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View Full Version : 10000 apps and only a handful are any good




PSmith
Dec 11, 2008, 09:34 AM
I have been a reader of this forum for a few years but rarely posted as I didn't think I can contribute much to what's already been said. But I have to express my disappointment in the quality of applications on offer.

Not wanting to knock the developers work but for me there really is not much on offer. OK there are some good games but 99.9% of the applications are what can only be described as light weight.

They seem to offer only novelty value for a few minutes and to be the "wow look at that" you use to demonstrate your iphone with at parties.

I think the time has come for a two or more tier app store. The cheap junk from 0 to 2$ and then the really useful fully developed apps at 20$ plus.

I read that open letter to S Jobs from that developer complaining that the app store is geared around selling novelty ring tone type apps where the price gravitates to $0.99. He says there is no incentive to develop worthwhile apps.

From what I see I agree with him. They are so cheap because they are quick thrown together party pieces.

The app store and the whole iphone platform is at risk of becoming nothing more than a purveyor of party games which will put at risk the long term future of the iphone as a credible platform.

apple must do something to encourage decent apps to be developed and to do this they have to increase prices so the development efforts are paid back.

With 10000 apps the competition will be tough and it will be a tough slog to make any decent return for most of the apps.



Aea
Dec 11, 2008, 10:25 AM
I can't really recommend suggestions but I agree, too many of the applications are nothing more then "widget" type applications that are fun a few times, but there are some really great ones in the store, most are free or $0.99 since that's become the accepted price :/

dornoforpyros
Dec 11, 2008, 10:38 AM
honestly people need to chill, the app store is, what 6 months old at this point?

All of these complaints about poor apps "they all suck, it's only a fad, no one will develop anything worth while" are the exact same complaints made about the internet when was first becoming popular.

All of the poor quality apps, and the sure volume of flashlight apps is the result of a very, very young industry that's going through some growing pains.

Give it a few years and it will mature into something great, and not just the apple iPhone apps, smartphone apps in general are bound to keep getting better.

stockcerts
Dec 11, 2008, 10:39 AM
I agree, like Koi Pond. It was fun for a few minutes, but I removed it. I do like some of the news applications (Mobile News), and the Weather Channel application, but most of the apps provide no value to me. I'm still waiting for turn by turn gps. That's one of the reasons I bought an IPhone. I'm starting to think that the IPhone isn't capable of being used for GPS purposes. Kind of surprises me as many other smart phones have fully functional GPS.

Luap
Dec 11, 2008, 10:51 AM
Yep. Its 90% utter crap. Kind of surprising and a shame really. Still, for the 10%(ish) of good quality and worthwhile apps out there, it still makes the app store worthwhile.
You just have to dig around a little to find the good stuff.

alphaod
Dec 11, 2008, 10:56 AM
There are a handful of useful apps in the store. The main ones I found that have any value to me a couple free ones and a few I paid $15 for (but at now like $5).

Evangelion
Dec 11, 2008, 11:04 AM
I have been a reader of this forum for a few years but rarely posted as I didn't think I can contribute much to what's already been said. But I have to express my disappointment in the quality of applications on offer.

Sturgeons law: "Ninety percent of everything is crap".

Yes, most apps in the App Store is crap. And most apps that is available for the Mac in general in crap. And most apps that are available for Windows is crap as well.

I don't think that there's that much to worry at the moment. Most apps are crap. and most apps will be crap in the future as well. I think that we will have a year or so when developers are trying out things, and after that we start to get more "substantial" apps. iWork for iPhone, anyone?

I read that open letter to S Jobs from that developer complaining that the app store is geared around selling novelty ring tone type apps where the price gravitates to $0.99. He says there is no incentive to develop worthwhile apps.

People will pay if they see the asking-price as being fair, when compared to what the app does. If the developer in question can only create apps that are worh .99$, that's his problem. If his app is really good, people will buy it, even if the price is higher.

Granted, this situation is made worse by the fact that there are no demo-versions as such. I would be hesitant to buy an app that costa 20 bucks if all I had to base my opinion on was few screenshots and few short reviews.

