App Store rating system seriously screwed up!

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by BrettArchibald, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. BrettArchibald

    BrettArchibald Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2008
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    Self-employed interactive designer.
    Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
    Just got notification than a game I downloaded has been updated, that game being Chess With Friends.
    Was curious to see how they were doing and what others were rating them.

    Was really surprised to see that the game had a listed average of 2½ stars!
    That can't be right I thought!
    So I had a look at all the reviews in the store, and most of them were 5 stars, and those that weren't were 4 stars.
    If you're interested, the ratings were as follows:
    5, 5, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5.
    Now by my calculations, that works out to an average rating of 4¾ stars.

    So what the heck's going on? Is this all because of Apple's new system of encouraging people to rate an app when they delete it from their device?
    If so, then I guess that's the danger of releasing a free app - no matter how good or not the game may be, you'll always get a whole bunch of idiots downloading it just because it's free, and then launching it, saying "aah, I couldn't be bothered", then deleting it and giving it 1 star, just because they couldn't be bothered...

    And yes I know any potential buyer *should* always read the reviews of a game rather than just rely on the star ratings, but firstly, they don't always do so.
    Secondly, and more importantly, that low rating is going to get that game pushed further down the App Store listings, where no-one's going to see it, regardless of whether they're the kind of person who'll read the reviews or not.

    So all in all, just yet another example of the App Store's early "teething troubles" and something that needs to be fixed.
    Is the "solution" for now for people NOT to make any free games??? Because that way you're less likely to get lazy freebie-grabbers slating your app when they haven't even given it a chance?
    That really sucks, when you make a great game, give it away for free, and the true reviewers rate it highly, but the cheap tightasses slate it... :mad:

    P.S: This is all in the UK Store. I don't know if the US Store shows the same trend? Anyone care to check...
     
  2. Haephestos

    Haephestos Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2008
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    I have noticed the same trend in the Australian store.
     
  3. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I said: We will get tons of negative ratings, because Apple uses a push service to force you to rate when you delete an app and a pull service to get positive reviews/ratings. Even worse, it's much easier to rate an app while deleting than to go and write a review with a positive rating. Even worse, the negative ratings are hidden in the store and they are anonymous.

    Apple just broke this in a big way and I don't know why.

    All they have to do is to ask you after a two weeks how you would rate this app, when you have it still on you device and have not rated before. It would be that easy.
     
  4. darwiniandude

    darwiniandude Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2008
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    I think it should prompt you to rate it on the 10th, 20th, 30th etc launch, untill you do, with a simple 'rate' or 'rate and comment' 'not now' button system.
    If you click 'not now' three times (30th launch) it should say 'Don't ask me again' or 'Remind me later'

    That would work, but it's very Microsoft somehow... needs apple to tidy my idea up a bit :)

    But as it stands, the system is broke.

    I think you should not be able to review on delete. not only that, but:
    1)the default is 1 star
    2)ok and continue buttons as usually on the right. people are just tapping RATE because that's where the YES button was to delete... i mean it.
    3)Apple's app count limit, which is incredibly annoying, means i'm deleting many apps on a daily basis to try more, and will put them back later when apple fix the issue...
     
  5. Modus

    Modus Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2008
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    I haven't deleted any apps yet (I'm a hoarder!:)), but it does sound negligent.

    They should at least have no default start selection, and a "Skip" button if there isn't one already.
     
  6. AchillesReborn

    AchillesReborn Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2008
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    #6 AchillesReborn, Dec 5, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
    Not to mention the number of people complaining that an app is broken/buggy because they haven't restarted.
    Having said that, people do tend to throw 5 star ratings about. Chess with friends is okay, but 4.75 rating would be a bit over the top. Just as people are free to rate something as one star for no good reason, they can also rate something as 5 stars for no good reason. I love chess, and love using my iPhone to play chess, but since chess with friends offers no rating system/time limit, I just get suck with a string of unfinished games against idiots who stop playing once they realize they are being mauled. It's free, but as it is it's just a novelty. Probably why it has an average rating of less than 3. It just isn't that good. Rating something highly just because it's free balances out with the delete-rating option it seems. Something like cyber chess, that costs a few dollars, connects to a real server allowed human opponents who are on pcs (not just iPhone users), ratings (easy to find a good match), timer (no strings of dead games) is certainly worth a higher rating. It may be rated more critically due to it's price, but it won't suffer from the free download/delete rating.

