04-28-2011 04:24 PM - edited 04-28-2011 04:29 PM
Fellow PlayBook Devs:
Lets work together to review each other's apps and get some good feedback built up so that we have a better chance to improve our apps for the public and achieve good ratings before the Android wave hits PlayBook.
We all went through a lot to get our apps ready in time for RIM's launch. Now they're in the hands of the public and a user who has not invested more than 30 seconds in your concept can write a terse, condemning review that can sink your app quickly if you havent got good reviews to balance it.
Yes, we can deny them in the vendor portal, but its better to get constructive feedback and improve our products so as to reduce those bad reviews to begin with.
Who knows why the user hates your app? It might be lack of description, graphics, sounds, bugs, or just the user isn't feeling it. But if they say "This sucks"/1-star, what can you do with that except listen to the wind whistling through the hole the review left in the sails of your app?
So here's the deal:
I'll download and review your (free) app (unless you can somehow 'gift' me your paid one), in exchange for a review from you of my free app. This is not a solicitation or offer of unwarranted 5-star reviews.
We both agree to:
1) Write an honest review with helpful feedback if there is something wrong,
2) Send the author an email instead of posting the review if the rating would be below three stars.
This thread arises from another discussion here on the forums. There we discussed the problem we're facing, and how we might handle it. Unfortunately it decended into posts about whether someone was whining. PLEASE, lets not do that here, ok?
I'm starting a fresh new thread here in hopes of initiating focused, useful action amongst fellow devs.
Please ONLY respond to this thread with:
1) The name of the app you'd like reviewed.
2) Anything you'd like us to know ahead of time about bugs you plan to fix, etc.
3) The text and rating of the review you posted.
I'm hoping that anyone getting the spirit of this will post reviews of the apps on this thread as well. So if Author X posts here that they'd like their App Y reviewed, and Author Z posts a review of it in response, then likewise Author X should post a review of Author Z's app. This way we can use this thread constructively to improve our apps and our ratings together. I'll start it off...
DOWNLOAD AND REVIEW MY APP ON APP WORLD:
BELOW 3 STARS? SEND ME EMAIL INSTEAD:
I look forward to reviewing your app!
That original discussion thread is here:
04-28-2011 05:05 PM - edited 04-28-2011 05:06 PM
Nice idea. I think as well that negative reviews will kill your app, so 'friendly' feedback can surely help improving your app.
I charge 99 cents for my Checklists app. How do you see it happening to get refunded?
04-28-2011 05:29 PM - edited 04-28-2011 05:30 PM
Can you review with the App World Vendor Portal FAQ if it is possible to 'Gift' an app to someone?
Meanwhile I've posed the question over in the App World forum: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-
04-28-2011 05:30 PM
I'd love to participate as well. I've been helping developers without devices to test their apps on physical hardware. So far, I've tested more than 15 apps, and this is basically what I've been doing with those apps I've tested.
If the apps were good, I left favorable feedback (not necessarily five-star ratings, if I didn't think the apps were quite good enough). If the apps were too badly broken, I gave the developers detailed feedback (including screenshots) to help them get their apps up to snuff.
My workload in conducting device/performance testing has dropped off, so I'd be happy to start instead reviewing apps for functionality and usability (or in the case of games, playability and fun).
My app is paid (99 cents) so I won't expect anyone to review it without knowing that I'm also willing ot review their apps. If you're interested in having me take your app for a test-drive, just send me an email, at email@example.com
04-28-2011 05:41 PM - edited 04-28-2011 06:58 PM
OK, folks. Until App World allows 'Gifting' of apps, we're going to have to roll like this:
1) Free App Authors exchange reviews with other Free App Authors.
1A) Or review Paid App Authors if you think you'd enjoy their app anyway.
2) Paid App Authors exchange reviews with other Paid App Authors
2A) Pick someone who's app cost is the same or close to your own.
Remember, Paid App Authors: you really need to get behind each other on this. You want to work out your bugs and get your constructive feedback early to avoid having lots of people who're angry because they paid for something they don't like/can't use, etc. Those people may even be harsher and more motivated to poorly rate than free app reviewers.
04-28-2011 07:04 PM
@benjismith Your app looked like one I might like anyway, so I went ahead and bought it anyway. I left a review on App World. Basically, I think bigger buttons on the main screen would be helpful, and less of the distracting 'inner bubbles' (at least during the early levels) would make it much more playable.
I had a hard time focusing on the big bubbles to figure out the patterns I was trying to make. Perhaps level by level you could increase the opacity of those inner bubbles, giving you a new gradient of difficulty and more of a chance for the player to get engaged with the concept in the early levels.
My Free App is Dungeon Joe, and I'd love to have your thoughts on it. I do plan to add sound, in-game help and try to nab an artist for some better icon art.
04-28-2011 07:15 PM - edited 04-28-2011 07:18 PM
Can you also email the testers your "bar" file and let them install it via:
If possible, I'd prefer that way, since my app is not for sale on AppWorld yet.
04-28-2011 07:30 PM
@reelportal That could be a way of getting paid apps into a reviewer's hands for free. It has to be a signed version though.
Also, I don't know if you'll be able to review it in app world if it's not purchased through App World, which is really the focus of this initiative.
If it's really bad, we want to send constructive feedback via email to the author, but if it is a 3 or above, then additionally having the rating will definitely help the author in terms of offsetting the 1-star/'This sucks" reviews while they improve their app. The more people who download your app, the higher probability of these berserkers firing cannons at you. You can't please everyone, but you need something to offset that even if it isn't 5-star glowing reviews.
04-28-2011 08:36 PM - edited 04-28-2011 08:48 PM
Great idea and hope to participate. In the meantime let me just add that paying a dollar or five to a fellow dev to get useful feedback is probably worth the money, so why don't folks just PayPal each other the funds to buy their paid apps from App World until app gifting is an option? Yes RIM and your country's taxes will take their bite out of it, but at small scale it's probably an acceptable loss for lots of folks.
04-28-2011 10:27 PM
I'd be happy to let anyone look at my newest app before I actually post it for sale.
Also, someone mentioned in another thread that you can use the sandbox in app world to allow downloads of paid apps for free. I'm not sure how this works yet, but I am going to test it out with a few of my phone apps. If interested in testing my game, and my other app once I finish the updates, just PM me and I'll send you the link to download it.