1. BluePLanetMan's Avatar
    Hello Fellow Androiders,

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to touch base with you all on a rather sensitive topic, the Comment/Review system on the Google App Market. As a developer I feel that the current system is entirely inadequate and unfair to developers. For example, my company is working on two products dTor and roboPrint. I am the first to say that dTor is a work is progress and that is has some serious flaws on "some" hardware platforms, namely certain HTC models. We are working hard to resolve these issues. From our perspective, there was really no way to determine the flaws that existed on certain models. We beta tested the software on 100 users and it tested well on all but one phone. Even with that we released the software as BETA-Pre Release. Making it clear that it was a work in progress. In retrospect, we probably should have not charged anything for the beta, but we were under the impression that it was stable. With that said, users have seemed to disregard any of the work we have tried to do, and simply focused on the problem they had (USUALLY WITHOUT EVER CONTACT SUPPORT FOR HELP!). Posting 1 start because you had a problem with a program, without contacting support, ESPECIALLY when the program is in active development, in beta, is unfair to the developer and unhelpful to other users.

    As a user, I am very careful about how I review an application, and what I post about the application. I take into consideration the time and effort of development, what I paid (or did not pay) for the application, and then make my decision. For example, my roboPrint application initially did not support local network printer discovery, in the early beta release (which is does now), but in every other way functioned fine, however, one user still posted 1 star simply because it did not support local network printer discovery. Give me a break!

    Since developers have no way to comment about user reviews and it is nearly impossible to delete a comment once posted, I urge people to take the time to really consider what they are saying and rating an application. It will make the entire app market a better place for both users and developers in the long run.

    I hope this made sense to everyone. We are working hard to develop all our applications and we support all our users.

    Happy Android Days!

    Jason Braverman
    CEO
    Blue Planet Apps, Inc.
    @blueplanetapps
    Blue Planet Apps
    09-14-2010 10:55 AM
  2. storm6610's Avatar
    Nice Post..I agree 100%..More and more reviews for apps consistently bash the app when >250,000 people have downloaded the app and it is one of the better ones.

    I don't know how Google/Android can come up with a better user review system...but bashing the dev, especially one who responds to your emails and is active trying to help, definitely only hurts the Android community as a whole.

    Again, nice post.
    09-14-2010 11:31 AM
  3. Prof-KOS's Avatar
    statistically a Like/Dislike ranking system can provide good results. Add a moderated comment system and you're good to go.

    Moderation should include post approval (for specific content) and a comment appeal system for developers. Google needs to overhaul the Market to really make it attractive to developers. Android has the install base to attract good devs, but the Market is archaic.
    09-14-2010 12:09 PM
  4. Sonicaholic's Avatar
    I am an avid market browser and do see a multitude of 1* ratings on apps I know work well on MY device, usually its due to the nievety or none understanding of the teck these people have in there hands resulting in an ignorant responce on the market. Being an s60 themer I have first hand experience in this. A lot of users when "perchasing" or "downloading" an app do not read the description fully and only look at what it dose in a braud sence wondering if it will fill there needs or desires. Stating its in beta dose not register on them let alone the fact that being able to contact the developer or there support team enter into there minds. I agree totally that the way the market is now is far from ideal for the developer or the consumer alike and is extreamly outdated even if it is only a few years old.

    1: there are very few apps on the market that even have screenshots some people just trash it because its not what they were expecting. (mandatory screenshots)
    2: there is never enough space for the developer to do a comprihensive description. (more space for devs to go into detail)
    3: the developer can not respond to any comment made on there apps IMO this is a bad thing in some respects but not always feasable especialy if the app is extreamly popular. (the ability to contact consumers via there google market account this should be moderated)
    4: most of these comments trashing software do not state why or on what device. (the answer to this is device recognision market side and added to every comment and I beleve the above would also address this)
    5: the ability for a developer to petition for a comments removal. (we don't like trashing eather as it aids us about as much as it dose you)

    I can totaly understand your frustration as developing applications is or can be stressfull in itself regardless of idiotic missinformative and down right stupid comments in some cases, a fantastic example of this can be found on pretty much any live wallpapper thread (won't open 1* uninstalled) when the description clearly states how to add it and the fact some devices do not support them.

    Please don't get down hearted as I think on a whole the Android developer community are doing a fantastic job. So heres a big hug from a consumer to prove were not all ignorant nitwits *hug*
    09-14-2010 12:47 PM
  5. BluePLanetMan's Avatar
    Very good answers. I think that some users have gotten used to expectations, and especially in the case of FREE software, where the developer has gone through the trouble to make something for the community, if you have an issue or a problem with it, simply trashing it without making an effort to contact the developer is pointless and hurts the community.

