App Store ratings are broken, let's get rid of them

App Store reviews have been a thorn in the side of developers for about as long as they've been around. And yet another story is making its rounds on the Internet to remind us of App Store reviews' ugly side.

At their best, App Store reviews give customers an opportunity to share thoughtful feedback about what they like - and loathe - about the software they've downloaded. It's a great opportunity for others to learn what makes an app good, or to be waved off from a potentially costly mistake.

At their worst, App Store reviews - more specifically the ratings - are used as punitive measures, sledgehammers that capricious users too often rely on to assault developers who don't live up to their arbitrary expectations. And that's exactly what happened this past week.

What the heck is wrong with some people?

Apple provided a "12 Days of Gifts" app that reward iOS 7 users with twelve continuous days of free content and apps from iTunes and App Store. Some gifts are, predictably, free games and apps; others are free media, including music, movies and ebooks.

While the majority of "12 Days" recipients have accepted their gifts without incident, a vocal minority voiced their displeasure with what they'd been given by giving bad ratings to the products being offered.

Nowhere was this more evident than with the free release of Toca House, a game aimed at preschoolers and kindergartners that has them helping the colorful, animated residents of a virtual home with their housework. A bunch of mini-games, fun sounds and colorful animations make it a great, benign match for families looking for fun for their younger players.

But as soon as it appeared for download in the 12 Days app, one star ratings began to pop up in the App Store.

"Your [sic] kidding me right step up your game on 12days or I will trade in my iPhone for a galaxy no joke" writes the grammatically challenged "VinnySpeed21."

"I'm very frustrated and disappointed with 12 days gift that's ridiculous" says "danielkaynz."

Dozens of variations on a theme: complaints from users who assume that every gift in Apple's grab bag should be tailored to their tastes, specifically.

Even the 12 Days app itself has been subject to a barrage of criticism from users who are upset that it's for iOS 7 - a free update that's been available for several months and now runs on a majority of active iOS devices.

Showing the rating system's shortcomings

The issues with the "12 Days" app underscores the shortcomings of the App Store's ratings systems - to wit, that it exists at all.

Users can assign a star rating - from one to five stars - with no context whatsoever. If an app crashes on you or locks up your phone, you can give it a one star review. But you can give it a one star rating if you don't like the shape of the app's icon or if you thought it was a stock market app and it turned out to be a recipe book instead.

There is very limited accountability for posting negative ratings, as well. Apple allows users to up or down vote reviews as helpful, or to report a concern; the default state of iTunes is to show the "most helpful" reviews first. That's fine when fellow customers do vote on the helpfulness of reviews; but rating reviews is entire optional, which makes it a rather arbitrary measure of effectiveness.

Another problem - and one that's been discussed before - is that developers have absolutely no mechanism to interact with customers who leave reviews, including those that have legitimate support issues. And customers who leave bad reviews have no incentive to go back and amend them - in fact, many may not be aware that it's possible to change reviews, as the feature is buried in their Account Details information.

A bad string of ratings can sink a good app and the current rating system provides no way of knowing how effective a developer's customer support is after the fact. It captures a moment in time only: when the app was downloaded, that the user had some sort of beef and then complained about it. Expecting developers to be able to deliver five-star work to everyone who downloads their app is simply unrealistic.

Another issue that's gotten discussion recently is the in-app mechanism many developers employ to elicit an App Store review. John Gruber of Daring Fireball doesn't like the practice and even went so far as to recommend to his readers to punish app developers who engage in the practice with a one-star rating. I agree that soliciting positive feedback can be annoying, but I don't think arbitrary reviews as a form of developer punishment don't help the situation, either. Gruber also pointed towards Jim Biancolo's piece calling for app ratings to be removed all together - which I agree with.

The bottom line is that some App Store customers use the ratings system appropriately, some don't use it properly at all.

What should we do about it?

My preference is to get rid of the rating system all together. It's too easy to abuse and provides no useful context to inform App Store customers. I'd love to see it abolished all together, because I don't see a way to make it work.

Now, I'm not opposed to reviews, just ratings. Thoughtful reviews that describe the strengths and weaknesses of an app are fine, as rare as they may be. But let the buyer draw their own conclusion about the app, rather than being force-fed a star rating that doesn't give them any useful information. Star ratings encourage a "drive by" mentality, where users with beefs real and imagined can do maximum damage to developers with impunity.

