Apple needs to fix the rating process...

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Luke1robb, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Luke1robb macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    You know how when you're reading reviews and you can tell where the 1.0 (original) and 1.1 version users end and begin, respectively? This, I think is a big problem, because certain apps are being hurt by early bad reviews, which down its average rating. I think Apple could solve this by sending a reviewer an email when a new update has been released and tell them to check it out or remove their review if they see necessary. Also, Apple could also tag each review with a date and time or even the version number, so the people reading them can know when a review is "old". Any thoughts? Could this be solved through the push notification? If you still had the app, the app could send you a message saying a new update is out and reminding you to review the app. What do you all think?
  2. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I think tagging reviews with the version being reviewed is good.
  3. bluelondon macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    yup i agree. good idea OP. tagging revies with version number and date would be very helpful.
  4. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    The Android Market resets all the ratings and reviews for a program every time an update is put out. Seems fair to me.
  5. EmptyPockets macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    I don't really see apple releasing anything that is more taxing on the user.

    Maybe they could allow for replies in the rating messages. So if someone writes a review saying "this game sucks because the accelerometer is to sensitive" the developer could reply with "thanks for your input, the accelerometer settings are now adjustable in settings"

    Reviews should be a way to make the apps better.
  6. zentraedi macrumors member

    May 8, 2007
    Actually, this could hurt developers who are quick to release fixes for their apps.

    If a developer, releases 2.0.1 too soon after 2.0 (like 2 weeks), Apple will take 2.0 down while 2.0.1 is under review, and revert to the last 1.X release of an app on the iTunes Store. Also, they'll tell 2.0 users to "upgrade" from 2.0 to the 1.X version.

    That's likely to cause confusion and lead to users upset with the loss of features.
  7. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    The only problem with this is that a developer could release a new version that is the same just to clear their ratings, if they are bad.
  8. nottooshabby macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    They also need to add a distribution of these star ratings. I have 20 reviews now on my app, but only 11 written reviews. You have no idea what the 9 star reviews are.
  9. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    I think you've got a great point. With the new addition of rating an app when deleting it from your iPhone, it needs to clear which ratings were made fast and who actually took the time to write out a review. Also, what's the deal with the written reviews taking so long to get put up on the store?
  10. hugo7 macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    Yep. *Both* version and timestamp are required. A reviewer might have version 1.0 installed on his iphone whilst the app has already progresssed to version 1.5. Yet the reviewer submits a bitching review *today* based on his experience (having never upgraded).

    So, sorting reviews by "the most recent" is not enough. The correct version (based on trust of reviewer?) is needed too.
  11. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Apple checks the contents of the reviews to make sure they are appropriate. An unfortunate necessity, since in the early days of the app store, some apps, especially foreign language apps and religious-themed apps, were often the targets of "hate" reviews. ("We are in America, speak English!" "All Arabs die!" etc)
  12. robfarmer macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2008

    Luke - thanks for your review btw :)

    As a first-time iphone developer I released a version of my app (that worked find on my phone for my circumstances) and got hit with a bunch of bad reviews. While I understand I deserved those at the time, a lot of the reviews are no longer accurate since bugs have been fixed. Another problem I see is people expecting that apps should do things that just aren't possible, like doing something in the background.

    Tagging the version, or even asking users to update their review might be a good idea. Reviewers have the option of updating their review at any time.
  13. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    No problem Rob, shoot me a private message when you get a chance or email for that matter cuz I'd love to help you out with future apps or possibly learning how to program apps. Back to the discussion....

    I think Apple thinks this problem will be solved by having people saying yes or no to whether or not each review helped them out, but seriously Apple, with over 10,000 apps, you expect people to go through all of them and say whether it was helpful or not?? And even if they did, whose to say they have the app, so as Rob said, someone could review the app at the beginning and now it has a whole bunch of feedback saying it was helpful, but it isn't at all.... Again, a broken system!
  14. o0samotech0o macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2008
    ... :l

    I'm not sure. I think that the rating process should be fixed, in a way that users can update their review if a newer better version of this app comes out.

    But in a way, i'm sort of contradicting myself, because this would be good, but the current rating system also encourages developers to bring out a decent app with hardly any bugs in it in the first version, because the current reviews stick don't they? Or at least the ratings do...

    I also think that labeling the reviews in to categories of versions is an awesome idea.

    -Sam :apple:
  15. Gantris macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2008
    I feel as though the bests way to fix this problem is to either delete the apps older version's reviews or have an expiration on the reviews. Meaning, after say the last 10 reviews, all reviews before them have a 6 month retention time. Afterwords, they will be removed.
  16. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    I think date and version should be tagged to reviews as well. It's just another simple little thing that the store doesn't have down yet.
  17. filterban macrumors member

    May 5, 2006
    No, that's not fair.