Apple's DRM already allows time-limited content, just look at movies. They should expans that to apps as well. Users could download a time-limited version of the app for free, and if they like it, they could buy the unlocked version.

alphaod
Dec 11, 2008, 11:05 AM
People will pay if they see the asking-price as being fair, when compared to what the app does. If the developer in question can only create apps that are worh .99$, that's his problem. If his app is really good, people will buy it, even if the price is higher.


And by default people are cheap.

MadDog31
Dec 11, 2008, 01:09 PM
The apps that I've come to really enjoy that were free or cheap (less than $2) have done well for me in terms of making my life a bit easier.

Apps like Weightbot (makes losing weight fun for me and it's one of the most polished, yet simple apps out there in my mind), Sportacular, Shazam, Facebook, AOL Radio, BeeJiveIM, Pandora, Wolfgang's Concert Vault, RadioBOX, TWC, WhiteNoise, VirtualPool, JellyCar.

The first six are on my main home screen which in my mind means something. So granted there are 9,900 ******* apps, but there are 100 that are out there or on my phone that I just might find extremely useful, it's discovering them that is part of the fun for the hunt.

scott99
Dec 11, 2008, 02:07 PM
Yup, these apps are CRAP ! That's why i have 9 full pages, lol. I have some that I hardly use, but they are there if I need them.

radiantm3
Dec 11, 2008, 02:15 PM
I think there are plenty of good apps on the iPhone. Far more than any other mobile device. There may not be an app to replace every desktop app you use, but the app store is still new so give it time to grow.

Maybe you can give examples of what sort of apps you are looking for and people can give you good suggestions.

neilp4453
Dec 11, 2008, 03:31 PM
Let the store mature or not, this is how it is going to stay until Apple improves their acceptance terms.

When there are multiple flashlight apps, multiple radio apps, multiple voice recording apps, mulitple games, light and non-light versions....the number of apps grows.

Other than apps that fit the lives of select individuals, we won't see much more. If anything, a toned down version of what was supposed to come out.

nachtxeule
Dec 11, 2008, 03:40 PM
millions of albums, only several hundred are good.
thousands of films, only a few hundred are good.
millions of books, only several hundred are good.

what the hell is the point of this thread? :confused:

neilp4453
Dec 11, 2008, 10:36 PM
millions of albums, only several hundred are good.
thousands of films, only a few hundred are good.
millions of books, only several hundred are good.

what the hell is the point of this thread? :confused:

Horrible analogy.

If it is good enough, it will be published and become popular.

On the other hand (our hand)...even if it is good enough..it might get shot down.

Plus, your numbers are completely wrong.

yOyOYoo
Dec 11, 2008, 11:10 PM
I agree with the previous poster, to the developers:

"Give us a trial version of all apps!!!!!"

I hate paying for an app, using it for 30 seconds, and realizing I just wasted money.

QCassidy352
Dec 11, 2008, 11:16 PM
Lots of apps are good. It's just that only a handful seem good to any given person because we don't all have the same needs or tastes. Yes some are pretty bad from an objective standpoint (buggy, difficult to use, etc.) but for a great many it's in the eye of the beholder.

Evangelion
Dec 12, 2008, 12:11 AM
Plus, your numbers are completely wrong.

I would say that his numbers are quite correct. Most of the music in iTunes is crap. Most of the movies in iTunes is crap. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

needthephone
Dec 12, 2008, 05:33 AM
I tend to agree that the quality of apps is biased towards CRAP. It's not true to say that the same percentage of music in itunes is like this. No all the music in itunes was released by a record company who produced a CD after investing a lot of money in the artist and album. With music it's a matter of taste. What one man thinks is crap another will think is the best thing ever written.

With apps it's not a matter of taste. It will be universally acknowledged that apps which email your position, calculate how much tip to give or something which turns your iphone into a LED clock, take any one of the 10000 apps at random are crap.