I say this as someone who's reviewed software for nigh on 20 years now - reviews of any type are entirely subjective, and whittling them down to a facile up or down vote or numerical rating system ultimately demeans the efforts of the developers that create these apps. If I didn't like an app's design, should I remove one star or just half a star? What if it crashes? Is that an instant one-star rating? How many stars do I take off for grammar or punctuation errors?

In the case of the App Store - and sadly in the case of many magazines and web sites that do so - giving products numerical ratings is an arbitrary, inconsistent and ineffective practice, and one I wish would stop.

Peter Cohen
  • Totally true. I thought it was a typical French issue first (we always complain). But no it's all over the world.
    When someone is not happy about something he got, even for free, he will just demolish as much as he can. Plus, like you say, Apple 12 days of gifts are... gifts. They are Apple's gift. You can't spit at someone's face when you receive a gift yelling "I DON'T LIKE IT". Please some manners. Plus they don't owe you anything.
    And please don't come up with the everlasting "I paid my phone so expensive (compared to the rest), they owe me the gifts I want!" no they don't.
  • I got to disagree. I don't think it's broken at all. In fact I think it serves it purpose perfectly. In my mind it's purpose is to help us (the end user) navigate through millions of crappy apps out there and find the gems for any given category. Without the ratings and reviews that task would be impossible. Sure there are lots of defective people out there that throw in their one star hate reviews but as and end user, it is pretty easy to wade through that and quickly get a good picture of what most people think about the app. From a developers perspective the system might be sub par but that's not who it is for.
  • Agree. Even with those "entitled few" who complain about the 12 days of gifts, like said in the article that is the minority and it will be very easy to sift through and see that. Without the ratings it would take much more time and effort on wasted apps to find what you truly wanted. No need to get rid of them, keep them how they are!
  • Instead of eliminating them and leaving no good alternative, perhaps Apple should "weight" each review according to how helpful or unhelpful that review is in itself weighted. If people vote up the good reviews and vote down the bad reviews, then perhaps a 1-star review wouldn't be so damaging to the overall rating. Apple could also display the reviews in terms of helpfulness, so outliers would tend to roll off the first page. You could also rank the rater, so someone with a habit of offering only 1-star reviews, unhelpful reviews, and who tends to downrate other reviews is largely ignored. "Only 22% find this reviewer's comments helpful." Plus you could borrow a page from Slashdot and not allow someone whose left a review to up vote/downvote other reviews of the same product.
  • TRUE TRUE & TRUE!! I have bought several apps thanks to the users reviews, and basically all the stuff I buy I look up for users reviews first. If Apple change this, they are the ones that are wrong, its okay people are kind of "stupid" when adding a review but yeah, we are all humans and we make mistakes... I'm happy with the gifts what so ever, the one I didn't like I just didn't download it. Sent from the iMore App
  • +1
  • Seems your issue is with the people rating not the ratings. People are entitled to their opinion even if it's idiotic. I don't see a benefit in getting rid of ratings. They work fine on other sites. I read reviews with ratings on sites like Amazon and Newegg to great benefit. I think the real problem is that the people making idiot one word, uninformative reviews are, well, idiots. And the world is full of them. I think there are bigger problems with the apps store. Searching is horrible. No advanced filtering. It's slow on pc or an iphone. The phone interface when searching is silly when it returns one result per page. On a phone when scrolling long lists it has a tendency to just reset itself to the top of the list requiring the user to rescroll all the way down again. At which point i just say f-it and close the store. If i don't know of the exact name of an app so that i can search for it directly I avoid using the app store simply because it's a waste of time.
  • "Seems your issue is with the people rating not the ratings" Certainly, but my point is that the ratings system encourages their bad behavior.
