04-26-2012 03:32 PM
Yes, they can. That's been discussed here a lot.
04-26-2012 05:21 PM
04-26-2012 05:47 PM - edited 04-26-2012 06:34 PM
Reviews must be a very useful feature then. Thanks, at least I learned something... new to me.
What these folks don't realize is, users can also comment on bad apps in the forums. This is (still) a relatively small community and "word of mouth" matters. In my case, I paid $9.99 for an app that does not behave as expected; this is very frustrating. The fact that there was no review for this particular app although it was published last summer should have been a warning sign for me. And then my review was deleted. Anyway, I will be more careful next time.
04-27-2012 09:26 AM
What's the app name.... call 'em out here.
04-28-2012 11:12 AM - edited 04-28-2012 01:17 PM
The app in question is Miami On-Device GPS Map from Skylab Mobilesystems Ltd. I found quite a few similar complaints re their GPS apps posted at the crackberry.com forums. The most frustrating thing about this app is that, despite its limitations, it looks promising and it is the kind of app that I really want to have on my PlayBook. If only the developer fixed the bugs instead of systematically ignoring and deleting the bad reviews. Here is a quick list of issues that may or may not also apply to other Skylab GPS series apps:
1. There is no help system. User has to guess how to operate the app and what each setting represents.
2. Upon first launch, if and while device is outside the "covered" area, control buttons are blank and information in top status bar is not shown, leaving the user confused as to what to do next.
3. App seems to actually need internet/wifi accesss to download (and cache?) some of the higher resolution map tiles.
4. Every time the app is launched, a popup dialog informs the user that no cached tiles were found and asks for permission to initialize the cache while indicating that this is a "one time process".
5. Is is unclear what the online/offline button does. When offline, maps won't load; if online and wifi is off then some map tiles maps don't load. A partial workaround for me was to explore the map areas of interest at all possible resolution levels while WiFi was on and available.
6. GPS location is very slow to update and has to be done manually, each time. There appears to be no auto update option.
7. Upon location update, the map zooms in automatically to the highest resolution level. However, a map is not available at this resolution, thefore what the user gets is a red cross painting the location on a fuzzy colored background. User needs to pinch zoom out several times to get an idea of their location on the map.
8. Indicated location is sometimes off track by a few streets/blocks.
9. High resolution tiles are randomly unavailable. This is the most frustrating bug. For example, in downtown Miami the area around the 8th and 7th streets ("Calle Ocho", little Havana) was very difficult for me to explore while I was driving there because of poor resolution map tiles. I wished I had purchased a paper map for backup.
10. The app randomly freezes, usually while panning, and needs to be closed and restarted.
I suspect most of these issues are related to bugs in the map navigation code and the way it connects to the UI.
Normally, I would have posted this review at BlackBerry App World. But the vendor deleted my initial review and now I get a message reading that I have already submitted a review.
10-21-2012 11:31 AM - edited 10-22-2012 12:36 AM
This has become an important issue for me re App World, for two reasons:
1. App/game reviews are irrelevant as some vendors systematically delete negative feedback. When making an online purchase I generally "shop around" reading product reviews; when they are too good to be true, it's a flag. What is the point of having hundreds of thousands of apps in your store if finding good ones is a game of chance run at the expense of the customer? The current policy may be good for some developers but it is bad for consumers.
2. As a developer planning to submit a game to App World in the next few months I am concerned that my app could become "diluted out" in a flood of shoddy apps. Imagine for a moment that this argument is about your app rather than mine. There is no mechanism in place for the app to stand out as the Top Rated hierarchies are virtually meaningless. This is very disappointing.
More stringent acceptance criteria and/or perhaps a submission fee should be considered to increase the quality of apps that are published at BlackBerry App World.