for signing up, before Google would hand out billions of $5 credits.

    • Andrew Grush

      Good point on the free drive space – that makes a fair deal of sense.

      As for the typo – don’t be sorry! I hate when I make mistakes like that and having them called out helps me notice them so they can be corrected. :)

      • APai

        frankly, that does make sense for google and for users. haven’t we all given up our privacy for mobility ? given how easily google updates our apps silently. the same can be used by NSA to install ANY app to pilfer ANY of our data at any time.

        which begs the question, are they indirectly saying. this is not the age of privacy, look, we have xxx million people taking up our offer of extra space in lieu of just opening up their mobile a “wee” bit more. *we are legit*

  • Oli72

    im in

    • MasterMuffin

      Money for nothing? Count me in too :D

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Well it’s not for nothing. The battery life of our phones will suffer if the app keeps tracking all the time.

        • MasterMuffin

          But if the price is for example Drive space, the extra electricity you’ll use will (at least hopefully) cost less than what the Drive space would cost

          • Mohammed Sahib

            If you need the extra drive space and the battery life isn’t short enough to cause you inconvenience, then you are right.

        • APai

          nope. Nokia-Nielsen had it running for a long time, Neilsen also had it running even for android phones i’m sure, they’ve been running such a project for years now. Their app was non intrusive – it was pretty popular with college kids around in my town, and the rewards were decent too – like 60-100quids annually, which was like pretty much covering average users’ talktime. a quick search yields the result that on symbian at least – it was pretty tiny, hardly ate any battery, and it was a glorified system log file.

          lets see what google has in store!

      • phuongot

        Why would anyone opt-in to such a service?

    • Guest

      I have nothing to hide and anyway, the following applies to all Google does …

    • Mayoo

      I have nothing to hide. Anyway, the following applies to all Google does …

      • APai

        err, they should be giving you the money i suppose. “shut up and give me my money”

    • phuongot

      google human pride.

  • Joshhud

    sold..but does my incognito web browsing get tracked lol

    • APai

      they’d have complete access to your phone * with your permission * to pilfer your data? so, that makes any kind of security moot. i honestly dont know how it works, so i maybe summarily wrong

  • Benjamen Meiers

    I’d probably even do it for free, just along as Google says it’s a favour and it owes me. But yeah, free stuff is always wanted.

    • APai

      having used google services since a long time , I too have kind of a fond affection to google, being biased about google. but make no mistake, google is huge company and they gladly screw their “users” since their model is based on “free” services. however, i still trust google over microsoft/ facebook/ yahoo. also, being so large and touching so many users, they are plum target for NSA to tap them directly or indirectly. given the magnitude of NSA’s power and the mandate given to them with FISA power. I’m pretty sure NSA is overarching big brother that easily trounces google’s feeble media exercises to portray themselves as guardians of our data. NSA has screwed the pooch, and has made me wonder if this new found love for extra free services would mean “freeing up more of your data to the cloud” . I simply cannot de-hyphenate NSA-Cloud

    • kieuxinh

      the same can be used by NSA to install ANY app to pilfer ANY of our data at any time.

  • Justin Rebar

    Id do it. Hope they like a lot of BangBros…

    • APai

      lol. I’m pretty sure, they know all about it already and they might have a few new suggestion for you to try!

  • RanRu

    Imagine a new hire, full of hope and wonder, assigned with the task of reviewing user data statistics.

    And the horrors they would then face.

  • xxxrmyfav

    all they will see is cookies from tech blog sites and a ton of streaming from xxx sites :D

  • popal

    I’m in, as long as they publish the result periodically :D

  • Brian Shieh

    that would be cool..both sides benefit

  • GasparIPerez

    Google’ll be like “Porn. Porn everywhere”.

  • frederickpou

    Im definitely in.

  • David Gualdron

    I’m in :)) being Google i feel safe.

  • Aaron Graves

    Count me in

  • Michael Petkov

    We’d like to be in that sort of deal. Sounds fair…

  • Linda Johnston

    Well I am ready any time.

  • Frank

    Doesnt anyone care about thier privacy anymore


    Nokia nielsen did the same thing a few yrs ago i got a brand new n8 for free just had the meter app which i didnt even notice and every 3 months i got a £10 argos voucher i sold the n8 when i got my s3 so i was winner all round

  • Linda Johnston

    I am in.