Another iTunes review rant

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by admanimal, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #1
    I had a new app posted to the store a couple days ago:

    http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=289221951&mt=8

    It's basically just meant to be kind of a fun-looking email speed-dial sort of app.

    Anyway, it now has two reviews, both two stars. The first comment was "We got email on r phone all ready." OK. No kidding. The whole point of this app is to complement the email app. But that's not the good one. The second comment is: "How come only white people are featured in the demo photos? Racist." Seriously? This is absolutely ridiculous. The photos I used are actually the ones included in the iPhone Simulator, since I didn't want to put pictures of myself/friends on iTunes. Apple seriously needs to do something about this ASAP.

    EDIT: P.S. I didn't mean for this to be some kind of weird advertisement for my app. I originally posted it in the iPhone Programming forum for other devs to sympathize with, but I guess it was moved here.
     
  2. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #2
    I would assume this person was just bored and trolling. For what it's worth, I filed a complaint about their comment (the racist accusation, I don't think they have a category for "idiot" for the other one).

    -Lee
     
  3. spyker3292 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    The reviews are so bad and broken. Your app looks pretty nice. Too bad those "reviewers" are pretty stupid.
     
  4. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    Pretty pathetic reviewers... The second guy surely didn't buy the app. Wouldn't only a racist person truly notice of there were only white people in the pictures?


    There are only a few actually true and good reviews on my app on the store. It's pretty sad, actually. :(

    A bunch of reviews say it has 7 restaurants, which is untrue, it has way more than that. One says that the app only works via wifi which isn't true. One says I should've made a text file of all the information and just emailed it to all iPhone users for free instead of making the app... One says they've owned it since the beginning and I've only sent out 1 update. Not true... And I'm sure a lot of people are turned away from my app because of low reviews.

    Which sucks for someone who just wanted to make a part time project... Looks like I'll now have to lower my price a bunch and hope I get a bunch of new users and a bunch of better reviews...
     
  5. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5C1 Safari/525.20)

    I'm no developer but the whole review section is infuriating. I'd like to headslap the entire app store.
     
  6. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #6
    I am so sorry that this kind of idiotic reviewing is happening to you and other hard-working developers. I really enjoy your Hurrymail application and, like you said, it is designed to compliment the current email setup.:) Apple really needs to do something about their review system because it is insulting to the people who worked hard to create the apps that are available. I've always been baffled when reading the reviews on iTunes and often find myself thinking, "Are people really this stupid?" Honestly. Someone needs to send Apple an email about this and include a collage of all the people with their head in their hands because it's getting ridiculous. :rolleyes:

    By the way, I am fourteen and I would never write one of those negative reviews without a good reason to. Just pointing out that not all kids give those kinds of reviews for no good reason.
     
  7. vettori macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Italy, near Venice
    #7
    admanimal, at least you've got two stars...

    Read the reviews for my rock paper scissors game...

    They have to be kids AND idiots.

    http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=288462752&mt=8

    If anyone can complain for me (since I can't use the U.S. store as I'm Italian) on the ones that says that to play rock paper scissors you only need a hand...
    Or at least post a review to say that yes, if you have one hand you can play with rps but you also need another guy unless you are playing against yourself...

    I also have specified better in the description that the challenge is to understand what's the computer opponents strategy but I wish I could specify it in a review...
     
  8. jpvaz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Portugal
    #8
    I guess reviews are specific to APP stores, i'm in Portugal and the only thing it shows is "be the 1st to review this app" for boath you're apps... applications propagate to every store, but reviews don't... (wierd...)
     
  9. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #9
    I can see two reviews for your App and both give it three stars. There will always be people who won't think that what you have done is good enough. The best approach is to consider what they have said, if you don't agree then fine don't do anything. You may find however that they have something valuable to tell you about your work, it's always useful to listen to this feedback. In your case, for instance, there is indeed a major spelling mistake that you ought to correct.
     
  10. vettori macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Italy, near Venice
    #10
    Speaking about my app, the lame reviews are only on the U.S. store.
     
  11. fishkorp macrumors 68020

    fishkorp

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ellicott City, MD
    #12
    I also am victim of ridiculous reviews. Of course there's the "it should be free" people that give it 1-star (gee, thanks), but then I have other 1-star reviewers with ridiculous comments. One person gave it 1-star because they want it to do something totally different than what the app even is. There are like 2, maybe 3 genuine reviews, and those people rate it favorably. But of course thanks to the other folks I have a low average rating, which is probably keeping people away. It really sucks.
     
  12. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #13
    If only people felt inspired to review apps when they did what they wanted.

    You sell 4,000 copies in the US and yet the 20 people who review it just bitch about it. If only the other 3,980 would review it and counter those stupid ones a little. ;)
     
  13. techguy1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #14
    I did write a few reviews when the app store was first launched and thought it was a useful thing to do for other potential buyers. But after a couple of weeks I realised there were lots of 'failed medical experiments' adding stupid, pointless comments and flooding the review system, so I gave up.
    iTunes needs to implement a stricter control over reviews or the 'good guys' ( app creators ) will stop creating.
     
  14. fishkorp macrumors 68020

    fishkorp

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ellicott City, MD
    #15
    EXACTLY!

