google headquarters

Google may introduce a new app called "Mobile Meter" in the near future that offers iOS and Android users certain rewards in exchange for the opportunity to track their smartphone usage. Engadget reports the search giant is preparing to release the new service, though the company wouldn't comment one way or another on the rumor.

Mobile Meter would be completely optional, with users having to explicitly opt-in or agree to the tracking service before it starts working. Of course, this doesn't mean Google will stop gathering personal data in a number of ways it already routinely does, including tracking Maps usage, scanning Gmail messages for keywords and a number of other semi-questionable activities that make its services so amazing while at the same time quietly compromising our online privacy. Engadget also notes that all information gleaned through Mobile Meter will be anonymized before it's used in an effort to protect user privacy.

As for the rewards that come with opting into the new tracking service, we don't know exactly what users will receive in exchange, though it will likely function similarly to Nielsen's app, which tracks your smartphone activity in exchange for up to $50 per year in prizes.