  • I see your points and I read Gruber's post last week and Rene's rebuttals as well. I don't think the answer is to get rid of it all together, although I don't blame you for touting it as broken. I am the General Manager of a high-volume fine dining restaurant franchise. We receive the same type of reviews and star ratings on a website you may know called Open Table. Potential guests use this site and the reviews on it to determine where to make their next reservation. Our ownership values it so much, they go as far as to tie our ratings into our bonus eligibility. So if I get dinged with a couple of one- star reviews from people who are entirely unfair, uneducated, amateur diners, and my overall score drops as a result, I can potentially lose money which directly affects my family's livelihood. At first I was immensely frustrated with this and then, realizing I couldn't change it, decided to change the paradigm in which I tackle the challenge. I began to pour over the bad reviews, without emotion or judgement, and tried to understand the feelings and motives behind them. Eventually I found ways to combat these types of guests and make them happy without changing much about my operation at all. It was all in how I handled them. I know the answer is not quite universal, but the idea is- change the paradigm of how we look at these reviews, realize we can't make everyone happy, and play to the majority. Our overall rating now is a 4.7 out of 5 and when we get the occasional person who hits us hard with a one-star, the vast majority of people will denounce that review as they read tons of other great reviews. I know I do when placed in the same situation.
  • I don't think the "system" is encouraging anything. And ending ratings doesn't keep people from writing bad reviews. To me, if the problem is the people then you need to address the people not a side quest. It just seems misguided to me. Even if the argument is the ratings system is flawed then the solution is to fix it. Again i'm not sure it is but i don't think getting rid of it is the problem. And also i think there is also a hint of "let's find a way to get rid of all the bad reviews" sort of like they do on yelp if you pay. And i don't like that either. Some apps are bad. Some app decisions are bad. And whether i agree with the assessment or not i think people should be allowed to voice their rating and then leave it to the reader to evaluate if it's a learned opinion or not. Truth is i don't need Apple or anyone else to shield me from ratings, just, unjust, silly or not. I'm smart enough to evaluate them on my own.
  • "Truth is i don't need Apple or anyone else to shield me from ratings, just, unjust, silly or not. I'm smart enough to evaluate them on my own." I understand what you are saying but how many times do you see a 4-5 star app and the first 7/10 comments are complaints? If a reviewer comments on something it shouldn't just say "this app sucks!" With no real feedback. I want to know why it sucks and if someone can't take the time to review the app properly, remove the rating and review. It's useless.
  • Agreed, 100%. The App Store interface is horrible and that's what developers should be complaining about, not the opinions which, even when idiotic and tactless, do have some truth in them.
  • Well, why should people be entitled to a rating even if it's idiotic? Idiotic opinions don't help anyone. The "12 days" issue exemplifies why some people shouldn't be allowed to leave reviews. Saying "This is a kid's game, I'm not a kid, One STAR!" is not reviewing the app at all. It should be removed. Reviews could be improved with "useful/not useful" ratings, let the devs respond to reviews that are clearly asking for tech support, etc.
  • Not all of the free apps have been to my liking but free is free and if I don't like it I don't download it, you haven't lost anything. Today's Superfood cookbook isn't really me, yesterdays I already owned and earlier in the week I questioned making an app free which then has in app purchases. My two girls love Toca House (we own some of there other apps) but I do wonder though if I want to teach them to clean the windows, mow the lawn and soap a fat guy.
  • Some people are really greedy, most I would bet are of the age before they had to pay real money for software. However, there are a few things I don't understand: 1 - Why was Apple making static offers of free stuff to the masses when they have genius and purchase history that would allow them to make a more reasonable offer to a customer? 2 - Why don't the developers have the ability to reply to reviews. Often times I see reviews giving lower ratings because a feature they want isn't there but it actually is and there is no recourse for the developer. 3 - What does getting rid of the system do? It then opens the door for crappy developers to make money off of crappy apps. I don't think thats right either. I think a voting system is the right way to do it, let people who actually have used the app determine if a review is good or bad. If it's bad it will get voted down and it's weight on the developers overall rating should in turn go down.
  • i like the idea of developer responses. Amazon merchant's can respond to posts.
  • What happened to Toca was absolutely wrong. But I will note that my Mom finally has a non-retina Mini that runs flawlessly on iOS 6 after over a year of crashes on the iPad 1, and I do think it's poor of Apple to not allow her the 12 days app. Sent from the iMore App
  • She's welcome to download any of the free apps or content - she just can't use the 12 Days app to find it out.
  • Three comments on the subject: 1. "Man, when Yelp starts allowing reviews of human beings a lot of you fuckers on here are in big trouble!"
