Many of us have noticed that since the iPhone App Store’s popularity has skyrocketed the quality of iPhone app reviews inside of the App Store have dwindled. Gone are the days where you can read unbiased in depth reviews about an app within the App Store and trust what they say. All you get these days is an overwhelming amount of negative star ratings and on the occasion where you do come across a written review it’s more than likely bogus. Why is this? Well there are a couple of contributing factors, the current rating system, and competition within the App Store.
The Current rating system is only a shell of its former self. In the past, for users to post iPhone app reviews in iTunes they had to either access iTunes from a computer, or they had to find the app page within the App Store. Each time a user posted a review they were required to give a rating and type a description. Granted you didn’t always get a quality iPhone app review, but you did for the most part have a healthy mix of in depth reviews and junk. Over time, as the App Store’s popularity grew, Apple decided to make rating apps much easier. Which, I think we can all agree made sense. However, in doing so they kind of missed the boat. They created a process that made it much more convenient for unhappy customers to post reviews, but didn’t really do anything to make it easier for happy customers to post reviews. They added a prompt that solicits users to post a rating after deleting an app. Well…happy customers don’t typically delete apps they like, so as a result the proper balance between happy customers and unhappy customers was lost.
In addition to the lopsided rating system, the competiveness of the App Store has reared its ugly head as well. Many of us have suspected for some time that competitors are routinely using the App Store’s iPhone app rating system to create bogus reviews embellishing on the quality of their own apps while also posting negative reviews of their competitors’ apps. Now, it’s being brought to light that PR companies hired by app developers have been in the business of sabotaging App Store reviews as well. MobileCrunch recently published an article entitled “Cheating the App Store: PR firm has interns post positive reviews for clients”, exposing the PR firm Reverb Communications for creating bogus reviews for clients. Here is a brief excerpt from the article:
“Reverb Communications is an extremely successful PR firm that claims to have “first party” and “personal” relationships with Apple. Aside from representing Pangea Software, one of the more successful App developers for the iPhone (they made Enigmo, which was featured during the Apple WWDC Keynote 2008), they also represent Harmonix (the Guitar Hero and Rock Band guys), MTV Games, and a host of iPhone game developers. Additionally, they’ve managed to do an impressive job at courting the press: clients have had iPhone apps featured in just about every major media outlet known to man, including Forbes, MTV, G4TV, NBC (in fact, all the examples were for one developer: Publisher X, which Reverb happens to own). Reverb claims that their clients have sold over $2 Billion of product under their watch.”
Reverb Communications has since issued a statement that essentially says – my bad, we made a mistake.
For the time being the App Store’s iPhone app review system appears to be broken. It’s because of this that it’s increasingly important for consumers to have a trustworthy source for unbiased iPhone App reviews. Here at SlapApp.com we’ve made it our mission to provide high quality unbiased iPhone app reviews that consumers can trust. If we don’t think an app is up to snuff we’re not afraid to say it (see our rating system)! Next time before you download an app from the App Store we encourage you to visit SlapApp.com!
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