10000 apps and only a handful are any good

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by PSmith, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. PSmith macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2007
    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.
  2. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    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 :/
  3. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    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.
  4. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    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.
  5. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    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.
  6. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    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).
  7. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    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?

    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.
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    And by default people are cheap.
  9. MadDog31 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2007
    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.
  10. scott99 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2007
    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.
  11. radiantm3 macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2005
    San Jose, CA
    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.
  12. neilp4453 macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2007
    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.
  13. nachtxeule macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2008
    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:
  14. neilp4453 macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2007
    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.
  15. yOyOYoo macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2005
    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.
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    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.
  17. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    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.
  18. needthephone macrumors 6502a

    Apr 4, 2006
    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.
  19. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    What exactly are you looking for? What handful of apps would make the app store not "suck."
  20. detz macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    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.
  21. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    different handful good for each person

    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.


  22. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    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.
  23. Dorfdad macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2007
    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..
  24. Sidonuke macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2008
    "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.
  25. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    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.

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