Also why would a developer write anything decent when they can make the same profit for their investment from a useless 99 c app as they would for a $10 app-which no one will buy despite how good it is as the price points of the app store is migrating to a few cents or free.

I would rather pay $10 or $20 for a decent worthwhile app rather than sqaunder $20 on 20 worthless apps.

Apple are not encouraging decent aps and letting through too much garbage.

The Xroad GPS for iphone seems to be terminally held up by apple and this is probably the most useful app no one can yet buy. They would rather let through 1000 fart noise makers than one decent GPS turn by turn app.

What is needed is some quality control or a second level premium app store.

rKunda
Dec 12, 2008, 06:23 AM
What exactly are you looking for? What handful of apps would make the app store not "suck."

detz
Dec 12, 2008, 06:42 AM
Over the past week I've discover that you can take the time and build a quality app which people will love(I get great feedback) but if Apple does not feature it then you're dead in the water.

I will admit I submitted a "cheesy" app first(see sig) but it was my first one and I wanted to do something fun. My second app I planned and filled a gap in the market and so far it's working out really well. I think as more and more people stop buying and start complaining about the crap on the app store developers will start creating worth wild applications.

firewood
Dec 12, 2008, 08:48 AM
90% of the apps are junk. But it's a different 90% for each person. I have one app in the store which is absolutely useless for over 99.999% of iPhone users, but a few times a week there's a new customer who thinks it's great.

There might be 100 near duplicate flashlights in the store, and most people don't need any them, but maybe customer A prefers one icon, and customer B prefers to see another icon on their phone.

YMMV.

.

Sparky9292
Dec 12, 2008, 10:02 AM
Not wanting to knock the developers work but for me there really is not much on offer. OK there are some good games but 99.9% of the applications are what can only be described as light weight.


This is the point at which you Jailbreak your phone and find truly useful apps not limited by Apple's draconian restrictions.

PDANet - Super super easy app to tether your iPhone internet connection to your laptop or desktop.

MCleaner - Simply AWESOME phone filter and scheduling app. Do you hate getting sales calls on your iPhone? Want to schedule your ringer to turn off between the hours of 10pm and 6am when you are asleep?

Cycorder - records movies using the camera. The movies are fully compatible with iMovie.

MXTube - download Youtube movies to your iPhone so you don't have to keep streaming all of the time.

Dorfdad
Dec 12, 2008, 10:08 AM
WHile I agree with the sentament of this thread, this can be carried over to ANY device. Game consoles etc.. Look at the Nintendo Wii it's flying off shelves with less than 15 worthy games the system has sold over 20 milion units. Look at the XBOX 360 Hundreds of games out but only about 20 MUST haves.

The App store is not even a YEAR old and were getting some great applications. Depending on your subject matter of course, but some apps hands are being tied by Apple and I wish that would stop.

GPS can and will be done on the iPhone, just hang on tight it's only going ot get better. The influx of crap will slow down once mainstream developers get on board. Right now the iPhone is a gold rush everyone trying to make money off the initial charm..

Sidonuke
Dec 12, 2008, 10:33 AM
"Apple" is the only one allowed to make "Good" Apps. Anything using the useful features of the iphone are rejected. Turn by Turn GPS, Podcast, Better verisons of builtins, SMS Apps, Youtube like apps, Video Recorders, Apps that use the "Phone" Features are all rejected because app cant stand someone be better than them... **** YOU APPLE!

Notice: Have a good app that is rejected release it on jailbroken phones.

kas23
Dec 12, 2008, 11:36 AM
Maybe Apple should change their policy of collecting a 30% share of the price of the app. There are too many people jumping on the iPhone app bandwagon and developing crappy apps to sell at 99 cents. It's sort of like a get rich quick scheme. If just 1% of the 10 million people who own iPhones buy a 99 cent app (that they will likely use for 1-2 days), that equals $100,000 and $70,000 cut for the developer. Not bad for a couple hours spent coming up with a stupid New Years countdown app (for example).

