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Apple AppStore Reviews

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: iPhone, Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

Apple AppStore Reviews

Picture of IrvinFor the past few days, like everyone else out there, I have been reading through the reviews in the AppStore. From the beginning, there were people posting stupid reviews of the applications. What was annoying early on, is now becoming a real problem.

The reason is that on the iPhone / iPod touch, the only indicator you have of quality, in the absence of the ability to do some sort of trial, is the star rating, but the problem is that there are so few true reviews of the applications in the AppStore. Perhaps Apple is leaving room for a 3rd party to do a good AppReview business, but currently it is impossible to rely on the reviews. Most of the reviews of the applications that cost more than $5.99 are commentaries on the price. If you have an opinion of how much mobile software should cost, that's great. You should write a long blog on it, but it really doesn't belong in the store, especially if you haven't purchased the application.

Another issue with the reviews are that developers are easily able to review their own applications. That makes for utter nonsense. All you have to do is to sign up for multiple iTunes free accounts and then you can post. Apple seems to not filter out developer's own 5 star rating of their applications. I absolutely will not review my own application, I think that is reprehensible. I also won't ask my friends to review it.

To rip a developer because they decided to price their application out of your range is awful. Everyone has the choice to not buy, that is how you relay your dissatisfaction over the price, not by giving it a low rating. To me, any application that has any value is going to be worth it. I won't buy the Adobe Creative Suite because it is too expensive, but I am not going to rip Adobe over their pricing, I'll just buy other tools instead.

Some things Apple needs to do to fix their rating system, are to prevent developers from rating their own application. They should also be watching for gaming. They should not allow gobbldygook (spam) into the comments. I saw one application where someone had put some sort of spam ad for their software that wasn't even iPhone related in there.

Another thing they should do is to only allow people who have actually purchased the application to review it. Reviews by someone who hasn't even used the application are totally useless to anyone who is a would be purchaser.

Really Apple's broken review system only hurts themselves, and the developers who have more expensive applications. No one is going to take a flier on an application that costs more than $9.99, without either good reviews, or a trial, and so Apple is going to host a lot of trivial applications for iPhone. In the end, that means that they will spend most of their qa time on applications that do not really establish the iPhone as a platform, and don't make them much money.

I think they will fix it, but having an application in the store with only one or two real reviews is a little frustrating. In the meantime, I'll be checking out sites that foster good reviews of these applications. I think there could be a real business opportunity there.