    I sincerely hope that Google makes a concerted effort to upgrade the market. You would think that with all the billions of dollars they have that this would be a pretty straight forward task, with new implementations of the market coming out weekly or even monthly. But I have heard nothing about any major updates.
    09-14-2010 02:11 PM
  6. r-nice's Avatar
    Based off what i've seen in the comments it would be a grand idea if developers could filter which Android version and/or devices their app will show up for.

    I see so many apps where it says it doesn't work on a certain and version and I know people have still rated the app badly without even reading.

    If it doesn't work on 1.6 then it shouldn't show up for 1.6 devices, plain and simple.
    09-14-2010 02:26 PM
  7. BluePLanetMan's Avatar
    r-Nice: TOTALLY! With our dTor app that is our biggest problem, works perfectly fine on some devices and poorly or not at all on others. I know we are not the only devs wrangling with the fragmentation issue, but that is not really the topic of this thread. I just wish users would use their brains a little before rushing to make a post, like contacting the dev first, try to get some help, even then, if its not for you, that does not mean it really deserves 1 star....
    09-14-2010 03:07 PM
  8. kenyee's Avatar
    You can actually reply to them if you have a separate phone you buy the app on, and you can keep updating your review...dumb workaround, I know :-P
    09-14-2010 03:31 PM
  9. Sonicaholic's Avatar
    I hate to say it Blueplanetman but I do think that the fragmentation issue dose have a place in this topic, I know what your trying to say, but I think the fact I mentioned in my previouse post about consumers inability to read the meager descriptions implamented only by google's market restrictions coupled along with this fragmentation issue, (that is now starting to show that its not that big any longer 70+% of devices now running 2.1 Eclair and 20+% running in 2.2 FroYo ) This plays a big part in the problem as a whole because if there was less of a fragmentation issue there would be less confusion on the consumers part, especialy those that wield teck that they are not entirely sure how to use correctly or in some casses even know what platform version there on. This creates frustration when more and more apps are for 2.x and above and manufacturers like Sony Erricsson & Motarola are still releasing NEW devices ie:x10 Motarola Devour that are only running on 1.6 has got a lot to answer for. As more and more people join the Android revolution not exactly sure why its so good what they need to know or even attempting to do research before perchasing, relying on salesmen which in most cases are spotty college students that have absolutely no clue what they are realy selling or why have a lot to answer for when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it.
    09-14-2010 03:50 PM
  10. Sonicaholic's Avatar
    You can actually reply to them if you have a separate phone you buy the app on, and you can keep updating your review...dumb workaround, I know :-P
    Thats a cool workaround but do you realy need a diffrent device or just a second account? switch answer switch back

    If I come across trash I DO regularly flag it as spam or unhelpfull it then disapears from the list of comments maybe with a little implamentation and consumer tuition to do this these posts could be removed by google themselfs effectivly giving the moderation over to the consumer in some respects. I know this is far from ideal but would be very easy to implament and execute. Enough flags means permenent deletion of a post and maybe even an e-mail warning stating that your comment was removed due to a high unhelpfull /spam rating enough warnings could also result in a permenant posting ban, this would also help eradicate the pirate sites that sell all paid apps for $10 a year sub fee aiding in anti piracy on the Android market as they would eventualy have nowere to addvertise there sites.

    I think we need to start a petition for an Android market overhaul there are apps on the store that you download to show your support I have signed one myself and they get lots of hits eventualy they will have to take notice as it won't just be the devs signing it. As unfortunatly asking people to be considerate is a loosing battle its in peoples nature, there will always be people willing to trash apps purly because they don't know how to work it or they have had a bad day or they just dont like it.

    The only realistic way to deal with this is to overhaul the market period, and unfortunatly untill google do so you and every dev on there will take this crap from every ***** ,fool & moron using it and thats unfortunate for the economy as a whole devs consumers and ultimately google themselfs.
    09-14-2010 03:52 PM
  11. BluePLanetMan's Avatar
    Thats a cool workaround but do you realy need a diffrent device or just a second account? switch answer switch back

    If I come across trash I DO regularly flag it as spam or unhelpfull it then disapears from the list of comments maybe with a little implamentation and consumer tuition to do this these posts could be removed by google themselfs effectivly giving the moderation over to the consumer in some respects. I know this is far from ideal but would be very easy to implament and execute. Enough flags means permenent deletion of a post and maybe even an e-mail warning stating that your comment was removed due to a high unhelpfull /spam rating enough warnings could also result in a permenant posting ban, this would also help eradicate the pirate sites that sell all paid apps for $10 a year sub fee aiding in anti piracy on the Android market as they would eventualy have nowere to addvertise there sites.

    I think we need to start a petition for an Android market overhaul there are apps on the store that you download to show your support I have signed one myself and they get lots of hits eventualy they will have to take notice as it won't just be the devs signing it. As unfortunatly asking people to be considerate is a loosing battle its in peoples nature, there will always be people willing to trash apps purly because they don't know how to work it or they have had a bad day or they just dont like it.

