Astrid and your privacy
A number of users have asked us to respond to a recent study regarding data-sharing by a number of Android applications including Bump, Evernote, BBC News Live Stream and our beloved Astrid!
As we have stated before and describe on our website, we use Flurry Analytics to give us a general understanding of how Astrid is used and where she might be having problems. From the outset, I want to state my deep regret that we haven’t yet implemented an EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) so more of you would have been aware of our use of Flurry. We plan on including an EULA in the next version we release to the Android market.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Flurry or similar services, it is a tool that allows developers to see a statistical overview of how users are engaging with their software. Nearly every major website we visit has analytics tools running. These tools help make software better by giving developers a statistical overview of what people like and don’t like, what they use and don’t use.
We use Flurry so we know how many people are using different versions of Android. This information is very important in helping us decide what to prioritize. For example, we recently fixed an issue that was only a problem for the 5.1% of users who are still on Android 1.5. If we thought no one was using 1.5 anymore, we would have gone on to more pressing issues but the knowledge that thousands of users would be affected, gave us the motivation to go that extra mile. Flurry also informs us of specific events that we want to monitor. Using analytics, we have recorded the completion of over 7 million tasks and know that 1,800 people are using Producteev to synch with Astrid. Statistical feedback like this helps us know what features we should focus on improving and what features are working well.
I trust Astrid and Flurry with my personal data because I know that Astrid is keeping that which is most private–my tasks–to herself. Unless I tell Astrid to sync my tasks with another website, these tasks stay on my phone.
For those of you who are technical and interested, you can see exactly what we currently track by reviewing our source code at github.com and searching for “flurry.android astrid.”
If there are other developers out there want to suggest alternative analytics tools that are better than Flurry, we welcome your input. We have looked into Apsalar, Localytics and Google Analytics for Android but would love to hear some recommendations from the community.
Below are a few screen shots of some of the data we have collected. For information about Flurry you can visit their website or read about their privacy first initiative. The Todoroo privacy is posted on our website at todoroo.com/privacy.