Apps

On "Rate This App" Popups

 

There's been a conversation over the last few weeks, prompted by John Gruber's post suggesting that he had considered encouraging his readers to leave 1 star reviews everytime an app displays a "Rate this App" Dialogue. It sure has stirred up a ton of debate as developers say that it's a necessary evil as the ongoing profitability of their business is closely related to app store reviews.

On the most recent episode of John's podcast with guest Daniel Jalkut, they further defined the reason why these popups are so frustrating for users. They just aren't about the user. You know- the person who installed, and perhaps even paid money for the app. Love this commentary by Marco-

I’d go further than Gruber’s moderate stance on The Talk Show. I think even interrupting people once with these is too much. I’m strongly against them — to me, they’re spam, pure and simple. They’re as intrusive as a web popup ad, they betray a complete lack of respect for users, and they make their apps’ developers look greedy and desperate.

I've felt a disdain for "Rate this App" popups since the first time I saw one. I'd go leave bad reviews but I don't want to spend time doing that any more than I want to deal with the popup.

I don't know if my behavior is normal, but I just don't leave very many reviews and I don't feel like they are necessary or all that useful with a couple exceptions. I've left a couple reviews to warn people when an app is broken or doesn't do what it says it does. I don't pay much attention to piles of overly positive reviews, but I've noticed a direct correlation between a lot of negative reviews and problems with usability.

In other words, I don't use app store ratings to choose apps, I use them to give me a final yea or nay before purchasing or downloading. So, I find the argument that the incessant quest for app ratings is necessary, kind of ridiculous.

Trying to secure more reviews, in a terribly curated and poorly indexed store isn't the way. If that's what it's come to, you need a better marketing strategy. A well designed app, a good reputation and word of mouth is the way to reach clients who appreciate these things and are willing to pay for it.

 

Gmail 2.0 for iPhone and iPad

If you are a Gmail user with an iPhone or iPad, you should download the new native Gmail 2.0 for iOS. It has a really nice visual design and does a couple things better than the native iOS Mail app.

Just like the standard web version of Gmail on the desktop, there is a dedicated Archive button right on each message. One of my biggest frustrations with Apple Mail is that when I want to archive a message (which I've already automatically tagged with a filter when it arrived), I have to choose the "move" navigation and then sort through folders to choose the folder/tag that this message already has already been given on Gmail's servers.

Threaded messages are displayed the same way they are on the Gmail web interface. I'm so used to this as it allows me to just view the whole thing in one fell swoop instead of opening each individual message separately to find the content I'm looking for.

Search is awesome. I'm not sure why the Apple mail app can't seem to actually search the Gmail server, but it can't. I easily pulled up a receipt from almost 3 years ago that I've never been able to retrieve using the native Mail app. I love this.

The push notifications are solid and I'm now using it for all my Gmail accounts.