Now, suppose Apple's cut of the price was constant $1 for every app sold regardless of the app's price (instead of 30%). This would automatically eliminate developers putting out crap for 99 cents (as they would make no money off selling the app). You may say that developers would just raise their price to $1.99 then. Fine, but buyers would really have to think twice about buying this crappy app that they likely won't be using in a few days. People would be discouraged by the high price and the app would not likely sell. This would force developers to spend more time developing better quality apps to justify the higher price tag. The only negative would be higher baseline app prices, but if it greatly improves the overall quality of the apps, I don't think people would mind much.

notintheleast
Dec 12, 2008, 03:00 PM
Man, who cares? We should all be completely happy that the app store has so many apps, regardless of their quality or function. It's always growing and IMO there are constantly great new apps rolling out. You may have to pick through a bunch of useless apps to get to anything good, but thats not something anyone should really complain about..... Be happy that it's constantly getting bigger and better.

cjm3113
Dec 12, 2008, 03:19 PM
90% of the apps are junk. But it's a different 90% for each person. I have one app in the store which is absolutely useless for over 99.999% of iPhone users, but a few times a week there's a new customer who thinks it's great.

There might be 100 near duplicate flashlights in the store, and most people don't need any them, but maybe customer A prefers one icon, and customer B prefers to see another icon on their phone.

YMMV.

.

Ding Ding Ding! Obviously no single one of us has a use for all 10,000 apps, but you can guarantee that every single app is owned/used by someone somewhere.

mrbass
Dec 12, 2008, 03:26 PM
I agree about 90% are really bad. Leaves a sour taste in ones mouth too after getting burned so many times by it's only a $1. Once people see they've wasted $100 they're less inclined to buy decent ones that come out just based on past experience in the app store. Most of the apps we praise now 6 months from now they might not hold the water as I'm sure more and more polished ones will finally be coming out. It should be good as currently the good app developers have to compete with beta releases full of empty promises so they feel pressure to release theirs too even though in an unfinished state.

TraceyS/FL
Dec 14, 2008, 08:09 AM
Over the past week I've discover that you can take the time and build a quality app which people will love(I get great feedback) but if Apple does not feature it then you're dead in the water.

I will admit I submitted a "cheesy" app first(see sig) but it was my first one and I wanted to do something fun. My second app I planned and filled a gap in the market and so far it's working out really well. I think as more and more people stop buying and start complaining about the crap on the app store developers will start creating worth wild applications.

I just looked at your iOwn - see, that is what I am looking for. Apps with depth!

I'm a long time Palm user and have narrowed my "must haves" to Datebk and Handyshopper. I need the depth that handyshopper has on it - i use all the features.

That won't deter me from saving up for my iPod Touch though, there is enough other "fun" stuff i want. But as a person looking to buy and to replace my Treo with a small phone (save me from texting that way again) AND a Touch, well, i need to investigate what is out there.

And i keep coming up short - for me, i don't want 5 different pieces to do what i need done. Beef up the main app and do it all in one. I'm a different type of user though - i admit that.

But i wanted to say your App looks great - i've marked it as something i'll buy when i get my stinkin' Touch! LOL!!

I was going to post a question asking - how in depth can the apps get because they seem like they are all just touching the surface. I have a friend that i keep encouraging to write some - she doesn't have time right now though. But darn it, how else am i going to get my app for the kids doctor visits?!

ANYWAY, i appreciate each and every app "you guys" have created, i truly do - programming was not my thing, i tried. But i want more - and i'm willing to pay more.

I'd like to see some better categories - or sub categories in the store. I find it frustrating to have 5 pages of stuff to weed thru....

OK, back to work this morning.

kas23
Dec 14, 2008, 09:14 AM
I agree with the above poster; it would be great to have more complex apps that have many functions instead of 5 different superficial apps. But these superficial apps are filling a great void right now - there's no other choices currently. And if people take months developing a killer app, they're going to miss the boat as other developers are just going to rush out half-baked versions that people will immediately jump on due to having no other choice.

