Have You Posted a Review in an App Store?

I have a few apps in the Apple app store. For a shameless plug, head to the App Store and check them out. It’s kind of a hobby. Some people collect stamps, others go bowling (That went away for me with my “bowler’s knee” as I call it), while I play around with some iPhone app development. I am a geek, I suppose.

I only bring this up because I’m also a fan of apps, and a fan, usually, of when apps get updated, but it always boggles my mind when updating, or rather full redesigns occur, and there doesn’t seem to be any real testing of the core features of the app, or understanding the repercussions of changing an app. One app I regularly use is called Remember the Milk, and about a year ago they did a full redesign. I originally didn’t like the redesign, but much like Facebook changing things, if it’s something we use all of the time, and we like the core concept, we’ll get used to it, and eventually I got over it and am still a fan of the app. The thing was, in the end, it worked like it was supposed to.

There were updates to two app recently that for whatever reason I keep following the slew of 1 star comments on. The first is for a local grocery store, Jewel-Osco, that recently changed ownership. Their old app had a function where you could reorder your prescription, which I guess was easier than using the automated phone feature, but what do I know because my prescription is on auto-refill so they just call me every month and say my pills are ready. The new app took away the prescription reordering feature and people are livid. Comments of the app being useless now, comments of why they changed it, comments of they suck, and out of 52 ratings there are 2 at five stars, 1 at three stars, 1 at two stars, and 48 at one star of people upset they can’t refill their pills any longer with the app.

The other app I regularly use is called OverDrive Media Console. It’s used mostly to read digital version of library books. They, too, recently did a full re-design of their app, and again, people don’t like it. Sure, there are some that don’t like the new look, although most see to be able to get over it. The problem with their redesign is that this is one they didn’t seem to do much testing on as some of the core functionality that was present in the old version, namely touching the end of the screen to change a page, or the page changing at a relatively normal speed, are gone. Complaints about slow page turning, about having to “swipe” to turn the page which then sometimes causes the sidebar to appear instead of turning the page, and about how audiobook listening is practically non-functional, among others, seem to be the majority of the complaints. The interesting thing I find, though, is that the OverDrive folks seem to have a slew of people posting questionable reviews because along with the 81 ratings of one star, pretty much saying the new version sucks, there are 47 votes of five stars with reviews stating that this is the best app, ever.

I’m not sure why, but things like this fascinate me.

I get a few reviews for my apps. Nothing crazy, some people like them, some don’t, but I always do my best to at least make sure any revisions are functional, and test updates on everything from my iPhone version 1 to the latest one out there just to know how slow/fast/if things work things are. Sometimes, though, I think testers are only on the latest and greatest device and forget that there are thousands of users still on older devices, and they are probably going to piss them off. Now, I haven’t submitted any ratings for apps, nor reviews, although I am tempted to write one for the OverDrive app as I’m having the same problem as the 81 people who now hate the app, but with my thought to post a review, I plight: Have you posted a review in an app store?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!