Google Opinion Rewards is a more than free diversion for anyone who uses the Google Play Store to buy apps. For providing your opinion via various small surveys, asking basic questions from how often you travel to which logo looks best to you, you'll receive official store credits with which to buy apps – up to £0.60 per survey.
Everyone's got an opinion, and it's worth something
The app's interface is a simple gateway to the many questions websites, shops, restaurants and ad agencies have for you. When you first launch it you may not be able to do anything with it: surveys are added and cancelled over time.
The process is somewhat opaque both ways: you're not told a great deal about the business you're helping with your opinion, but as discussed below, they only learn from you what you tell them. As such, the general intent of the app is that you'll answer simple questions without knowing, or needing to know, exactly what they're used for.
Do note, though, that some of the questions may be political or otherwise a bit more personal. You can simply opt not to participate in surveys that ask these kinds of questions, however.
The only snag is that Google Opinion Rewards may not be available in your region. After all, both local laws and local tastes factor into what Google is doing. As of this writing, more regions are being added, with Norway, Denmark and Sweden being the latest. So there's no need to be dismayed: the service probably is, or will be, available wherever you live.
Private company, private information
Google Opinion Rewards allows its users to participate in what are known as "consumer demographic surveys" – data collected so that marketers of all stripes can learn about those who'll be buying products (or who won't be, and why). Many of these surveys vary in how they work, what they ask users, and most importantly, in the fine print.
Google's own website for the program allows webmasters, corporations and small businesses to sign up and create their own services. It also provides information on how exactly the program works to consumers. Essentially, Opinion Rewards does not collect and provide private information to the people at the other end. Only the information you provide with your answers is used, and only in the form of aggregate results. This is a great thing for anyone who's concerned about privacy.
A penny saved is a penny earned
It's important to understand what Google Opinion Rewards actually does. The amount it provides is small and only usable for a limited selection of software. This program won't make you any cash, and it's certainly not a day job. But it might allow you to afford an extra app here and there. In general, the surveys are best taken when you would be playing a game on your phone instead: waiting in line, taking the bus, and so forth. Just keep in mind the terms and conditions – each survey may not wait for you forever.