    --Anonymous Yelp reviewer Just sayin'. 2. You guys contribute a lot to this problem. Sometimes you all will recommend an app and it will have horrible reviews. I won't get it because I don't want to drop the money because all you've done it talk about the basic functions of the app. Come on, dig a little deeper. Show us your workflows, show us why it's such an amazing app that you want your readers to buy it. Vesper comes to mind. The app sucks and is borderline useless, yet you all rave about it. Prove me wrong. Show me your work flow or stop talking about because I think Vesper is paying you for ad time. 3. It's Apple's own fault. The dev's need to take it up with Apple. Want me to be nicer, let me try it out for 30 minutes. Why on earth can I STILL NOT do this? All I have are stars and reviews to go on and the occasional word of mouth or blog. If the review system is broken, Apple is hands down the only one to blame for this by their convoluted sales schemes.
  • We are NEVER paid for reviews. Ever. I personally don't like to use Vesper and prefer Evernote in my workflow. Rene prefers vesper I believe. It's why we have choices. Everyone's workflow is completely different. Even across our staff.
  • That's good to hear. I appreciate you going deeper lately in your reviews and showing real workflows. Rene too with labels in Mavericks. But Vesper really stands out as a note taking app that no one on your staff has shown a workflow that warrants the high praise. Especially with it's lack of Mac or online app.
  • "Everyone's workflow is completely different. Even across our staff." I think thats a good point, and maybe the best point that the OP was trying to make. At least showing how you use an app in your daily use may be appropriate. The OP makes some good points, there are definitely reviews of apps that don't justify it based on the app. While I won't mention names or point fingers there definitely seems to be a 'good old boy' network of media/developers that fuels it. If you're reviewing your friends app you are less likely to bash it. Human nature.
  • Apps asking for reviews works incredible well for popular apps (I know because I have worked on one) and trying to get user's to give them negative ratings won't even hardly show up. On the other hand this could sink small apps. I completely agree with your conclusions about needing to get ride of ratings rather than trying to figure out how to fix this issue. Pretty much every suggestion I have seen for "fixing" the ratings would actually give the more popular apps an advantage over the small indie devs trying to make it on the app store.
  • It's a free app. You don't even need the app to get the gifts unless a redeem code is involved. If you are on iOS 6 you can just Google the gift for the day and you can search it up in iTunes and download it from there.
    I just check what the gift is on my phone and I search it on iTunes and download it.
  • I have to agree. I used to find the comments helpful but "2 stars until it does exactly what I want" isn't a helpful review and sadly, that's about all there are now...
  • "John Gruber of Daring Fireball doesn't like the practice and even went so far as to recommend to his readers to punish reviews who engage in the practice with a one-star rating." For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction ... Push me ... I push you back. Obviously, I can't tell the developer to shut the hell up and leave me alone when there's a message "Rate this App" ... with 2 options ... NOW ... OR ... Remind me later!
    OR ... buy our other Apps ... every time I launch the damn App! So, please! This is not the 1st time iMore tries to defend them! And I just can't take it..... In regards to App Store rating broken ... get rid of them ... There are a number of HONEST people who vote honestly and leave HONEST reviews.
  • As an App developer with an iPad app in the store for the last 7 months I have very mixed feelings about the ratings. On one hand I can say it is the ratings/reviews along with word of mouth that has driven my app to be in the top 10 in my app category for the last few months. The app has never been reviewed on any blog or app review site. I feel it is the reviews that have gotten other people to take a chance, spend the $1.99, and give it a try. Users do pay attention to the reviews and rating. When a new version of my app comes out, it takes a week or more to get the five reviews/ratings so the app has a listed rating again. During this time, sales drop to half or less of what they had been. This one fact keeps me from putting out small bug fixes. I know that it will take at least a month after a new version to get sales up to where they had been. I dread the day that I make one mistake to the app that causes people to rate it badly. As for John Gruber's distaste for app that ask for reviews; I think he may look at things differently if he put an app in the store that he had worked on for a few hundred hours but had no mention of him. His name carries a great deal of deserved weight. Most developers have few ways to get noticed. Even with an app in the top 10 in a category I have sent email after email to a large number of blogs and app review sites and have never even gotten a reply, let alone a review. I live and die by reviews.
