Tales From the Past: Adapting App Repositories to App Store Dynamics

Ulm University

Presentation at the The 2023 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, & Applied Computing (CSCE'23); Marc Schickler, Las Vegas, USA, 26 July 2023, 9:20 AM

The pervasiveness of smartphones in daily life has enabled the transformation of healthcare services into digital services, often offered as mobile apps to make them more accessible to the general public. The steady increase of apps in the app stores, in turn, led to the creation of app repositories to help end users, physicians, therapists, and healthcare providers find high-quality apps based on expert app ratings. However, these ratings are only valid for a specific release of an app. In this paper, we aim to describe the problems of current app repositories and present an approach to address these shortcomings. More specifically, our approach is able to periodically monitor the two major proprietary app stores and react to change events. We further present a mechanism to extract additional information from Android apps and to automate this procedure. Finally, our paper aims to stimulate discussion on what additional tools app researchers need to better study app quality and execution.