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!!!


Are You Interested in the iPhone 5?

As I have developed some apps for the iPhone it’s easy to admit that I am an Apple guy and love my iPhone. I eagerly await their media events, loved it when they webcast one a few years ago, and yes, there I am trying to find the best live-blog feed so as to find out the truth about all of the Apple rumors that have been swirling around for weeks so I can dream of owning the hottest, new product. As Apple is having their next media event on Wednesday, September 12th, I will find myself trying to find some quiet time by myself to diligently follow Mr. Cook and his helpers as they tell the people in the hall about the products, and they in turn relate his announcements to me, all about the latest and greatest in the Appleverse, including what is supposed to be the iPhone 5 but also supposedly won’t be about a smaller iPad, an announcement the rumors say will happen in October. The thing is that most of the excitement of the events are going away, what with the abundance of leaks that are prevalent prior to the actual event with pictures of parts, specs, and computer mock-ups so that when the version that is announced, it just can’t live up to the pre-event hype that is generated. Personally I was hoping that the iPhone 5 will have 128 gig of memory, and flexible screen that won’t break, it will be waterproof, and you can set Siri to “mean” so that she will yell at you when you say stupid stuff to her, but I have a feeling I’m just going to see a redesign to make the phone “taller” and iOS 6 will become a reality instead of a Beta.

Alas, it doesn’t matter much anyway, as even if this phone is waterproof, can turn dog poop into gold, and will Make Me Smile (Oh, wait, it will Make Me Smile), in any case, as I bought an iPhone 4s a year ago, the AT&T contract budget won’t let me upgrade my phone to the new one for a year. That’s not to say I’m not interested in the iPhone, because I am. I’m curious to hear the presentation on why the phone is “taller” instead of just proportionally larger; I’m curious to hear about the new iPods (although I’m not really sure why); and I’m hoping to hear about new iMacs coming down the pike, but I suppose that one might wait for an October event. And I plight: Are you interested in the iPhone 5?

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

I Don’t Have Too Many Eggs (I think), I Just Lost My Basket!

By: The Dude on the Right

As Stu Gotz couldn’t meet up with me today to do a podcast, rather than do a solo episode I decided to hold off the podcast for a day, especially since I know Stu is dying to find out how my bachelor party weekend went since he couldn’t make the trip to New Jersey.  So, that discussion will hit tomorrow. Instead I decided this might be a great time to do a blog – something I haven’t done for this site in quite some time.

Now I mention “this site,” because as I had some time away over the weekend, and have blogged on some other sites I have recently and neglecting this one, and as I’ve been pondering this for quite a while now, I started to look at all of the things I’ve got going, especially since I started developing iPhone apps, and I suppose getting married, and I guess having four Twitter accounts, and then there is my weight loss blog, and, okay…

So, yup, I’ve got a lot of things going on, and I tried to reflect on them.  I said to myself, “Self, why don’t you prioritize them and knock off a couple to free up some time/space in your mind?” I started to look at some of the projects I’ve got active (on life support in some cases), seeing if I really wanted to axe any of them, and I ended up with the following priority list, rating each thing individually on a scale of 1 to 10 in general importance to me/I love doing it/I miss doing it/I want to do more of it/and general 1 to 10-ness, with 1 being high and 10 being low.

  • My Wedding: Um, it’s a 1, duh.
  • My life with my BFF: 1
  • Other hobbies/things around the house/projects: 1

Yes, seriously, as I looked at my list, and there are a few things missing from the above list, there isn’t one of them that I don’t love doing, don’t get jazzed about when I do get around to working on, and yes, I agree, in actuality all of them should have a “2” next to them and “My life with my BFF” is actually the only “1,” but hey, I think even she understands.

The thing is, as I looked at this list, I pondered the idea of consolidating.  For example, do I really need four Twitter accounts? My contemplation on this is simply would my Twitter followers under whenismile actually care about the tweets that would be appropriate for drewdude, and would my general tweeting in dudeonright really be what those in myweightplan would want to read?  And then there is the fact that, right now, whenismile is a little more private, at least from some friends and family, so I can tweet things there without worrying about what they might say.  In fact, I’ve almost been confused about tweeting sometimes wondering which account to put it under, and if I posted the same tweet under all four accounts, thinking all of my followers would like to read it, and someone followed all four accounts, would they be pissed at getting the same tweet pretty much four times?

Then there are the blogs I have.  Yup, would Entertainment Ave!-land actually care that I have a blog about my attempt at losing weight?  When I Smile, which is geared towards things about my “Make Me Smile” app, really doesn’t seem to be the right place for Stu Gotz and our podcasts every now and then.  And I could go on an on.

I guess my pondering really centers about “To consolidate, or not to consolidate – That is the question!”  And if so, what is the best way to go about it?  Sure, I could leave everything under my Webventure Avenue company moniker, but that doesn’t seem to be right.  I’ve had Entertainment Ave! for over 15 years and hate to put that by the wayside.  I suppose Mostly Entertainment could get wrapped into the Entertainment Ave! site, but should it be separate?  Ugh!

I guess I need to let these thoughts bounce around in my head a little more, since, in coming to a final conclusion, if the answer is to “consolidate” then that creates another issue – total site-redesigns of everything I have to get them under one umbrella, or at least in one basket.  And even if I don’t consolidate, maybe I should actually use some of my organization skills/software/thoughts, to put things into little blocks, workable blocks, so that each project is it’s own little world, yet gets some attention every day, with the most, of course, being my BFF.

At least my wedding will be able to be taken off this list in two months – when the “I do”’s have been said, but I’m sure when that egg has been hatched I’m going to just lay another one – I just hope I can get that one to land in the basket I haven’t found yet.

And sure, if you’ve got any answers for the question “To consolidate or not to consolidate!”, I would love to hear them!

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

A New Gotz, Fun in a Parade, Birthday Wishes, TV Talk, and I Made an iPhone App!

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Make Me Smile AppI can’t believe it took me nearly our entire “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, but I did find some time to plug my new iPhone / iPod touch app called “Make Me Smile,” now available on the App store! But plugs aren’t really what our weekends were about, hell, Stu Gotz got a new family member, and I was in a parade!

Yup, it’s St. Patrick’s Day time and I went to a parade, although there were not 76 trombones, and I tell Stu all about it, while Stu and the Gotz family help save a dog from being lonely. There was a lack of movie viewing this past weekend, although Stu did catch “The Cove,” the documentary about dolphin killings, and he admitted to getting weepy, while I got weepy watching “The Apprentice,” mostly because Rod Blagojovich is still around. Stu recommends some show called “The Inbetweeners” on BBC, I still can’t do a British accent, and birthday wishes go out to the 6 year old Little Gotz (in a strange, Christopher Walken kind of way), and I’m sad I never at at Harry’s Hot Dogs that used to be in Chicago, with said Harry Heftman celebrating 101 years young.

This upcoming weekend maybe we’ll both catch a movie, “Repo Men” or “The Bounty Hunter” probably at the top of the list, but the good news is that Spring officially begins this Saturday so of course they are calling for snow here in Chicago. Yay!

Thanks for listening!

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