I appreciate that there are a lot of good, well thought out and well written reviews for apps in the App Store. But I find there are just way too many that are inaccurate, nasty, and borderline illiterate. I find it sad and depressing reading a lot of the reviews, and honestly now I rarely ever bother.
The ‘review ‘ above is a perfect example of why I feel this way. In case you can ‘t read the highlighted section, it reads:
Why pay more for a product that never ever updates itself except for bug fixes?!? Lazy, lazy developers and they charge too much for a nothing product.
Strong stuff “ especially considering the app it is talking about, which is SimplyTweet. SimplyTweet is an app I recently described as the ‘hardest working app in show biz ‘ because it is so frequently updated, and nearly every update is a major, feature-packed one.
So, for my money, that portion of the review left by ‘AntiThings ‘ is 100% inaccurate. It ‘s just an entirely unfair and unfounded comment.
And thanks to Apple ‘s App Store policies, the developer of SimplyTweet cannot respond to it in any meaningful way. He can ‘t get in direct contact with the user (assuming AntiThings is a genuine user) and try to address issues. So he ‘s just left with doing a blog post to express his frustration at this situation
This is a story about frustration, and about the feeling of being totally helpless. And did I say frustration, again?
It was 3 weeks, almost everyday, for 7 days a week, I have been working on SimplyTweet 2.5. Many new features and many bug fixes.
It was 3 weeks, almost everyday, for 7 days a week, I have been working on SimplyTweet 2.4. Many new features and many bug fixes.
It was 3 weeks, almost everyday, for 7 days a week, I have been working on SimplyTweet 2.3. Many new features and many bug fixes.
The list goes on for at least 2.2, 2.1, 2.0, 1.7, 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, 1.3, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1 (that’s 14 major updates with new features and bug fixes, excluding 1.0 and a minor fix in between). A changelog for v2.5 is at here.
Between the 13 major updates, I have had my share of App store rejections, some logical, some even more logical if you think like a 1 year old. I have heard people tell me SimplyTweet is fantastic. I have heard people tell me it sucks dick. Sales definitely has not been fantastic.
Now I take pride in what I do and believe me, when I say I put in a lot of effort into making SimplyTweet better. Just ask my keyboard how much abuse it has to endure from me. Even if no one else knows, it knows.
Looking back, the sales, the approval process, the fact that I had to wait for almost 3 months for paperwork with Apple in order to put up any app on the App store, nothing beats this: I have been noticing at least for the last 3 updates, that consistently, there is always this person AntiThings who cares enough to post and update his/her review on App store for SimplyTweet with every update.
Hwee-Boon Yar, the developer of SimplyTweet who authored that post, even offers the reviewer a chance to contact him directly because of the lack of other methods for establishing communication:
AntiThings, if you see this, feel free to drop me a note and I’ll be most happy to hear your side of the story, if you feel wronged, just like I had for the past few weeks, if not months.
If you wonder why I don’t just contact this person or respond to the review, it is because the App store doesn’t allow developers to respond to it, nor provide any way for us to follow up with the user.
Hardy Machia (of Catamount Software) mentioned this ability to respond to reviews and reviewers a few days back in our discussion on what single change we ‘d like to see made to App Store policy. Examples like this one with SimplyTweet really underline the need for this.
I ‘ve been a non-fan of App Store reviews for quite a while, but I ‘ve never felt the desire to post about it before getting an email from Hwee-Boon Yar pointing me to his blog post and asking if I thought it was interesting. I said I did, but that much more than that I thought it ‘s sad and depressing that there ‘s no way for devs to respond to these.
The more ‘reviews ‘ like this one I see, the less I ever want to even glance at App Store reviews. What about you all? Am I getting it all wrong, are most reviews really worthwhile?