    Seems like apple introducing the delete app rating will help reduce the over-the-top rating of free apps. Remember, people are unlikely to take the time to write a review about a free app they don't like. So before the `rate at delete` option, free apps basically had positively skewed ratings. If they liked itm they would review it (usually over the top rating due to it being free), if they didn`t like itm they`d just delete it an forget about it. So crappy free apps would end up having much higher ratings than decent apps that you have to pay for.
    Besides, you don`t have to rate when you delete.
     
  7. organerito

    organerito Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Apple think that they know always better than anyone else.
     
  8. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    Not every time. See the Keynote for their Pro Mouse ;).
     
  9. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Freelance interactive design and programming
    Ohio
    When Apple overhauls the review system--which I really hope they do!--they I think should push previous ratings onto an "Older Rating" page. That way apps with misleading older ratings get a fresh start.

    And the number one thing I'd overhaul: demote ratings that were not made for the current version. Maybe show only current-version ratings by default (and include only them in the average star rating). But make previous reviews a click away too.

    If someone edits their old review, it would now count for the new version, so well-thought-out reviews would not be lost effort.

    I know there's no perfect system though.
     
  10. istopmotion

    istopmotion Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2008
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    I hate how every time you edit your review to help the dev (if the dev has made an update to the game), it takes it off the top 3 reviews. So when there is a large complaint of a game, and the dev updates it, some people leave their reviews up instead of editing them. That makes it look like the app still has the problem discussed in the reviews.

    I also hate their new system of giving stars after you delete a game. That is SO stupid since usually people review/rate a game because they hate it rather than liking it.
     
  11. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    I know. It's hard to believe that idea left the labs!

    They should, instead, have a preference (on by default but easily canceled?) that would invite you to rate your apps, each time you tap on the App Store (and each time you view your Apps page in iTunes for that matter).

    To keep it simple, it would list ONLY your installed (and never-rated) apps, in order by most recent, but with an option to sort by most-launched.
     
  12. CrocStock

    CrocStock Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    YEah, I have noticed that and it's weird and they should implement it in a more suitable fashion but its a good idea nonetheless. I find it annoying when I want to review a game when I could just rate it but only being able to when you are deleting it is bias considering the possible reasons why the user would delete it XD
     
  13. when i delete an app, I have the option to press "No Thanks"
     
  14. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    Yup, I have deleted a few apps so far, and I have declined to rate each one. I downloaded a free game the other night, and after playing it for a few seconds, I could just tell it wasn't for me. It wouldn't have been fair for me to leave a rating based on so little time, and if I had a serious complaint, I'd make sure to let it be known, if only to let the developers know what could be improved from my p.o.v. That they are doing this (pushing rating requests on deletes) is sort of mind boggling. Whoever came up with this idea did not properly brainstorm.

    Recently, I used a friend's computer for a week, and while I had it, I downloaded Google Chrome. When I was done, I uninstalled it, and was prompted with a check list (and comments box) on why I was removing it. I was able to check off "No problem, I will re-install another time" or something to that effect. Perhaps, something like this could be useful if Apple really thinks deleting apps warrants a rating request. There could be a checklist with "Couldn't figure out how to use," "Not what I expected," "Bought full version," etc. This is probably not a great idea, but something should eventually be done about these "phantom" ratings.
     
  15. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    It's good that the App Store is making it easier to submit problem reports and feedback to the developer. That siphons off what could have been (needless) bad reviews into another outlet. Hopefully.
     
  16. Modus

    Modus Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2008
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    Hmm just tried and so it does. And who said it defaults to 1 star? Doesn't show any when I did it...

    It's not the end of the world then...except it asks you to rate if you re-install and then delete again. Does that count, or is App Store careful enough to only take one rating per account?

    Sillier things have happened at Apple (I speak as a .mac -> mobileMe customer ;))
     
  17. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    The new ratings system is double-edged, in a way it's good that it weeds out the bad stuff.

    The bad thing is that this principle tends to work only with content that has mainstream appeal. With any niche products that might be high quality but lack a broad appeal, they will be deleted with bad ratings also.
     

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