February 14, 2013, 3:58 PM — Verizon Wireless recently began listing " High Risk Android Apps" on its Web site and now alerts customers to 13 apps that prevent a smartphone or tablet from going into sleep mode, causing heavy battery and data usage.
"This page lists apps that may be especially risky for you to use at this time," Verizon said in the post. The company noted that it is working with developers to fix the problems.
The high risk apps "might have serious negative effects on your device" through loss of functionality, unexpected high data or battery usage and security exposure, Verizon explained.
Six of the 13 high risk apps are also on the January's list of Top 50 most popular Android apps that Verizon posts on another Web page along with a five-point system for judging security, battery consumption and data usage.
The six apps on both Verizon lists are games, mostly racing games.
They are: Asphalt 7: Heat, a paid racing game by Gameloft; Draw Something, a paid game by OMGPOP; Fruit Ninja Free, a free game by Halfbrick Studios; Grand Theft Auto III, a paid game by Rock Start Games; Hill Climb Racing, a free game by Fingersoft; Need for Speed: Most Wanted, a paid game by Rovio Mobile Ltd.; and Wreck It Ralph, a paid game by Disney.
The worst offender of the 13 on the high risk list is Need for Speed: Most Wanted, from Rovio Mobile Ltd., which Verizon says will drain a device battery about 4.5 times faster than normal if left untouched, Verizon noted.
Need for Speed also appears on the most popular Android apps list where it gets a 4.5 out of 5 rating from Verizon. It gets high marks for security and data usage, but the lowest rating of 1 for battery consumption.
Several other apps on the most popular list scored lower than Need for Speed.
The worst rating of the 50 most popular apps was a 2.3 rating for Hill Climb Racing, a free racing game from Fingersoft. The lowest rating for a paid app was a 2.6 for Asphalt 7: Heat, a game by Gameloft.
On Verizon's Web site, users can click on the most popular ratings to get more details. In the case of Hill Climb Racing, Verizon said the game deserved a 5 rating for security, but only a 1 each for battery consumption and data usage.
On a separate Web page, Verizon details how it derives the ratings for security, battery consumption and data usage.
A 1 rating for data usage means that the app uses more than 100 MB over a Verizon test period. Verizon doesn't define how long the test lasted.