Reviews in the app store should only be posted by actual users!!!

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by diesel, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007
    I've noticed that there are so many reviews posted for apps where it's obvious that the poster never purchased, downloaded, or used the app that they are supposed to be reviewing. this really creates so much noise and pisses me off. A lot of reviews and ratings are suspect and idiotic especially when coming from non-users.

    In addition, it's open to abuse from developers and fanboys of a particular app who are more interested in promoting some other application then reviewing the application in which they posted their supposed "review". Especially when the system allows you to make up reviewer names on the fly so that it can seem as several people are posting similiar bogus comments.

    Apple seriously needs to limit feedback to only those that have paid for and downloaded an application. And they need to force us all to register under a specific nickname so that when posting a review the poster's nickname can be displayed and not made up on the fly.
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    This has been mentioned here numerous times. I agree though. When you buy an App you should get an email (maybe with your receipt?) that gives you a link to review your App.
  3. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007
    Hmmmm thats a good idea actually, getting sent an email to leave feedback. You could be on to something there
  4. razorianfly macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    When will Apple realise, we need to ability to create reviews on-the-fly in the iTunes Wifi Music Store, too - I wonder? :rolleyes:

    Hopefully in 2.0.1 :cool:

    I agree, reviewers should be owners of the application, otherwise,
    it's giving a false perception to would-be buyers of the applications features or usefulness.

  5. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    I mostly agree. HOWEVER! There are many times i've seen multiple apps made by different people, but all do essentially the same thing. Yet some are free, and some are not. For example.. There are LOTS of silly little 'Torch' applications on there. All it does it create a white screen. Yet someone expects to be paid for that. Reviews are useful as you can step in and say "Hey, wait a minute, XXX does the same thing, but that is free" This saves people money and annoyance.
  6. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    Would be easier than a confirmation email or something. It's something that's already in their infrastructure. Now, if you attempt to buy an app you've already bought it prompts you and lets you know you already own it, and lets you grab a new copy for free. (Music should work like this, imo.)

    Simply have it track purchases like it always does and flag those accounts with permission to review apps.
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    This is a great idea.
  8. Mindflux macrumors 68000


    Oct 20, 2007
    Why not just store it with your purchase information? You make a 'purchase' (free or not) and it gives you the ability to review that App. Updates can also give you an additional review to comment on fixed functions.

    A link to review would just get spread around for people to abuse.
  9. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2008
    Now since this has been posted before, I'll add something to it.

    Reviews should not contain the crashes.

    I think Apple should like email everyone saying how it's not the developer's fault that the applications are crashing.

    I want to see the rating of an application reflect on how it is...not have to click on see all reviews, then see how many of the lower ratings are simply application crashes.
  10. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    It would be tied to your account, so you'd have to supply your username/password. It wouldn't just be a generic link anyone could use.
  11. Rojo macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2006
    Perhaps we can have it BOTH ways?

    If you BUY an app, iTunes will automatically allow you to post a STARRED review of whatever the maximum length is allowed for reviews (IS there a limit? I assume there is).

    If you do NOT buy an app, you can still post a short, non-starred comment of a limited length...150 characters max, or something like that...basically the length of this sentence.

    People checking the reviews can then have a realistic starred average rating of the app from users who actually bought it, while still being able to read comments from other readers warning of other "free" versions, or whatever.
  12. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Rojo, not bad. Personally though, I think an easier and simpler system would be a simple icon of some description besides peoples name/review to show if they actually bought/downloaded the application or not.
    That way you can better judge peoples comments/reviews.
  13. diesel thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007

    Problem is, when calculating the total average score, this score would still get f'ed up by those who haven't actually used the program.
  14. SiskoKid macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I completely and utterly disagree oon both points that non-downloaders can post reviews and on the point that people whose app crashes shouldn't post a review.

    There are quite a few 'non-purchased' app reviews that I learned a lot about what's going on with the program. I tend to read the low reviews of all software first so I can get an realistic idea of what the app is about.

    For instance, with Scrabble, many people are saying it crashes a lot. It's $10. I now know to wait for another version of scrabble or for an update to see if they fixed the issue. That's exactly what the user reviews are for. TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE PROGRAM SO YOU CAN SEE IF YOU'D LIKE TO PURCHASE IT OR IF IT'S JUST GONNA GIVE YOU HEADACHES!

