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A couple of apps I've installed or considered say they require internet access even though they have no obvious internet features. One of the most surprising ones was a simple compass app.

Why is this?

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

Usually apps require internet access for ads, analytical data, or for sending bug reports/stack traces back to the developer.

Other reasons might include using Google's licensing servers to validate legitimate copies of apps with Android market purchases (Google's licensing servers use the CHECK_LICENSE permission). Similarly, some developers produce their own keys and license servers (prior to Google's implementation).

For instance, I am the developer of a tipping calculator app. It requires the internet permission to send analytical data back to me via Flurry. One day I plan to add this remote stack tracing program for more detailed errors (but I haven't yet because so far my app hasn't really generated any bugs/errors). But the value of this information is worth asking for the internet permission. I can see exactly how many users of what Android OS are using my app and what are the most popular phones using my app. However, I also give users an "opt out" in the settings if they choose to not send me this information.

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Apps use the CHECK_LICENSE permission for Google's licensing rather than the Internet permission. – Dan Dyer Sep 30 '10 at 19:39
@Dan I stand corrected then, thanks for pointing that out. – Bryan Denny Sep 30 '10 at 19:49

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