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Developer
eblade
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
My Device: PlayBook

app world design and review problems

[ Edited ]

I truly can't believe that a system this poor has made it out into the wild --

 

 There's no way for a user to edit reviews after the fact.  The app world software doesn't even turn on spell checking and auto-correction in the inputs.  You're not given an option to review differently when a new version is update (since you can't edit your review after, and change it) .  The system is completely anonymous, so we can't tell when someone with a vendetta against us has just come over to our product and written a rather lengthy and completely unfair trash talking of it (without saying anything that would get it flagged).  And if the apps themselves aren't going to be anonymous, neither should the people who are directly impacting sales.  Anonymity breeds Internet Trolls.

 

 And the system is auto-denying my positive reviews -- which means as long as my positive reviews aren't getting approved, i'm going to be manually decliining my negative reviews.  

 

 On top of that, the organization within the App World app is horrible - not quite as bad as Google's Play interface, but not very far from it - that makes discovering applications pretty difficult, and that's especially important at a time like this with hundreds of apps coming through regularly.  

 

The screenshot function might as well be completely broken -- supplying screenshots only gives people the idea that your app looks like garbage, because the screenshots requested are for a size that isn't native to the PlayBook, nor any reasonable multiple there of -- they aren't even in the same aspect ratio.   Then, when they are shown to the user, they can only see a tiny super-artifacted version of them .

 

There's also no button to report to the app world staff when there's something that is messed up -- hundreds of things have completely incorrect categories, have descriptions that refer to your Android phone and such, even have apps with screenshots that are taken directly from other platforms, and not even so much as cropped to exclude the other platform's UI elements. . . and on top of that, who's approving the app descriptions that consist of single incomplete sentences, that don't even slightly describe the product ..?  and we allow apps without screenshots? really?

 

 Frankly, this App World catalog is the most amatuer looking mickey-mouse operated hack-job that i've seen selling anything in the last several years.

 

 What is RIM and/or their partners going to do about this?  I can't exactly withdraw my applications -- I have users now -- but the system is so terrible, I wish that I could.

 

 

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10

Re: app world design and review problems

FYI, while much of the criticism is deserved, note that there isn't actually an issue with the screenshot aspect ratio.

Screenshots images can be *up to* 640x640, but nothing forces you to submit square images, and you're not even expected to.

Submit at 640x375 to get screenshots with the same aspect ratio as the PlayBook's 1024x600 landscape mode. These actually looked good in earlier versions.

Submit 375x640 for portrait mode (but note, of course, that changes they made as 2.0 came out has totally screwed those up and they are stretched into oblivion. That reminds me, I need to remove my one portrait mode screenshot since it makes me look like a doofus to have it there right now...)

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
eblade
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
My Device: PlayBook

Re: app world design and review problems

Well, that is good to know -- I don't recall it being particularly obvious that that is the case when I first submitted my apps, but I do see that it does say "no more than 640x640".

One would expect that they would accept screenshots at least in the native resolution of all available devices, even maybe up to double that, so resizing them doesn't lose as much. Perhaps that's why there's no function for actually zooming in and seeing the screenshots in their full size -- because the system doesn't accept screenshots that would look right. Probably best if someone had fixed -that- flaw before running a promotion to add a couple thousand more apps to the catalog.

Then again, a large number of things that are going through right now have no useful description and no screenshots anyway, so I guess it just doesn't matter?

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Developer
jonberry
Posts: 484
Registered: ‎07-17-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: app world design and review problems

[ Edited ]

eblade wrote:

I truly can't believe that a system this poor has made it out into the wild --

 

 There's no way for a user to edit reviews after the fact.  The app world software doesn't even turn on spell checking and auto-correction in the inputs.  You're not given an option to review differently when a new version is update (since you can't edit your review after, and change it) .  The system is completely anonymous, so we can't tell when someone with a vendetta against us has just come over to our product and written a rather lengthy and completely unfair trash talking of it (without saying anything that would get it flagged).  And if the apps themselves aren't going to be anonymous, neither should the people who are directly impacting sales.  Anonymity breeds Internet Trolls.



Agree with you about the anonymous reviews.  Users should be held accountable for what they say.  I would very much like to ban certain users from buying our apps and writing reviews because they are just trolling.  It seems like we constantly get the same person writing reviews with words like "cr*p" or "rubbish" in it.  I suspect it's a competitor or some disgruntled user.

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Developer
eblade
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
My Device: PlayBook

Re: app world design and review problems

truly, it shocked me when I went to write my first review, and noticed that it was anonymous. It shocked me even more than I couldn't edit it after that!
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10

Re: app world design and review problems

The weird thing is it's not even guaranteed anonymous. The user's BBID "screen name" will show up from time to time, on certain reviews. As near as I can tell, it's basically random, and while some reviews seem to generally show the name, I'm fairly sure on some of them it comes and goes, maybe shifting around in mysterious ways according to sunspots or something.

It means little, however, since screen names have no value to us as they don't let us contact the user in any way. It might as well be a random string of characters in most cases.

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
eblade
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
My Device: PlayBook

Re: app world design and review problems

That's not entirely true, unless a user has a bunch of blackberry ids that they are using. We may not be able to personally identify them, unlike the Android market where we get all kinds of information about the users (information I don't even -want-) but being able to identfiy a review troll is something entirely different.

Also, it would probably make someone think twice about buying a competitor's app and giving it a terrible review, if their bbid was known.
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Developer
QuiteSimple
Posts: 1,452
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
My Device: Torch 9810

Re: app world design and review problems

Re: anonymous reviews - it is only for PlayBook apps, smartphone AppWorld shows the reviewers names just fine. I'm not 100% sure but I recall that before I was able to see reviewers names in PlayBook AppWorld too, probably it get bugged with the latest update.



"When you become a level 3 developer, you learn to communicate over the ether. I'm told that level 5 developers are ascend into a higher level of existence beyond the physical realm." gord888 @ crackberry
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Developer
silver20
Posts: 455
Registered: ‎03-04-2011
My Device: Paper cup

Re: app world design and review problems

Once I found a totally slanderous review that was posted before screen names ever showed... and later when they did show, it matched the name of the owner of the main competitor for that app.  He denies it of course, said someone else registered that screen name ... only App World knows, and they wouldn't tell me if it's really him.

 

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10

Re: app world design and review problems

QuiteSimple, what do you see if you visit the App World web site and look at the same thing? I've only ever seen the random screen names showing up intermittently thing that I see in the PB client.

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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