    Also, as for reviews coming from people who haven't purchased the app, let's take Namco's Pacman. It's $10. The one star reviews are bashing it for its price, not its quality necessarily. Last I checked, even professional reviews take price into consideration especially video game reviews (I would know, I'm a huge gamer). Many reviews will say, "The game's OK, but it's so short it's not worth the full $50." We've all played pacman so to suggest that the reviewers don't know what they're talking about is silly. The price is steep and people looking to purchase it should know that when comparing the price to Pacman on other devices, you're being ripped off.

    And, also, many games tend to play the same when they fall in a certain genre. There are multiple Sudokus for instance. Although someone may not have played the $8 version, they give it a low star grade because all other versions of Sudoku are not only cheaper, but from the free versions and cheaper versions they HAVE played, it doesn't seem worth it to purchase an $8 version that shows no new features listed hence educating you on better deals for an app you like.

    These reviews should come from everyone who wants to express their opinion on the issue. Of course, there'll be those who give crap reviews just because they're bored that day. Should we condone that? No. But the whole idea is that there are MULTIPLE reviews creating ONE main score. Multitudes of people aren't going to waste their time bashing or praising something if it doesn't deserve that bashing or praise to begin with.

    The reviews, from everyone, have helped me make purchases on the store, and I would be furious if Apple took those off. It would seem suspicious to me if Apple made these ridiculous rules suggested in this thread.
  15. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    This is not necessarily true. Many times it is the developer's fault.

    I actually had a discussion about this over twitter with some iPhone developers, and here's my proposed idea:
    Have reviews from everyone. Sometimes you need to have the ability to tell people about the app even if you yourself didn't buy it..maybe you know a better alternative, maybe you tried it on someone else's phone, maybe you tried the jailbroken version and it's functionally similar to the app store version (e.g. a lot of the flashlights).

    However, have reviews from non-purchasers weighted less compared to the purchaser reviews: e.g. 5 reviews from non-purchasers = 1 review from a purchaser. Give purchasers more weight and more visibility - people will have to click to get all reviews to see reviews from non-purchasers.

    On top of that, have application version # and date of review with every review, and have both those affect how the review is weighted - older versions and older reviews get pushed to the bottom. Additionally have a better system for letting the developers answer to people and have mutually-removable reviews: many of the reviews are because of crashes and issues that have been resolved.

    App store is not music, and there aren't many obvious ways to contact the developers. I feel the changes that I outlined above could be more useful (and if you haven't noticed, generally how user-submitted reviews work on many of the software sites like macupdate and versiontracker.).
  16. diesel thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007

    please explain to me how anyone can say something is not worth x dollars if they have not even tried the program?

    in addition, you draw comparisons to game review sites but you seem to gloss over one major point, the fact that the game review sites ACTUALLY tried out the apps that they are reviewing whereas a large number of reviews posted in the app store are from users who never took the time to try out an app. so, how are they able to comment on the app. it's just a matter of common sense.

    I do agree with you on the need for users to actually post if an app crashes constantly. my point is that users and really only users should be allowed to actually comment on an app. anything less than that is just pure speculation as to how the app handles.
  17. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Reviews from only customers is not good. Reviews from bitter competitors is not good. Just take them all with a grain of salt.

    For what it's worth, I still have trouble believing reviews from customers as many are completely incompetent at writing good reviews.
  18. SiskoKid macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    Sorry, I should've been more clear. Not all software can be talked about if you haven't used it. But the examples I proposed (Pacman and Sudoku) I think is pretty straight forward. Unless the $8 version brings something that really sets it apart from the $3 version, I think people can make educated decisions on comparing the products without having to try them. Also this allows users to inform potential buyers of alternative options.

    The 1 star review grabs peoples' attention whether you agree with the review or not. The 1 star reviews have helped me make good purchasing decisions from the iTunes app store and from online stores in general. And all the reviews, those who have purchased the product and from those who haven't, have helped me make those decisions. To censor them is a mistake.