As we see the app store mature, I hope people stop trying to make a quick buck with minimal effort. This will only happen if people stop buying them, become a little bit more patient, and buy more thought-out apps instead.

KRAPPS
Dec 26, 2008, 02:24 AM
Yep. Its 90% utter crap. Kind of surprising and a shame really. Still, for the 10%(ish) of good quality and worthwhile apps out there, it still makes the app store worthwhile.
You just have to dig around a little to find the good stuff.

And there you have it ... the birth of KRAPPS ... when you get lemons, make lemonade ... every one needs a good laugh and outing KRAPPS is one way to achieve it. :p

MacToddB
Dec 26, 2008, 07:13 AM
And there you have it ... the birth of KRAPPS ... when you get lemons, make lemonade ... every one needs a good laugh and outing KRAPPS is one way to achieve it. :p

I love it! I just signed up to follow you on Twitter!

And regarding the apps and numbers... The web is full of garbage too...probably MORE than 90%, at least in the eyes of each individual user. The problem isn't the apps, it's the AppStore. We need a Google for the AppStore, i.e. a better way to search. Maybe Apple will get it, the way they 'got it' about having 3rd party apps in the first place. But having lived through the MobileMe launch, I'm learning to be patient.

"Entertainment"? That's too broad a category. Would you go to a music store and start browsing for Entertainment? No, you'd look for Rap, Hip Hop, Sould, Pop, Dance, Vocal, Acoustic, 70's, Big Band, etc. The AppStore should have sub categories for shooter, puzzle, bodily sounds, etc.!

You should be able to filter by category, target age range, price, popularity, reviews (and not just 'on delete' reviews), date... Just look at GameStop.com or other established sites.

Mind you, my app, 100sounds (http://www.100sounds.com), has reached #13 in Entertainment, so it's been working out well for me, but it is hard to browse, as a user.

kas23
Dec 26, 2008, 07:34 AM
The problem with the "the-Internet-is-also-full-of-crap" argument is that the Internet is a non-regulated entity. You can throw any sort of garbage into the Internet and it will stay. The App Store is supposed to be the opposite - a strictly regulated entity, but it is still filling with crap. One of the reasons the App Store exists (besides the #1 reason=$$$) is to save people from searching all over for apps. Soon, we are going to have the same problem that plagues Win Mo - it's too hard to sort through all the garbage to find useful apps.

The 2nd argument against this argument is that there exists multi-Billion dollar services that help organize and help us make sense of the Internet. The App Store is young and maybe someday there will be a Google for the App Store. Until then, I find appshopper the #1 authority.

KRAPPS
Dec 26, 2008, 10:51 AM
I love it! I just signed up to follow you on Twitter!

And regarding the apps and numbers... The web is full of garbage too...probably MORE than 90%, at least in the eyes of each individual user. The problem isn't the apps, it's the AppStore. We need a Google for the AppStore, i.e. a better way to search. Maybe Apple will get it, the way they 'got it' about having 3rd party apps in the first place. But having lived through the MobileMe launch, I'm learning to be patient.



Thank you for the follow - we appreciate your interest!

And totally agree ... it's tough just keeping up with all the new app releases, yet alone trying to "discover" something within the App Store ... developers are really going to have to get creative in terms of marketing and standing out from the clutter.

Congrats on #13 ... that's a helluv an accomplishment!!

MacToddB
Dec 26, 2008, 11:57 AM
And totally agree ... it's tough just keeping up with all the new app releases, yet alone trying to "discover" something within the App Store ... developers are really going to have to get creative in terms of marketing and standing out from the clutter.

Congrats on #13 ... that's a helluv an accomplishment!!

Thanks! I'm gonna write an article for iPhone Life on how it happened. I'm a Marketing guy, so I created a web site, with the domain name of the app (www.100sounds.com) and put up a Flash demo and FAQ, which has helped not only with sales but it's cut down on the questions. The biggest question we get is "I can't hear anything" and it's because we obey the Mute switch! So that's the first change I'm making on the app's built-in help page in the next update!