apps still generally dissapointing

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by needthephone, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. needthephone macrumors 6502a

    Apr 4, 2006
    don't get me wrong I love my iPhone and have quite a few apps. The mandarin one is great for showing off for example.

    But still, 1000 plus apps in, there is no app I really can't live without. They are all so light weight. 100's of similar basically useless apps clutter up the app store.

    Come on developers give us something we need like an office suite and turn by turn gps.

    I check the new apps everyday and it's just the same useless stuff over and over.

    I tell a lie I do use the free one touch dialer.
  2. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    An office suite would be nice. I don't think I'd use a turn by turn GPS since I already have a good GPS.

    On the other hand, I've found apps like Pandora (streaming custom radio stations) and WinAdmin (access my computer desktop from anywhere) to be very useful.
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    A full office suite is going to take 1000s of man hours (probably more) to develop. Most apps are one-man (or woman) operations so this is not really feasible. Given enough time basic components may get released, but expecting Work or Excel is probably a but much.

    As for turn-by-turn GPS this is (and so far always has been) banned by the SDK agreement. No matter how many times, and no matter in how many threads, you ask for this it won't happen until Apple choose to allow it.
  4. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    I'm surprised Apple hasn't come out with more apps...

    the remote app is amazing for sure...but that's all they got...

    other than the apps that come with the phone of course...

    they should be selling iWork, and Garageband lite and iPhoto lite etc...


    and I agree with the OP....apps are weak...very weak....still
  5. vettori macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Italy, near Venice
    I'm a developer and these days I had the same thoughts.
    But I think that the real problem is that useful apps are hard to find.

    I've three apps in the store now. A shopping list with many advanced features, a Contacts replacement that fills the gaps of the built-in app and a game, initially developed as an experiment :D

    Take for example the address book app. It has received A LOT of good reviews for an average of 4,5 stars. Lot of users asking for more features. But still I feel that this app is unknown to many interested users. This is caused by the way the app store works.

    First, the categories are simply too few. The utilities, for example, contains 14 pages of apps. There are MANY identical apps. I know that there are a few shopping list apps (mine was the first to be published, BTW :cool:) but they all have their unique features. But do we need all that flashlight apps ?

    I think that there should be more filtering on what enters the store because as a developer I feel my hard work is not reaching all the potential users.

    The app visibility is also limited since if the app is not in the first 25 or 50, it can be easily found only for a few days after upgrades...

    That said, YES, I've also made a stupid app ;) (not in store now) but, at least, there are no other apps that does the same stupid thing.

    These are my apps if interested.
  6. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
  7. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    The problem is that Apple doesn't want to say to one developer: "your app is crap," but then to another developer who has a slightly better app: "your app is okay."

    I think apple should leave apps in the store for about 30 days, then, if they have a rating of two stars or less, make them only available by direct link (or maybe search).

    Apple has so much potential for a real gaming market, as well as the casual market. I would pay good money for a highly rated RPG on the App Store. I own a DS, and I pay $30-40 for each game there; I'd happily pay $15 for a TBS game like Advance Wars, or a different RPG like The World Ends With You.
  8. mattjb macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Plant City, FL
    I think the NDA is what hurting the developers and preventing many of them from making truly great apps. On top of that, the restrictions in the SDK and Apple's rules ensures we'll continue to see mediocre apps.
  9. Greencardman macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2003
    Madison, WI
    I think its just a matter of time. Good, complex apps take a lot of time and a lot of hard work by quite a few developers. They're not just going to pop out of the woodwork in the first few months. Almost every iPhone developer I've met is completely busy coding apps, and some of them promise to be the game changing variety. Have patience my padawan.
  10. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    I think the restrictions still leave developers plenty of room; some of the rules I don't get, like the no emulator rule. As for the NDA, that is a mistake by Apple; they're only limiting developers and therefore their profits from the app store. Once they lift it (at the September event?), many programming books for the iphone will be released, along with a port of the programming library SDL, which I'm looking forward to.

    But "game changing" apps only sell when there are a few of them; how will people know what app to mindlessly buy en masse if there are hundreds of them?
  11. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2007
    Waterloo, Ontario
    I think vettori hit the nail on the head regarding the categories being too few. The other issue I can see is that the popularity is based on downloads rather than usage. I suspect many users download the free apps with little intention of using them over the long term. If the paid applications don't make enough money, hobby developers will continue to represent the large percentage of the store.

    I think there are plenty of great apps in the store already, but they are difficult to find. I wish there were more independent review and news sites available.

    Regarding muncher's comments about the rating systems being used in deciding whether an app stays on the store, that could be particularly dangerous. Users with problems are always more likely to post reviews than the ones without. With that in mind, the reviews system is almost always negatively skewed.
  12. jwflutterby macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2008

    To everyone looking for an office suite for the iPhone, PLEASE let DataViz know:

    Their Palm OS Documents to Go application is excellent and they say if there is enough demand they will consider porting it to the iPhone... Please join me in showing there is demand!!!!
  13. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I think largely users (and I am one) are getting what they pay for. Every app that people seem to want and request is then tagged with "and for free". If you want good apps don't expect them to be free or even $1. Be willing to pay $5 or more per app and you might see developers willing to spend the time and effort required for complex, pollished apps.
  14. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2007
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Seconded :)
  15. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007

    Support the Devs!

    (But really, they don't need to make the app cost more than three or four dollars, if it's good it'll get on the Top Apps list and then... $$$!:eek::D:cool::apple:)
  16. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    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)

    The sandbox is also a major factor in the lack of compelling apps IMO.

