Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Why comments on Android Market apps are mostly useless.

I've noticed that the rating and comment system on Android Market is mostly useless; it is full of pointless posts. An example of a pointless post would be something like "great app". Just "great app". Shit, people, they give you the ability to rate between 1 and 5 stars; the overall rating should be a reflection on whether or not an app is great. Saying it is great, on top of that, is outright redundant, and helps no one. Worse, is that you'll find dozens of such comments on an app listing. I honestly don't want to scroll through a page of "great app!" "five stars!" comments to find a comment that is actually useful.

More useless commentary comes in the form of "App does not work on [insert device here]". The comments list is not meant as a way to send feedback to the app developer. It is meant to convey your opinion to other (potential) users of the app. When you post a review comment saying "Please fix!", you are NOT saying that to the developer. You are instead saying that to other users like yourself.

Speaking of developers, do any of these users have any idea of the process of developing an application? Or testing one, for that matter? Fixing bugs? Developers are human. They aren't perfect, and on occasion, they make mistakes. And, like humans, they don't know everything. Just because you know how to program, does not necessarily mean you could write a program to identify a person by voice, especially if you know nothing about sound from a scientific perspective.

A lot of apps on the Android Market are developed by one-man shows. When I see comments like "Everyone post a complaint so that it gets fixed faster", I want to reach through my phone and strangle the pinhead that wrote that. First of all, as I have said, the comments system is not meant for communicating with developers, and as such, many developers do not read the comments. Developers usually leave an email address, and maybe a phone number as well, that are at the bottom of the app's Market page.

Users that rate an app down because it doesn't work on their particular phone aren't doing anything to help the developers get the app working on the phone. There are well over a thousand different models of Android devices; while a developer can try their damnest to make their app work on as many as possible, they cannot foresee every issue that will arise on every device, and most of them cannot afford to buy one of every Android device.

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