App Spammers: Anything Developers Can Do?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by dejo, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #1
    Fellow iPhone App Developers,

    Is there anything we, as developers, can do to get Apple to take action against app spammers, such as Brighthouse Labs? Developers that spam the App Store, among other disadvantages, just make it harder for our customers to find our apps among their plethora of apps that really only different from each other by one detail.

    As I mentioned, Brighthouse Labs is one of these spammers. Currently, on the US iPhone App Store they have 190 pages of apps! That means at least 2,280 apps. That's almost 3% of all apps available on the store. They don't seem to be violating the SDK Agreement, unlike what developer Khalid Shaikh had done to get banned. But clearly this much "clutter" doesn't really help anyone.

    So, I'm looking for comments and suggestions from other developers on what we can do to improve this situation, if anything. Take it away!
     
  2. Whab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #2
    Could not agree more... Apple should at least enforce in-app purchases implementation for these kind of apps. Otherwise Apple should create a "Crap" cagetory :mad:

    Maybe we, as developers, should petition Apple to put some order in the AppStore. After all, we are more than 125,000 according to Apple, and most of us would agree on the 'spamming' nature of these apps.
     
  3. Darkroom Guest

    Darkroom

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #3
    petition apple. i think it should cost developers $99/year PER paid binary, maybe a lower fee for free apps. if apple decided to enforce that, so many apps would disappear from the app store. this would kill app farms, encourage small developers to work harder on their own original ideas, and certainly make approval time much quicker.

    [EDIT] i suppose the easiest, most probable solution would be for apple to modify the program to introduce publishing limitations for new and current developers. another obvious possibility would be to remove apps that don't reach a minimum annual sales revenue.
     
  4. JimBobBennett macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #4
    App expiry would be a good thing - no downloads or updates for 3 months, app gets removed. That way old crap won't hide new apps.

    Problem with any solution is it won't help Apple boast about the number of apps. Oh, look at us, we have 85,000 apps available...
     
  5. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    #5
    lol 190 pages of apps??? god the app store is disappointing enough.
     
  6. dejo thread starter Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #6
    Thanks. Great comments and suggestions so far!

    I just wanted to touch on this briefly:
    I had considered that, too. Perhaps Apple should consider quoting a cumulative figure for the app total (if they aren't already). That is, total number of apps approved instead of currently available. It's not like anyone is really vetting them on the number anyways, is it?
     
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #7
    How do apps that don't get downloaded/updated affect the store? Wouldn't they end up at the bottom of most lists when sorted by popularity?
     
  8. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #8
    I'm of the opinion "Who cares?" More power to them if they aren't breaking any rules.

    Educated consumers will find your app, if its better. The cream always rises to the top. Instead of focusing on what your competition is doing and making noise, whining about the "unfairness", focus on marketing your app/product beyond the app store; get it into then hands of blogging/app review sites and generate demand through positive reviews.
     
  9. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #9
    How about a limit to how many apps a developer can have in the "what's new" sections?

    Or maybe a limit on new app submissions per month to take the load off the App store's review team?

    For all we know, there are a few happy customers for each of those "spam" apps.
     
  10. dejo thread starter Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #10
    They still take time for the App Review team to evaluate and approve. This can cause of backlog of app approvals and frustrates other developers. If the App Review team was only spending time reviewing one app with a "switch" to change the one thing that is different between tens or even hundreds of these carbon-copy apps, perhaps they could spend a bit more time on reviewing all apps and apply their rules more consistently, for example. Or, for another example, apps could take less time from submission to approval, because they're dealing with less overall workload.
     
  11. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #11
    How about better marketing on your part.

    Your link indicates that BH is creating applications for locations where each location of an app type is an application. With the capability to add add-on purchasing, they would be more polite to create single apps with download add-ons.

    Perhaps aged non-downloaded apps should be forced to the bottom of lists unless they get a very high hit rating on a search.

    How about a better search engine so one could exclude them and others from searches. I've never been impressed with the search results I've seen.
     

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