We know our readers are far too savvy to ever fall victim to the "greater internet ****wad theory", but a couple posts today made us stop and think about App Store reviews, how the system works (or doesn't), and whether we ever take the time to leave positive reviews for developers of our favorite apps, or just tear off in a fury when we think we've been badly done by?
Last things first, is iTunes stacked against developers? Maniacal Rage (via Daring Fireball) has highlighted an issue also raised today on Twitter by Craig Hockenberry, and submitted to Apple via Radar, namely that the iTunes review system, which may work well for music and other media, breaks down when it comes to the back-and-forth requirement of the app ecosystem.
Says Garrett Murray:
But my favorite part of this whole experience is that there’s no way for me to respond to reviews as the app creator. So I can’t go in and say, “Hey, by the way, version 1.3 fixes all this and we’re just waiting on Apple’s ridiculously slow and convoluted approval process!” I just sit by and watch.
Murray's deeper contention is that, through a one-way review system on iTunes, and a fart-app-driven, race-to-the-bottom rewarded ecosystem, Apple is fostering exactly the kind of that developers don't want to have as customers. Yep, the dreaded appsholes.
Perhaps developers, many of whom treat their creations as dearly as children, aren't thick skinned enough to handle the greater pressure -- and greater odds of negative pressure -- that came with the 20 million iPhone OS (including iPod touch) ecosystem. Maybe users like us forget there are real, living, breathing people on the other end of our "send" buttons. Maybe anger and bad experience are greater motivators than appreciation and great experience. We don't know.
But here's what we're interested in finding out: do you leave positive reviews for the apps you love? Of your top 5 favorite all time iPhone (or iPod touch) apps, how many have you left rave reviews for? And to help grow and support the developers behind those great apps, would you consider doing so now if you haven't already?