    I've sold ~1,000 copies of my app, there are a small handful of reviews (like 10-15) and the average rating is 2 1/2 or 3 stars. I've gotten praise emails when helping people or answering questions, emails like "works great now, thanks!" and stuff like that. I'd feel like an ass if I asked them to write me a favorable review though. I did notice sales numbers dropped off a bit after the reviews started pouring in :( Too bad. Guess it's something we'll all have to live with for now and adjust how we do business moving forward.
     
  15. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #16
    The sad thing is I've written fairly detailed honest reviews that either give average or good ratings and I have seen them voted down by other users, plus if there are already crap reviews before yours those will stay on the front page regardless if they are voted down or not.

    It is simply just a broken system, as many others have stated you should need to purchase the app before adding a review, the only valid people this would exclude are those that have the app through the adhoc distribution method and those that have used the app on another person's device but really are those two use cases enough to prevent such a restriction being put in place?
     
  16. admanimal thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #17
    The good reviews just keep coming...now I have yet another useless one. This time it's a one star review with the title of "Shut up developer" and then he goes on to call the app stupid. Faaaantastic.
     
  17. DreamPod macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #18
    Make sure you file a complaint about the racist one, that does not belong in a review. As for the whole thing in general, I think it does work, to a point...it's just not perfect. It works because of the ability to vote how useful a review was. Other people reading the reviews are smart, and some of them will vote the crappy reviews as not useful. The problem comes with small apps that have little publicity, so they don't get many reviews in the first place; those are of course most harmed by the crap reviews.
     
  18. admanimal thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #19
    The voting does work at keeping the useless reviews at the bottom, as long as the app has enough reviews to begin with. On the other hand, older, useful reviews always tend to be the "most helpful" just because they have been around longer and received more votes, even if newer reviews may in fact be more helpful because they discuss the most recent version.
     
  19. labbit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    #20
    I'm also a developer, and I do get tired of some of the reviewers. I've been lucky this far, probably because my app is on the geeky side (CSV Touch, a csv files reader) and thus not many completely clueless reviews, but looking at the AppStore in general something needs to be done, and quickly. If not, I'm afraid Apple will have problems in the future with a lack of serious apps, especially if the developers try to charge a reasonable amount of money. Since I'm developing for the iPhone as a fun hobby I don't have a personal stake, but if I had any thoughts about trying to do it as a serious business I'd be very worried:

    - Pricing: Any price is too high for most reviewers, no matter what the application does; "It should be free!". I think we're seeing here that most computer users are not used to having to pay for software, and for once there is no way for them to download it elsewhere for free, which leads to frustration.
    - Bloated store: Unless you make it to one of the top lists, which more serious apps probably won't since they have a limited audience, your app will drown among the others. I see this very clearly, where every time a new version is released, sales go up, but as soon as the app disappears from the news list the app goes down; when the app is "new" I sell perhaps 40 / day, and when it is old it goes down to around 5.
    - Reviews: Already mentioned. This is difficult to fix, but there are public review systems on the net that work OK.

    I think the bloat problem might solve itself in the long run and there isn't anything wrong with it per se since more exposure leading to more sales is the natural way of things. When there will be reviews on high-quality regular internet sites like Macworld of the more serious apps, those apps will likely find their customers. As for reviews, this is fixable but I can only hope that Apple thinks it is important enough to solve.

    The pricing one is the toughest one, I think; once the perceived value of an item has dropped, it is very difficult to get it up again.
     
  20. admanimal thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #21
    The type of app does seem to affect how stupid the reviews are. I also make a pretty popular budgeting app that has 70+ reviews that are almost all honest and certainly none are anything as crazy as my new app has. The only ones it has that I find annoying are the ones complaining that it crashes right after launch or deleted their data after an update which are both actually firmware bugs, but it's understandable that not everyone knows it has nothing to do with my app.
     
  21. DarkNight79 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    #22
    Apple Needs to Change Their Review Policy

    Unfortunately, Apple's policy decision leads to a lot of really useless reviews- and many of 'reviewers' are pillaging any app that isn't free. Virtually every paid app has negative reviews saying "this should be free!" That's especially ironic considering iTunes sells songs for $0.99, but somehow $0.99 is too much for an app.

    I don't see this changing unless Apple changes their policy and actually requires people to download and install an app before writing a review. That would eliminate 95% of the garbage reviews. That isn't likely unless enough people complain to the head honchos. I suggest every developer encountering this problem contact the senior people at the App Store/iTunes to complain about this problem- that would certainly get it on their radar. I think these contacts could help:

    - Eddy Cue, VP of iTunes
    - Elizabeth d'Errico, Head of App Store Merchandising
    - Max Mueller, Head of App Store Engineering

    If they hear the same complaint about bogus 'non-reviews' from dozens of different developers, maybe they'll listen and change the review policy to require people to download an app before writing a review.
     
  22. Justinerator macrumors 6502

    Justinerator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, CA
    #23
    I just wrote a 4* review on there for ya ;). Good job, and keep up the good work. Also, I reported everyone on there that deserves it!
     
  23. admanimal thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #24
    Thanks...I think I'm going to just quit reading reviews completely, I get too frustrated! I get enough legitimate concerns/feedback/praise through email to get a sense of what is going on with the apps, and don't even really think most people pay attention to reviews anyway.
     
  24. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502

    pianoplayer1

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #25
    No offense, but with your "absolutely ridiculous" review - why did you lower your rating by giving it 3 stars?

    And with the racism deal , thats just ridiculous.
     

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