Some thoughts about reviews

As developers we both love and dread reading our reviews on the App Store in equal measure.

On the one hand it’s great to hear genuine feedback, on the other, some people seem to love leaving bad unhelpful reviews. A case in point – we were checking out DeskClock’s reviews the other day and JustimasPrime gave us 1 star saying ‘Not what I expected. What a waste of time. Wish I didn’t have to give this one star.’ It does make you wonder exactly what he was expecting from an App called DeskClock when you can’t buy it without looking at the screenshots and reading the description…

To make matters worse, the next reviewer, Riddle27, says ‘Best clock layout. Very clean looking app, the best out there.’ and then gives us 1 star as well. We would hope that he has simply made a mistake when clicking on the rating otherwise he has very high expectations…

This highlights another problem with the App Store – there’s no way for us to contact the people who post the reviews. We’d often like to get in touch with people with support suggestions or advice but it’s impossible…

The new feature in the iPhone software 2.2 where you can rate an App when you delete it from your phone also seems skewed towards bad ratings. It makes sense that if you’re deleting something it’s because you don’t like it or have found a better alternative – it’s therefore very easy to give a poor rating. However to give a good rating for an App that you enjoy using, you actively have to go to the App Store and choose to write one. Not quite so instantaneous…  

Perhaps a better way might be for a rating option to pop up on your phone the 10th time you use an App. That way you’d also have an easy way of rating your favorite Apps.

What do you think – any opinions/ideas?

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One Response to “Some thoughts about reviews”

  1. Gazoobee Says:

    Just a random thought… I looked at the DeskClock app and I don’t have a need for it, but it gave me a very nostalgic moment and reminded me very much of my old clock radio.

    It occurred to me that (even though it would be a boatload of work), the option to have the display mimic one of those old clock-radios where the time and the date are on metal half-plates that flip down with a “click” as they change would really spruce it up. It already looks a lot like that, and the animation would make it more unique and interesting as an app.

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