04-25-2011 11:55 AM
As an iPhone dev I've gotta say these reviews are pretty tame compared to most negative reviews on the App Store. And on the App Store you can't "deny" reviews, and similarly, you have absolutely no way of contacting your users.
Keep in mind that usually reviewers aren't very elegant or even coherent with how they write, but they pretty much always have good points, you just have to "read between the lines" a little bit. For example, if someone says your app is slow, it probably is... and star ratings will always be somewhat random. Luckily, your app is also competiting against other PlayBook apps, so it's a level playing field.
Unless your app is really, really good, it's probably going to have a bunch of negative reviews. Most of the apps I've seen are "cash-in" apps from devs just trying to get a free PlayBook. I'm sure there are a few great apps out there, but they're few and far between.
The whole idea of denying reviews because they're negative is ridiculous to me. If they're offensive or spam, I completely understand, but it sounds like you guys are denying reviews just because they're critical. IMHO that's disingenuous and it's not fair to other users, especially if you have a paid app.
04-25-2011 12:06 PM
oh reviews *sigh*. there's not much you can do when stupid people post a review of your application. i'm just glad we have the opportunity to remove reviews on App World.
i once had an application on iOS. it was a ¢99 app niche app, fully documented, appropriately titled and the listing even contained use case images - its purpose was very clear. i received a very negative review because apparently the user though it did something else, something almost fantastic. i won't get into the details, but lets just say he was a very confused individual who, in addition, spent most of his review freaking out that he lots ¢99 - an absolute fortune!
i'd vote to remove that review since it's non constructive and it doesn't even help other potential buyers.
04-25-2011 02:43 PM
I have had a similar problem, and I'd like to suggest a solution for everyone on this thread who's being app-bombed by bad reviews with no actionable feedback.
Dungeon Joe is playable in the sim and may not have the most awesome graphics in the universe, but has classic gameplay for its type. There was one 5-star review since release, so at least I know it behaved well on real hardware for someone. Before the release, one developer had given it a 4-star and a thoughtful comment. For some reason BB denied that developer comment at hardware release time. I could see 170 downloads on thursday.
Then sometime that day, two bad reviews were added 'worst ever/avoid at all costs' and 'deleted app within 25 seconds/don't bother' The downloads dropped to 30 the next day and then to zero. I understand the web is like that sometimes. You can't please everyone. But these are vitriolic and contain no actual feedback.
The worst part is App World's default of showing only 2 posts; you can't even see the 5 star rating without asking to see more. But who's going to read beyond those two awful reviews? So now there's really no hope, and I have no idea what the people's complaints are to even try and address them.
I would like to suggest to others on this thread that are having similar problems and would like to help balance these bad reviews at least with informative ones, that we all share the URL of our apps in the app store and try to help each other out with some honest reviews. I'd never ask anyone to go give me a 5 star if they weren't feeling it, but I'd love to see some honest reviews that give me feedback I can use to improve the app.
NOTE: I plan to add sound (it wasn't available in the sim when I submitted). And I'm hoping to nab an artist to do some better icons. Beyond that, I would like to hear any thoughts about it in the review section. And I'll be happy to review your app as soon as my Playbook arrives if you send an email here: email@example.com or reply on this thread.
Dungeon Joe on App World
You can find out more about the strategy and scoring here:
04-25-2011 03:06 PM
trickyelf, that's a real shame to hear.
Unfortunately most users see app reviews and relate them to comment boards. They troll them with no logic or feedback, just their own opinion. I remember when infinity blade first came out and all reviews gave it 5 stars. After they updated it and added in app purchases, the average review dropped to three stars because users felt it wasn't "fair". For those unfamiliar with the game, you are never forced to buy anything, and there currently is no multiplayer so I don't really understand the whole unfairness issue.
However, I agree with trickyelf. As developers, we should do our best to set the standards for reviews. Leave detailed feedback and give an honest star rating to every app you download. However, I personally feel that if you are going to leave a review less than 3 stars, you should do you best to get in touch with the developer and give your feedback that way. Then, they aren't hurt with a poor review but still get the great feedback.
04-25-2011 03:21 PM
04-25-2011 03:49 PM
I definitely agree with you. I still don't understand how can somebody post bad reviews just for 'fun'. It is a great idea to pull together honest and constructive reviews. I had to get off my app of the appworld due to bugs on real hardware so I cannot post my URL (as it is not on sale momentarily, if you click on it on my signature it'll lead you to error page) but will gladly start reviewing apps and posting constructive comments as soon as I get my PB.
04-25-2011 04:00 PM
A quick update: RIM approved my request to deny the two bad (but informationally void) reviews.Yay!
NOTE: I did state my case in a note attached to the change request. When you click deny on a review in the vendor portal, it creates a change request.
If you deny a review on the basis of non-informative or vitriolic content, you may want to edit that change request and add a note that tells them that 1) the review contains no actionable feedback for improving the app, and 2) The App World webstore only displays the last two reviews and a couple of thoughtless one can sink your app without you getting a chance to find out what is wrong with it.
Perhaps if #2 is stated often enough to them, they'll consider displaying all reviews as the default. Or even improve the system with the ability to rate usefulness of reviews. (one can dream).
Again, if anyone here is in need of an honest review feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org If it would rate below 3 stars, I'll email you instead of posting it online.
04-25-2011 07:41 PM
04-26-2011 01:23 AM - edited 04-26-2011 01:24 AM
My two cents on reviews, for those new to App World, for what its worth:
1. You can deny reviews, so quit whining
2. Not sure of the experience on other stores, but my experience of App World is that most reviewers are pretty reasonable. I have had negative reviews, but in the majority of cases they had a point. And so far RIM have consistently accepted my deny requests (I usually request after fixing the issue unless the review was ridiculous). It can take a day or two for the request to be actioned. Check your ticket status and don't duplicate requests if not necessary.
3. Having a top app in a specific category gets your all manner of weirdo's trolling for sexual contacts and the like, and freely posting their PIN's. Generally however they do give 5 stars so it's not all bad.
4. An app with only 5 stars looks doubtful to me. But you never know. Some vendors cheat the system. One pay app had over a hundred 5 star reviews in a month. The app disappeared from App World shortly thereafter.
5. Free apps get far more reviews than pay apps in my experience. Free apps can also be used as a lead to your pay app, so offering a cut down version may work for you.
6. The review system may be hopeless, but to be more effective would require considerable effort and you're never going to please everyone. At the moment the system is skewed in favour of the developer so I recommend we keep our heads down and accept the positives while we can. I doubt it will last. In the past RIM would remove low star reviews, but allow the star ratings to contribute to your average. Not great and much worse than it is now.
7. The fact is that if you make your app robust and effective, and clearly state its purpose you'll get very few negative reviews.
8. Get friends or relatives to download the app and review. Make sure you tell them to be honest and not to worry about your feelings. Far more important to get negative feedback and improve, than be told its great and end up with negative reviews.
9. When Android apps start to hit App World later this year, the number of apps will explode. I recommend everyone do their best to get as many positive reviews as possible. Generate some buzz if you can because by August you'll just be one more grain of sand on the beach. Right now you can make a difference. There's a reward for being first.