  • People have the right to voice there opinion (no matter how stupid). Deal with it.
  • "A person is smart, people are stupid"
    - Agent K. Sent from the iMore App
  • Interesting idea. I agree that the idea of leaving mindless one star reviews as the hate monger gruber suggests is not cool. It's seems removing the whole system may be a bit extreme as the App Store is a raging success and why mess with success? Perhaps apple should just turn off the comments for special promotions or force people to use thier real identities like YouTube now does.
  • I'd love to say I'm even a little bit torn on this issue but I'm really not. Bad apples aside, the ratings and review system exists to make good app discovery possible for the users that are paying the dev's bills. Does it suck when users abuse the system? Absolutely. Know what would suck more? An app store where paid apps don't get bought at all because no one knows whether to trust the dev with their money. I could see a review only model for free apps, but getting rid of ratings on paid apps? No way. On the issue of in app prompts for ratings I think one request is fair. If I decline and three days later I get another request, the dev is getting a one star rating. No means no.
  • Agree! Sent from the iMore App
  • I have to disagree about the idea of getting rid of the AppStore's rating system. Sure, it has its flaws but I really find it useful when deciding to get an app or not. Not everyone have the money to spend on apps just to try them out then later decide whether they want it or not. And most of the app doesn't have a lite or free version we can try so the only way I can get more info about the app is by reading reviews and checking for ratings. I'm now making a habit of leaving a rating/review for the apps that I use(d) especially for those I really like (I've been meaning to that for quite some time but didn't really have time and I just started when you guys posted an article about rating the apps we like). And for apps that constantly try to elicit an AppStore review, sure it can get annoying sometimes but I don't think it warrants an automatic one star review as somebody suggested. What's more annoying is when you already left them a review and then the app keeps asking for one. Haha. Overall, I still think the App Store rating system is a helpful tool in determining the usefulness of apps. Sure, some improvements would be great but the real problem are the people who abuses the system. Really nothing we can do about that other than try to explain/inform them about these things.
  • Apple should go the way of Google Play Store reviews & make it so that it's tied to a Google + or Facebook Account instead of being able to use a fake name or just a Username. Apple could even put a backend filter in place that doesn't post any review if the reviewer has used a fake name, or even tie it fully into the iTunes Account since the payment details carry your real name (would probably only work for the on device App Store & not the iTunes desktop App Store). I'm wondering how many of the 1 Star reviews are real or just fake ones done by Devs that have got a competing App, with the fake names it's hard to tell.
  • I disagree. I find the ratings usually a helpful indication and use it along with the reviews, developer site, and other sources such as AppZapp ratings for determining which apps useful.
  • Force a character minimum on reviews. Most people won't bother giving a review, good or bad, unless they really feel passionate about the app. Sent from the iMore App
  • I only really tend to purchase an app if I've seen a good review on here & tend to ignore the App Store reviews. A well thought out review with Pros & Cons is worth more than a 5 Star review on an App that doesn't deserve 5 Stars or a 1 Star review with poor spelling just because a user doesn't like the App.
  • The rating system needs to be revamped, not gutted completely. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Sent from the iMore App
  • Cry. Me. A river. Quick, think of the non-Apple apps that are most useful, to you---the ones that you can't make it through the day without using several times. Half of 'em are free, or were free, I bet. And the Apple standard apps? Of course, free, also. So, right there, you ought to know, we're all a little spoiled, don't you think? So, with 80-90% of the apps currently on my phone that I really like and really use being free, or originally free and in-app purchase upgraded, you darn well better know that any app better come ready for a "gun fight" if it is to give its developer any joy. Now, here's the question I don't know: how many of *other* people's favorite apps were installed mostly because of App Store "ratings" vs some other reason (e.g. friend/review/word of mouth)? If you are like me, you've given up on the App Store a long time ago. And it irritates me, actually, when I read a *glowing* editor's review of (yet) another _________ app and (after being persuaded that it really is a "must have" or "must try") I find out *after* I install it that it's really "not all that"---either mis-represented or just plain over-rated, by the "expert." Like, as in "it's great" when it really is *just* (yet) another, mediocre ______ app. Or worse. Broken. Crippled. Account-demanding. Bandwidth-sucking. Yada yada. After having already found so *damn* many "problems" to go along with all of those "solutions* that developers have been throwing at me the past few years, I am---increasingly---expecting a lot from any *new* app that I get "tricked" into installing. Guess what? It's gonna get worse, for developers. Really. Killer apps? Bring 'em on. If you got 'em, we'll buy 'em---even if it's for "free," at first, and then upgraded. The rest of you developers? You probably deserve the stars you didn't get. So quit your bitching. I bet that it's the developers whining the most about Apple's ratings. And I bet Apple doesn't care about pouty developers as much as it cares about satisfying its customers---the ones who buy Apple hardware, software, and services. Wanna bet we don't see any drastic changes made in our lifetimes? Cry me a river! Sent from a Safari tab [iMore app issues: can NOT log into Account ... sufficiently ... to post!!!!]
  • Great article Peter. I am probably going to get slam for saying this but 'ugly' comments have become the raison d'être on the internet now. People hide behind some avatar and just bitch and moan. I typically just send feedback directly to the developer if app is having issues. As to when app rating will cease is anyone's guest. Sent from the iMore App
  • "... hiding behind some avatar ..." Or, as in your case, a pseudonym or "user name."
  • Everything you said about the good and bad are exactly right but I take that all into account when I am looking to get an app. When I am looking for an app I will give any app with at least a 3.5 rating with sizable amount of votes. If it passes this threshold I then start going through all the low ratings to see why and when I see that most of them are for stupid reasons I mentally raise the app rating in my head compensating for it. But sometime there seems to be some legitimate concerns. The feature I really love is filtering the ratings to just look at the most current release as this tells me if a lot of the bugs have been worked out.
  • I bought the Disney 12 Days of gifts, but each 'gift' was simply an opportunity to buy more of their product. Disappointing,
  • As a new developer I have been at the receiving end of the consequences of a bad rating. My app SwimChrono was released at the end of October and was selling well for a specialist swimming app, particularly in the US until someone took the trouble to give it a 1 star review. Overnight US sales dried up. The review itself which stated that SwimChrono was "way too complicated to use" may well have been valid (although none of my beta testers highlighted this as an issue) but as has been stated in Peter's article there is no way of me contacting the reviewer to see exactly what the problem was so that I could try and address the issue in the next release to the benefit of all users. At the moment I'm left with a severely inhibited product which took over 2 years to develop from a review which probably took seconds to write.
  • I find the ratings and reviews very helpful. Even if it's a well known and popular app, I'll read recent reviews that bash it with 1-star because of a buggy/crashing update, or warns me about in-app purchases that shouldn't be necessary. It let's me know to avoid the app, or at least wait until the next update. Re: 12 Days... If I don't like the gift, I don't download it. And if it's too big to put on my iPad (Hugo in HD - 5+gb) I download it on my computer via iTunes. BTW, the iMore App needs a LOT of work. Besides the fact that if you type too many lines in comments in the app the text is blocked by the keyboard… I tried to post the above comment via the app on my iPad and it wouldn't let me because it said I needed to log in. And I was already logged in. (???) So I had to copy my comment before closing the app, send myself an email with the text of the comment, then open my email, copy the text again, open up Safari, go to iMore site, log in again, find the post, and paste the comment. I spared you the 1-star bad review in the App Store (did that make you happy?), but it would most certainly deserve it. THAT'S what the stars and reviews are for, is it not? I love you guys and the work you do. Great articles, how-tos, reviews, analysis, etc. But fer cryin' out loud, fix your app. :-)
  • As bad as I hate to sound college professor about it but maybe Apple should merge ratings and reviews. If you rate an app you have to leave a written review with a minimum word count. Also give the dev a portal to contact the reviewer for feedback and an opportunity to address the reviewers issues. Just some thoughts.
  • I totally agree. I've also seen apps where literally 90% of the ratings are 1 star, but the app itself will be sporting a 3 or 4 star rating at first glance. How is that possible? In general, the 5 star system doesn't allow much room to fine tune a rating. A 3.5 star app is generally considered bad and a 4 star app is generally considered pretty good. So there is basically nothing in between. Plus, having this system in place is a recipe for disaster when it comes to apps nagging you to rate them, or even bribing with full app functionality. I can see being asked ONCE. But every time you launch the app? Personally, I would delete it. And on the other side of the coin, you have idiot customers who don't read the requirements and get mad that the app doesn't work in their 3GS, so they bomb the app with 1 star ratings. It's all wrong. Sent from the iMore App