    If version 1.0 of my app sucks, why should people think that version 1.1 is going to be any different? Sure, you fixed bugs. Great. But the next time you implement new features, as a user, you are probably going to break something again, since there is a process issue.

    If your next versions are great, the existing bad reviews will slowly become irrelevant as you improve your software.

    For those developers who released a buggy version 1.0 and got slammed - you deserved it. The solution is to not release bad software into the wild.

    And for what it's worth, I do agree that a version number and date next to the review would be really helpful. I just don't think they should go away. As a customer, I want to know if the developer is prone to releasing buggy software.
  18. RKO macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008

    :mad: I am tired of reading posts from so called developers, that whine about bad ratings that they deserve for releasing App with blatant errors in the first instance. Do the job properly and don't bother releasing an App until YOU fully test it and YOU are absolutely certain it works properly. There is nothing worse than PAYING for Apps and having them crash etc. I would rather an instant refund without question from Apple for those buggy Apps and they should be disabled and be made no longer available for purchase. This is a store, not a training ground for so called developers. I do not want to reward/sponsor someone with my hard earned money for their attempt at learning how to make an App.

    You expect Apple to make good your wrongs and allow you good ratings because you released something too early and it's full of errors. I need to know if YOU are not doing the right thing in the first instance by not releasing crappy Apps. I would rather those bad ratings remain and yes, YOU, have to prove to me and many others over a period of time that you have learnt your lesson and not to release your erroneous Apps again. So many developers have released great Apps from the start without bugs and I expect the same from YOU. Reap what you sow!
  19. TechJunky macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2008
    All good points mentioned here. But I have another question: Why is it that when you sort apps by "top paid" or "top free", for instance, number 10 will have only 700 reviews and 3 stars? How is that a "top" app? All "top" apps should be 5 stars, no?

    This plus the other problems mentioned in this thread have led me to just toss out the whole rating/review system all together. I don't even look at it anymore.

    Seems like a company as big as apple could easily devise a way to organize a simple review system. How did they screw this up? Every website in the world has review systems that work fine. WTH?
  20. ninjadex macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2004
    Also, not to mention the apps that were added early in the store, subject to the review "free for all", where anyone could leave there 2 cents. There were hundreds of bogus reviews for many apps.

    Those apps are now at a disadvantage compared to similar newer apps, because Apple has since clamped it down to allowing only users have purchased that app to leave a review.
  21. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    True, but looking at the app store, how long if ever will an App stay at 5 stars? There's always someone who expected the app to solve their life and give it a bad rating.
  22. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    I think the AppStore would catch on, and even if they did do that, people would still vote the same way if the app really is bad. Not only that, but people might vote down even further because they expected bug fixes and did not get it.

    That's how it is in the Android Market, anyway. Developers do stuff just like that and it gets them nowhere.

    You're right. Mac OS X 10.0.0 sucked, so why would Leopard be any different?. :rolleyes:

    Photoshop 1.0 was pretty useless, so why would CS4 be any different? :rolleyes:

    Yeah, and since the ratings and reviews are irrelevant to what they apply to, why should they exist at all? You wouldn't go to a MacBook Pro Core Duo review to see if the new unibody MacBook Pro is worth buying, would you?

    Or maybe you would - Why would it be any different? Right? :rolleyes:

    Oh, are you a troll? That's got to be what's going on here... :rolleyes:

    Perhaps ratings and reviews should be kept, but on a per-version basis. The ratings and reviews you see in the AppStore on your iPhone could be the ones for the current version, and if you want to see the version history with reviews for each version, go to the AppStore on iTunes and check it out.

    But a review for Google Mobile App that is 1 starred and saying "this is useless, they should add speech to text searching" is pretty pointless and confusing to potential downloaders. The description says it has speech to text, but the reviewer gave it one star and said it needs it!

    No, the topness is based on purchases, not rating. They are the top purchased apps.
  23. detz macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    I do not like how people can rate then app when they're deleting it, as a developer if feels like Apple is telling the users

    "You're removing this App from your phone because you don't want give it a rating."

    How many people remove great's defiantly producing much lower ratings.

    For example, my app has a visible rating(iTunes) of 4.75 but it only shows it as having a 4 stars. I don't mind people rating it lower but A.) I would like to see these and B.) I would like to know why so if they're having a problem I can fix it.
  24. nottooshabby macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    Not to mention that it's not clear whether people can keep deleting an app over and over again and give it multiple 1 star ratings or 5 star ratings to either damage a competitor or try to prop themselves up.
  25. Master Debater macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Also, I'm seeing a lot of 1-star ratings even though the review says it's a great app. This is because when someone writes a review in the App Store (on the iPhone/iPod), it defaults to 1 star, and many people write a review and forget to choose a star, which makes the rating 1-star even if it is a 5-star app.

    Make it default to no rating, and if a user forgets to rate, have a little pop-up that tells him! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, APPLE?

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