    Taskbar Notifer, a call/SMS blocking app, a theming app, etc. would all be very popular. The inability to personalize the overall user experience is making for a dull app store.
  17. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 4, 2006
    I know its the easiest thing in the world to critisise but the apps are, at the moment, a let down.

    I think the main reason we have so many lightweight apps is because apple started those iphone adds featuring the App store saying there were over 1000 apps. And as soon as they hit 1000 apps those ads started. Coincendence ??

    They probably approved anything and everything just to build up the number to the magic 1000. So we have heaps of bubble wrap bursters, useless spirit levels, one touch dialers, torches, rulers, note takers etc etc etc etc etc etc

    Sorry developers, but you are making money after all, we need better apps and I agree its not all your fault and blame lies equally, perhaps mostly with apple.

    Not being able to run two or more apps in the background or at the same time makes a nonsense of many many apps. Like the navigation ones where you track your route on a run . Great but you can't use the ipod. there are many other examples where not running the app in the back ground makes them pretty much useless.

    90% of them are just parlour games.

    WE NEED AN OFFICE SUITE and turn by turn voice prompted GPS at the very least.

    I believed the claims that the iphone was the next major platform alongside the PC and imac. But this so far isn't really panning out as the apps are little more than inconsequential widgets most you could do with web based apps or gadgets/widgets.

    The brilliant iphone deserves better treatment from apple, there is the risk its going to loose the initiative.
  18. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    Are you kidding me? We don't "need" an Office suite. I work at a company with over 50,000 Windows Mobile phones deployed and haven't ever heard people talk about editing documents on their phones, let alone seeing them do it. Despite the fact that the suite is on their phones as standard. Being able to view documents is vital, and the iPhone can already to that.

    The mobile office meme is so overrated its untrue. What use is a 3" screen when navigating a complicated spreadsheet? Its an extremely niche need - further demonstrating that we don't "need" such a suite.

    I think people need to seriously reallign their expectations. Its too small a device to be a serious tool for creating and editing Word, Excel and PPt documents. The real innovation in this platform is going to be in having a powerful device with you at all times that knows where you are and can talk wirelessly to a server or your home PC. But don't confuse it being a powerful device with a full computer. The screen is just too small for many tasks we take for granted on the desktop.
  19. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    The one thing I feel is the lack of on-line faqs or directions for many of these apps. The ones I've downloaded don't have very good written support on how to use the darn app, especially the games. Aurora Feit comes to mind as a game that seems dsigned well but to find out how the game works and its objective is not there.
  20. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 4, 2006
    No I don't agree its not too small to edit documents. I regularly post to this forum and compose long emails and sms's using the iphone and it could easily handle editing a document.

    The iphone stands out against all the others here as it is so effective with pinching panning and zooming. The predictive text makes text input extremely fast, probably faster than typing on a full sized screen and keyboard and I'm not exaggerating.

    They can't do it on the 50000 windows mobiles phones because its impossible to do thats' why, not so with the iphone.

    apple are missing an opportunity to really press home their advantage.

    Niche need are you kidding?? What if you are on the road on a plane and you need to edit something? Just because at the moment it can't be done doesn't mean that people don't WANT to do it. They would if the could. I would bet millions of dollars on it.

    It needs an office suite not 20 more rulers, spirit levels, touch wood images, and apps which are a complete waste of effort to develop..

    If say you worked for apple and you announced that the iphone will never have an office suite which would allow me to edit documents then to be honest I would loose interest in it all together. I would not waste my time wading through the unwieldly app store in the vein hope I would find something useful amongst all the dross as I would know nothing useful was coming.

    If this is the case I wish apple would let us know rather than pronouncing the iphone is "The Next platform to rival the PC and OSX etc" . Maybe its just a dead end product which showed promise but never delivered.
  21. LiveForever macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I feel your frustration.

    I agree the app store is like one of those Dollar Shops selling low cost far eastern products which look the part but don't really work.

    OK over 1000 apps but maybe 10 are any good.

    If I see another spirit level or one touch dialler.....

    What is apples vetting process. Do they have a "Spirit Level" checking department?

    Why not add categouries for "Spirit levels" , "One Touch Diallers" and " Generally Useless Apps" ?

    Of course it needs a word processor, even if a web based one could be made to work. Google already have a google doc app which I think they will enhance by making it a functional editor

    the iphones keyboard and predictive text input is a revelation.

    Don't you fret, some developer will come up with something I guarantee. Give it time be patient. these things take time to develop, What we see now are the low hanging apples.ho ho ho.
  22. NewMacGirl macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2007
    I think my iPhone is great but the apps are mostly lame and a big let down so far.

    I would love something like word or excel. I'm typing this reply very quickly and I could imagine editing or writing a document without too much trouble.

    The app store is difficult to use as what do you look for?

    What are utilities and productivity?

    It's annoying when you browse a categoury and when you select an app to read about then go back it usually starts you back at the top of the list again.

    Also how are the apps listed? It would be good if they showed them by date added. Ok on iTunes on mac or of they are listed by date added but not pm the phone itself.

    The app store needs work for sure and we need some worthwhile apps-PLEASE!!!!!!
  23. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    This really sort of parallels with a thread I started: The Crap Apps List

    Shameless self promotion I know but its in the same category :D
  24. Trajectory macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2005
    I agree. The App Store selection has been a disappointing array of mostly useless garbage. I've stopped looking for new stuff because it's the same crap everyday.
  25. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    There is one segment of the population that is amazingly well served by the app store to date. If they can expand it to meet the needs of other population segments we will all be happy.

    Right now certifiable morons who go out to eat a lot are in hog heaven with the amazing selection of tip calculation and management suites and dinner check splitters.

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