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Determining and Detecting Permission Issues of Wearable Apps

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Determining and Detecting Permission Issues of Wearable Apps

Mujahid, Suhaib ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2738-1387 (2018) Determining and Detecting Permission Issues of Wearable Apps. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Wearable apps are becoming increasingly popular. Nevertheless, to date, very few studies have examined the issues that wearable apps face. Prior studies showed that user reviews contain a plethora of insights that can be used to understand quality issues and help developers build better quality mobile apps.

Therefore, in this thesis, we start by empirically studying user reviews to understand the user complaints about wearable apps. We manually sample and categorize 2,667 reviews from 19 Android wearable apps. Additionally, we examine the replies posted by developers in response to user complaints. This study allows us to determine the type of complaints that developers care about the most and to identify problems that, despite being important to users, do not receive a proper response from developers.

We find that the most frequent complaints are related to Functional Errors, Cost, and Lack of Functionality, whereas the most negatively impacting complaints are related to Installation Problems, Device Compatibility, and Privacy & Ethical Issues. We find that developers mostly reply to complaints related to Privacy & Ethical Issues, Performance Issues, and notification-related issues. Furthermore, we observe that when developers reply, they tend to provide a solution, request more details, or let the user know that they are working on a solution. Our results highlight the issues that users face the most, and the issues to which developers should pay additional attention to due to their negative impact.

Based on these results from the first empirical study, we investigate the most negatively impactful complaints. We observe that mainly two permission problems are a common factor to raise issues that cause these complaints -namely the permission mismatch problem and the problem of superfluous features.
As a result, we propose a technique to detect permission problems in wearable app. To operationalize our technique we developed a tool, called Permlyzer, that automatically detects these two problems from Android APKs. We then perform an empirical study on of 2,724 free wearable apps. Our findings show that the permission mismatches exist in 6.1% of released apps on the app store. Moreover, we find that 19.2% of studded wearable apps contain superfluous features.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Computer Science and Software Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mujahid, Suhaib
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A. Sc.
Program:Software Engineering
Date:15 January 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Shihab, Emad
ID Code:983405
Deposited By: Suhaib Mujahid
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 03:34
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 03:34
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