Review system is frustrating to developers

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by amousa, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. amousa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #1
    So my friend and I just started a small company on the side -- all our own money to get things going, our own time (lots of it) on top of our day jobs and we built two apps, one of which is finally on the App Store now. The point of this isn't to advertise that App so I won't post a link unless someone wants to give it a shot. Anyway, it's a shoutcast App and it costs 3 bucks. That's half the price of Tuner (a great app!) but also less features than tuner because some people might just want to add their favorite stations from shoutcast.com (our target audience is that segment of users). Why is it that someone (who hasn't purchased our application) can say something so useful like:

    "Why buy this when Flycast Mobile is free and much more powerful."

    To me, they're not comparable -- our App lets you add your own stations and the other lets you listen to some set selection of stuff. That's not our market and I would hope the people who were fine with Flycast would simply save their money and get it instead..but why can someone give our App a 2 star review when they haven't even tried it?

    My other gripe is simply that this person must not have read the description, where we say we're open to user feedback about our applications -- give us constructive comments and we'll be glad to make them better for our customers.

    Anyway, that's my rant. :(

    Edit: for the record we had version 1.1 to Apple for review literally hours after a couple of users made some suggestions and found a minor bug or two.
     
  2. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #2
    only people who bought the app should be allowed to comment or review it.. it's absurd anyone can leave their comments.
     
  3. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    You could just write your own review, e.g. "This app is great, blah blah blah, to the previous reviewer who mentioned Flycast Mobile - this app is better than that because blah blah blah ..." and then get your friends to rate your review as helpful so that it shows up first.
     
  4. amousa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #4
    Thanks, I thought of that but I didn't want to do that or have friends do it because there's an obvious bias since I wrote the app. You know what I mean? I'd rather real users did their thing -- I just wish Apple would at least make it so people who had downloaded the App could post a review, not some random fool who goes out of their way to crap all over one's hard work.
     
  5. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #5
    i posted a thread on this way way back in regards to the concept that only purchasers of an app should have the ability to leave a comment for the app due to all the ridiculously ignorant reviews being left by people. Incredibly enough, there were quite a few people who thought otherwise. they thought that it was a great thing for anyone to leave a review because it opened up the door for outside opinion......how that's good, i have no idea. i was quite surprised.

    though i have to admit i did leave a scathing review for Tube London that i never purchased when it was released because i purchased Tube London City (made by same developer). They charged 9.99 for Tube London when it was a remake of Tube London City but with a different map overlay. It should have been part of their Tube London City app. So i had to warn potential buyers of this developer's practices. Though, if i couldn't leave a review for Tube London (since i didin't purchase it) i would have left that same scathing review for Tube London City instead (since I did purchase that one).
     
  6. megatronbomb macrumors regular

    megatronbomb

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Why does every developer feel the need to start a thread like this?

    The "review" process is broken. This isn't exactly news.
     
  7. dougdawson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    I can understand the desire of people to do that, but IMO it devalues the review process even more. It's such a conflict of interest. In our (tiny) company, we don't post reviews to our products. We don't let our friends and family post reviews to our products. We don't let our testers post reviews to our products, because they got them for free. Conflict of interest. We don't even review other potentially competing products that we BOUGHT. Again, conflict of interest. We'd like to think that karma counts for something. If that hurts us, we at least know that we did the right thing.

    Doug
     
  8. amousa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #8
    I suppose my hope is if enough people complain, Apple will do something about it. :)
     
  9. megatronbomb macrumors regular

    megatronbomb

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Fair enough... It desperately needs an overhaul.
     
  10. Solver macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #10
    The system could work. "Bad" reviews, as decided by the voting public, should be move farther and father down the list of displayed reviews. Meaning if 1 out of 106 people found a review useful and there are say 300 reviews, then that review should never be shown in the top three. More like the bottom three.
     
  11. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a

    eplchamps0304

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #11
    The reviews are so not useful. They also need to time stamp when each review was made.
     
  12. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #12
    When you put your product in front of the public you have to understand that not everyone will like it.
     
  13. Beric macrumors 68020

    Beric

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #13
    Completely true. That would eliminate at least half the junk reviews.

    Apple also needs to require the version of the app reviewed, as well as the date reviewed, on the top bar of each review. A review is worthless without those two pieces of info, because a buggy version of an app made 2 months ago is completely different than a much later version of the same app, released last week, that works flawlessly. And yet there's no way to tell that simple piece of information from any of the reviews.
     
  14. Solver macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #14
    Another excellent suggestion!
     
  15. amousa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #15
    I absolutely agree. I don't have a problem with substantive criticism. :)
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #16
    Agreed, a review is only helpful if someone has actually used the program.
     
  17. Strategy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #17
    Here's my suggestion:

    Leave the reviews open to anyone but have iTunes flag the review differently if you bought the product along with an option to sort by "People who purchased this application"

    This allows you to read all the reviews if you want but also to sort out the crap and only read reviews of someone who has bought and used the application.
     
  18. amousa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #18
    I think that's reasonable as well
     
  19. Beric macrumors 68020

    Beric

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #19
    Why should Apple do that?

    How could ANY review by a person who does not own the app be the SLIGHTEST bit useful?

    Reviews should only be written by people who own the app. Period.
     
  20. PatrickRS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    #20
    I come from the Palm / Treo world. One time there appeared a new application house selling its wares in all the usual places... "9.95 Software". They got their name from the fact that all of their apps were priced at $9.95.

    Turns out, many (all?) of their titles were repackaged freeware programs with absolutely no improvements / changes. I desperately wanted to leave a comment to potential buyers, warning them to go get the freeware instead of these bogus apps at ten bucks a piece. But, because I hadn't bought any of them, I couldn't leave a comment.
     
  21. Strategy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #21

    This is the ONLY reason I see for having open reviews.
     

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