Tuesday, October 15, 2013 [Tweets] [Favorites]

App Store Reviews

Garrett Murray:

Now let’s look at the most recent review from Jorge: Two stars with complaints that we don’t have support for exporting to Omnifocus (we do), no options for bigger fonts (we support the iOS 7 Dynamic Text setting so you can change your font size to whatever you want), no TextExpander support (but of course we have TE support), not worth the money. Every single bit of this review is inaccurate, but there it is in the US store, telling potential customers the app doesn’t do a bunch of stuff it does.

Demonstrably false reviews are actually not the ones that annoy me the most. Those would be the vague ones that allude to a certain feature being buggy, when many years and customers after that feature’s introduction, no one has ever reported any problems with it. So there’s no way for anyone to know that the feature probably does actually work. And, if there is a bug, there’s no way to detect and fix it.


"Ripoff ★ -- Not enough settings, just a small app for nothing at a price... don't do as I did, look elsewhere."

That's a review I got this week (translated from French) for Gamma Control on the Mac App Store. Needless to say, it's not very helpful. It's almost funny how unhelpful it is. But now someone is unhappy about my app and I feel bad.

My main issue is that most apps don't have reviews at all, even popular apps.

The reason: Reviews are per national app store and (by default) per current version. If your country and therefore your national app store is small, the likelihood for reviews is small too. It gets even worse if you live in a country with more than one dominant language, i.e., if reviews exist at all, they might be shown in another language than your mother tongue.

Garrett Murray's complaint might not by fully valid either: Discoverability of functions is a common issue in iOS apps. The developer knows of course where all the functions in his app or in the OS are hidden but users don't. In OS X apps, you can search the menus and OS settings. There's no equivalent in iOS and the issue got worse with iOS 7 where even more functions are hidden and only discoverable by luck …

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