    Just like I said in my original post, the product won't draw in a lot of bad or good reviews unless it deserves it. It's ridiculous to assume that dozens or hundreds of users decided to unanimously pick one app and destroy it with 1 star reviews. The same can be said for 5 star reviews. Sometimes idiots make reviews. OH WELL. Life goes on. And who's to say people who actually do buy the app don't post horrible reviews? But the people who actually pay attention to user reviews and input are smart enough to know the difference between someone who's posting to be an idiot versus someone who's actually trying to inform others.

    And if a purchaser just looks at the star score and it's low, more than likely it's probably true because, again, multitudes of people aren't on the web looking to lower the score on user reviews.
  19. Moose408 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2008
    A lot of the apps are very very poorly written and the crashes are absolutely the developers fault. Even if it's not, it doesn't matter why it crashes, if it crashes it is a worthless app and I don't want to buy it. I've already bought 3 apps that I will never use because of crashes/bugs. So a review telling me this would have saved me some money.
  20. TimothyB macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2008
    Seeing how iTunes and even the App store on the iPhone know you've downloaded the program, even a free one, reasonably you'd think they could deny your review if you never bought or downloaded an application.

    I too am sick of reading through useless reviews of obviously someone that never tried it.
  21. TimothyB macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2008
    It's also real bad when people post about price, so it's obvious they don't have it. Not just talking about $10 game, but professional applications, that cost $100+ and are worth it to those that use it. Sometimes while seemingly expensive, cheaper than other versions similar professional software. People that have no business with the app will post a review with 1 star complaining about something they know nothing about. Sometimes just asking "Why is this app $140? and marked with one star"
  22. diesel thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007

    I will have to continue to disagree with you. Yes, pacman is pacman and sudoku is sudoku in terms of the core gameplay, however alot of details is in the actual implementation and execution of the gameplay and unless you have actually used the version that you are reviewing, quite frankly you have no basis to write a review. Anything you write would just be pure speculation. It's as plain and simple as that. Pacman from abc developer might look better than pacman from xyz developer. pacman from abc developer might have a more intuitive control mechanism than from xyz developer and so on and so on even though the core gameplay is the same. It's like watching a remake of an old movie, the core plot is the same however the original might be far more entertaining than the remake or vice versa. once again, the details is in the implementation and execution of that core plot.

    To further my point, check out the reviews of all the different mahjong applications available on the iphone that has posted:

    the core gameplay of mahjong is identical between these 7 reviewed versions, however you will find that the implementation of the game differs widely between the different developers. Different graphics, different soundtracks, different control/ui mechanisms, which all add or detract from the playability and enjoyability of the game. This goes to the point that unless you have ACTUALLY TRIED a specific program, you really have no basis to form an opinion. And to be honest, i would like those opinions with no basis for judgement to simply be filtered out from the main reviews as well as from the aggregated ranking. By including them, the value of the ranking system is greatly diminished.
  23. DarkNight79 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008

    You're absolutely right. I'm astounded by the number of "reviews" trashing an app simply because it's not free- or promoting a competing app- when they've obviously not downloaded it. You know the review system is seriously distorted when the #5 app, iBeer, has a rating of 1 1/2 stars, and virtually all the bad reviews are complaining that it should be free, like iPint. The same is true for many other apps.

    Apple could very easily verify whether you've downloaded an app before you can review it. They know you've purchased it- they're doing updates automatically, and they notify you that you've already purchased an app if you try to download it again. Adding that check before allowing someone to post a review would be very simple.

    Unfortunately, with everything they've got going on, the only way it's going to happen is if they get a LOT of developers requesting the change. If enough people contact the iPhone Developer Connection and make that suggestion, they might listen.
  24. amcan12 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    This should also apply to posting suggestions, answers and/or advice here - how many idiots who post "advice" have clearly stated in their signature "waiting for my Touch" or "soon to be a proud Touch owner"?
  25. jrbdmb macrumors 6502


    May 19, 2008
    In looking for a chess app, I've found three in the store, and all have one-stars reviews which are basically "why isn't this free?" Which is an interesting review considering there are no free chess apps (yet) in the store. :rolleyes:

    I guess like with most public review sites, star ratings can't be trusted, you actually have to dig into the individual reviews to get an idea if a program is worth buying.

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