    The only realistic way to deal with this is to overhaul the market period and unfortunatly untill google do so you and every dev on there will take this crap from every ***** ,fool & moron using it and thats unfortunate for the economy as a whole devs consumers and ultimately google themselfs.
    I think if you flag something as Spam it does not totally remove it from the comment system, I think it might remove it from your personal view, and flag it so Google can potentially remove it. I have tried this and noticed that in most cases the comments remain, as I can see them on the developer console.

    I also agree that fragmentation is a major issue, and why in the world a manufacturer would support 1.6 when the current version is 2.2 I really don't get, perhaps because they want to sell crappy hardware and can't support the higher OS? Either way, its a headache. With that said, consumers should still be mindful of what they are getting and what they are posting. I am very careful about my reviews as I want to provide meaningful information to a consumer.
    09-14-2010 09:47 PM
  12. Sonicaholic's Avatar
    There are benefits in communicating with developers, you get a solution to your problem a fix to a bug or asisstance in using the software in most casses. Sometimes if your informative enough and friendly you even get to play with updates and new software before it hits the market place. I myself now beta updates and new software for 3 developers purly because I am friendly helpfull and informative, this is great for the developer as I think there is a general lack of feedback when it comes to bugs and new feature ideas and ultimately good for the consumer as the software is improved upon and features added into future updates.
    09-15-2010 04:38 AM
  13. BluePLanetMan's Avatar
    I think that if Google could figure out a way to get simple short messages from the dev to the user via the comment system, like a mini support system, it could be really effective. It would just have to be designed in such a way that it was simple and easy to use... kind of a like a tweet for support, and a reply back from the dev. This would be far more productive than what we have now.
    09-15-2010 10:16 AM
  14. sasha's Avatar
    I totally agree as a frequent Market shopper I see a lot of apps that I know work great getting bad reviews mostly due to user error,users who expectations are to high and folks who just can't read. And I would also like to see a mandatory spot for device listing so you can see what device each person who comment is using.
    09-15-2010 10:29 AM
  15. sniffs's Avatar
    You don't see "beta" apps in the iPhone app store. You see finalized products ready for user consumption. Just because Google allows beta's in the Market doesn't mean that users should start pumping up the stars because a dev asks us to.

    If you want better ratings/stars, don't release beta/unfinished products in the Market..

    If I go buy a car from a dealer and it's missing the steering wheel because they installed some Voice controlled turning and it doesn't work, you think I'm going to give that car a 4-5 star rating to my friends? No.

    Users will be brutally honest.. if you want beta users, offer beta's available OUTSIDE of the Market via a direct link download/side load. Once the app is out of beta, then put it on the market.

    This is my 2 cents. I came from the iPhone where almost every app that I ever downloaded was polished and had no issues.. you think I'm going to give 1 star for an app that runs fine, has no issues? Nope.

    Not trying to be harsh, but if you want us to give you a break and possibly up the stars, don't release a beta to the market.
    09-15-2010 11:07 AM
  16. deercreek's Avatar
    How many different iPhone models are there? How many different Android models are there? Unless you have every Android device(and keep buying the new ones released each month), the first release of pretty much every app is going to be a beta whether the developer expects it to be or not. I've seen apps that were well tested by 100+ users before being released to Market that fell apart when they met a just released device.

    Being a programmer myself, I tend to not rate things that I have trouble with that are brand new. On the other hand, I do appreciate when I see a bad review that mentions an issue with an app on the Droid X so I can hold off on getting it. I tend to look at the last couple of reviews on updates to see if any new issues have been introduced with the update.
    09-15-2010 01:10 PM
  17. sniffs's Avatar
    How many different iPhone models are there? How many different Android models are there? Unless you have every Android device(and keep buying the new ones released each month), the first release of pretty much every app is going to be a beta whether the developer expects it to be or not. I've seen apps that were well tested by 100+ users before being released to Market that fell apart when they met a just released device.

    Being a programmer myself, I tend to not rate things that I have trouble with that are brand new. On the other hand, I do appreciate when I see a bad review that mentions an issue with an app on the Droid X so I can hold off on getting it. I tend to look at the last couple of reviews on updates to see if any new issues have been introduced with the update.
    There are many different iPod and iPhone models. An app designed to take advantage of iPhone 4 hardware wont work on iPhone 3GS, and an app designed for the 3GS hardware wont work on the 3G. That's a moot point. Why can some devs code apps that just work on a device?

    I have 7 different Android phones.. Angry Birds works fine on all 7. Ranging from a Moto Backflip, through the ranks to a Dell Streak. No issues.

    Backflip, Dinc, DX, EVO, Dell Streak, Captivate and a OG Moto Droid. There's really varying hardware in all those devices yet tons of apps work fine on every one of them.
    09-15-2010 01:15 PM
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