  • This APP is Totally horrible! They dont give good gifts or anything! Apple is so controlling and cheap. They get what they deserve.
  • I give this article 1 star! *drives away throwing up gang signs*
  • Another issue is that an App that has a decent stars rating loses that rating with an update, until enough new ratings are received for that version. That means competitor Apps that are not updated since 2012, or even reviewed since 2012, retain their stars rating, while mine loses its stars every update. I don't exactly feel encouraged to do updates any more.
  • No way. Are you stupid? App reviews are the only protection consumers have over scam artists. If you do that people are going to view the products as both unfare and unsafe. No one is going to want to take that kind of risk. You have app developers out there who have done shit like charge $0.99 for a broken app that doesn't work $4.99 for cameras that won't record shots. There are way too many frauds. It simply can't be done. People will go back to buying games where they know they are getting decent product for their money. Especially now when people are getting tight with the dollar. What a bad buisiness move.
  • You want to make it fair? Get rid of the stars. Leave the ability to write reviews. Lazy people won't bother. Only people who are geniunely upset or genuinely excited with the exception of your occassional jerk who has too much time on his/her hands.
  • Nothing like forcing people to have to READ instead of judging ratings by looking at innaccurate little stars because reading was just too much for them. Trust me. Your sales will go up because of a bunch of lazy people and consumers will still feel like they have some protection. Where the hell did you people go to buisiness school? You should go get your money back.
  • I know this article was written over a year ago but it got my attention while searching for a help topic. BUT, you know what? I'm not a developer but, I think you're half right. I just couldn't imagine as a buyer what I would do without the information, star ratings to be exact. When I see a 4-1/2 star rating from hundreds of people I will definitely choose that over a similar game that's been out for a while (a couple months or so) and only has a 3 or less star review but I'll check written reviews to see why the low rating and if it's a valid reason repeated multiple times I'll skip over it. HOWEVER, that being said, when I read some of these one star reviews especially when the app seems interesting and the reviews are SO STUPID and WHINY! (Sometimes it's really tough to distinguish whether it's a kid or an adult!) I get REALLY and truly pissed the hell off because some reasons given for 1 star are RIDICULOUS and I HATE it when I see a perfectly good app being brought down with low star ratings over some of the dumbest reasons. The best example in my book of 1 star app reviews that really, REALLY pisses me off is a brand new FREE app in this week's "Best New Apps" that provides lifesaving information for you in SO MANY WAYS and also for those you care about that may live in another city or state (you can contact them and let them know something bad is headed their way). You know who put the app out? THE RED CROSS!!! One (1 star) person was mad that he couldn't change phone numbers within the app because it only accepts a home number. All the person had to do until the problem is fixed is simply temporarily change the "type" before the numbers in question in his contacts. I mean seriously!!!! HOW FREAKING HARD IS THAT!!??!! Why would someone do that to the RED CROSS for the love of GOD after EVERYTHING THEY DO FOR US!!! The other 1 star complaints that piss me off are from those who CHOOSE to buy or upgrade an app because it sounded good and it turns out it's no better or they hate it because THEY wasted their money (especially when it's for a dollar!!!). NO ONE twisted their arm to make them buy it! They are pissed at themselves for spending the money. It's not the app's fault! It's like, don't write THAT as a reason for giving a bad review! You wasting money is NOT a VALID reason for a bad review! Be a GROWN UP and EXPLAIN the problem with the APP, not YOUR PERSONAL PROBLEMS!!!! As a consumer, I just don't see how it could be changed. The only thing I can think of is to make the ratings age appropriate to the apps' stated age range. If the app is say for 18+ don't allow anyone younger to write a review. You know? You know, I almost wish the app reviews had more of a forum type setup in which there are moderators to caution people for inappropriate reviews and kick 'em off for a certain period depending on the infraction. But damn! They'd have to hire THOUSANDS of em! Or maybe the developer or publisher can pay a monthly fee or whatever to do that. Huh, now THAT would be an EXCELLENT job me! I'm a great editor! You wouldn't believe how many times I edited THIS!!!