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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:58 PM   #1
jtara
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Sites with REAL app reviews?

My once-favorite news aggregator app (Zite) got updated about a week ago, and it was a disasterous "New Coke" update! Zite once discovered news that YOU want to read, based on your history and preferences, and had a near-perfect UI. It's now a UI mess that obviously wasn't tested, and pushes news that you are not interested in in your face.

This followed fairly closely Zite's acquisition by CNN.

But that's not what this post is about....

Take a look at the App Store Reviews of Zite. Note the rating, and the upside-down shape of the bar chart. It's now a 2.5 star-rated app, with the largest bar at 1. Prior to the 2.0 release, it was a 5.0-rated app, with a prominent peak in the barchart at 5.

Now, do a Google search, like "Zite 2.0 update". Go read a few of the articles you find.

What is wrong with this picture?

In fact, it's very difficult to find even a single negative review or article using Google, dispite the fact that user feedback in the App Store is overwhelmingly negative.

What is going on here? Are reviews really bought and paid for, as many have long suspected? Or are sites that print reviews and articles just lazy, and simply parrot the press release they get from the app publisher?

I tend to think it is primarily the latter. The sites at the top of the search results are good at getting themselves good placement in search results, but short on real, unique, critical content.

What is infurating is that if they do any kind of re-write at all, it is simply to hide the fact that it's a press release. Instead of "according to the company", etc. they repeat the publisher's statements as if fact, or as if they actually performed some critical review. It seems likely to me that most of these article publishers never even installed the app.

So, what you get, basically, are hundreds of articles with nearly-identical wording, singing the praises of a horrible app update. Thank God for the App Store reviews!

Great news for app authors though! You do not have to worry about how the press will review your app. By and large, they won't! Just get the word out, and give them something that is good fodder for the Google grist.

Where do YOU go to get honest articles and reviews on apps? I'd Google for it, but...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:35 PM   #2
Troneas
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Afaik, the best and most reliable reviews are done by the users themselves. Even if it is "OMG!! WTF!!?" you get an idea that something is not quite right.


Having said that, I use mostly AppZapp Pro, followed by AppAdvice (has "professional" reviews), and Appsmart.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:57 PM   #3
jtara
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Originally Posted by Troneas View Post
Having said that, I use mostly AppZapp Pro, followed by AppAdvice (has "professional" reviews), and Appsmart.
Thanks for the suggestions - I already use AppAdvice, and it has helped me find some nice apps. Will give the others a try.

I always read the App Store reviews before purchasing. They can be gamed on less popular apps, but I think that would be difficult for a blockbuster app.

It's sad how badly Google is gamed and/or the poor quality of the press content in general. I see even well-respected columnists just parroting the press releases.

You really cannot trust articles you read in the general press, because as a rule it seems they really haven't done any work at all beyond changing a few words in the press release.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:09 AM   #4
fujitsu
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I mostly read app reviews on App Advice and 148 Apps. In my experience, I was able to find an app or two based on their reviews and recommendations.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:57 AM   #5
willma
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I usually read 148 apps, I've read they don't accept any paid reviews from developers.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:39 AM   #6
Menneisyys2
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Originally Posted by willma View Post
I usually read 148 apps, I've read they don't accept any paid reviews from developers.
Also, everybody into multimedia should read my reviews. I post them here at MacRumors too. They're much better than any other article on iOS video playback apps, I daresay.

(I post mostly in the iPad Apps forum at http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=144 - I only post in this forum if it's an iPhone-only and not even Universal app)
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