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Looking for examples that show "brokenness" of the App Store

09-12-2014, 03:13 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Kiel, Germany
Posts: 30
Looking for examples that show "brokenness" of the App Store

Hi,

I am working on an article on the app store. Mainly the focus will be where it fails to deliver for users or developers.

Examples are

- the search funktion that can't be used with operators
- the stucture that is heavily based on Top Charts
- the plethora of garbage-apps that prey on confused users

I am looking for input of users and devs who'd like to add to that list.

Examples of copycat apps that rip-off the work of others or apps that seemingy force users to enter a positive rating before offering access to features would be very welcome.

Devs who would like to share their experiences when dealing with apple on the above matters or who have been approched by marketeers offering dubious promotion opportunities are invited to drop me a PM.

Cheers!

stromstock
09-12-2014, 04:16 AM
#2
Then take a look a this thread: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=237960

You'll find example images of very long app names that copy the names of famous apps. In fact, you can look it yourself simply by searching "Monument Valley" or "Flappy" on iTunes from your Mac.

Basically, Apple is not applying some of their review rules, for example, regarding clone apps. The App Store would need some "clone app" reporting tool (only available for devs). If they're basically the same concept, it would be easy to point out the clone simply by looking at the date the Apps were submitted. A clone should be removed from the App Store until there are significant changes to its gameplay in order to differentiate if from the original game, not only based on graphics change. In my opinion, the app reskinnig bussiness is harming the App Store a lot.

DYA Games
We make pixel art games

09-12-2014, 04:18 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by stromstock View Post
Hi,

I am working on an article on the app store. Mainly the focus will be where it fails to deliver for users or developers.

Examples are

- the search funktion that can't be used with operators
- the stucture that is heavily based on Top Charts
- the plethora of garbage-apps that prey on confused users

I am looking for input of users and devs who'd like to add to that list.

Examples of copycat apps that rip-off the work of others or apps that seemingy force users to enter a positive rating before offering access to features would be very welcome.

Devs who would like to share their experiences when dealing with apple on the above matters or who have been approched by marketeers offering dubious promotion opportunities are invited to drop me a PM.

Cheers!

stromstock
The 3 things you you listed aren't examples of broken. One is a choice by Apple the other two are examples of a free market.

"force users to enter a positive rating before offering access to features" - that is the only thing you list, but Apple will remove apps doing this when they find them.

The main thing for me is abuse of keywords especially in game names.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
09-12-2014, 04:37 AM
#4
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Kiel, Germany
Posts: 30
@davlika
Thanks for the input. Alas I think a prompt removal would be problematic, since a dev has to prove it was indeen his appp that was cloned.

@Destined
I personally think that my examples illustrate that the app store could be improved upon, fixed for that matter. Do you have any idea if Apple is actively searching for apps that harrass users, as with the forced ratings? Also nice point with the keyword spam.
09-12-2014, 04:50 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,656
Just look in the promo code section !

So many threads with 'download our app and leave a 'fair review' and then the winner chosen will get $1' type rubbish. You then get people leaving 5 star reviews for mexican chilli rainbow boat simulator just to win the prize. I dont remember reading many 'this apps rubbish' reviews who won prizes !

Just trying to get round the rules to get lots of 5 star ratings. These (mostly) crap apps then get featured more or seem more 'popular' due to all the fake reviews.

They're not competitions, they're more like buying peoples (or sheep !) fake reviews. Thats one huge reason why reviews on the app store are a joke
09-12-2014, 04:55 AM
#6
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: On the toilet
Posts: 4,285
Quote:
Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
You then get people leaving 5 star reviews for mexican chilli rainbow boat simulator
But that's my favorite type of simulator!
How about fake screen shots?
Also, I have seen some MAJOR app devs have a limited "sale" that has lasted over 3 years

Last edited by coolpepper43; 09-12-2014 at 05:11 AM.
09-12-2014, 05:10 AM
#7
Oh, I forgot to mention the Top Charts. Top charts are OK, but we need much more of them, not only 3. This could be solved with a much more complex category or tags system, at least for video games. I don't want a 2D platformer pixel art game competing against a 3D photorealistic FPS from a big company in the same chart. It makes no sense.

In addition to keywords (freely chosen by the dev), Apple should use fixed tags that unequivocally identify any app (like 3D, 2D, Pixel Art, Platformer, FPS, etc.). And they should review this tags thoroughly during the review process (as well as keywords). Tags could replace categories, and could be used to filter searches and get much more interesting top charts.

DYA Games
We make pixel art games

Last edited by davilca; 09-12-2014 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Fixing typos.
09-12-2014, 05:30 AM
#8
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Kiel, Germany
Posts: 30
@coolpepper43

How about fake screenshots? I remember an app that had some Minecraft images in it's description and finally was just a slideshow of Minecraft images of some sort. Any ideas if Apple checks, if screenshots actually come from an app?

@davilca

Great idea, altough it might be problematic if a game mixes styles. Still sub-categorys in the gaming section would be a big help.
09-12-2014, 06:07 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by davilca View Post
Basically, Apple is not applying some of their review rules, for example, regarding clone apps. The App Store would need some "clone app" reporting tool (only available for devs). If they're basically the same concept, it would be easy to point out the clone simply by looking at the date the Apps were submitted. A clone should be removed from the App Store until there are significant changes to its gameplay in order to differentiate if from the original game, not only based on graphics change. In my opinion, the app reskinnig bussiness is harming the App Store a lot.
That's a terrible idea.

There is a reason why "look and feel" is not copyrightable, and cloning apps is not illegal. If it was that would massively stifle innovation.

It may suck that there are predatory, cash in clones, but the alternative would be developers monopolizing mechanics and genres.

What would be useful and helpful to "legitimate" developers with respect to clones that cross the line of legality is Apple being more proactive about copyright and trademark infringement.
09-12-2014, 06:08 AM
#10
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by davilca View Post
Oh, I forgot to mention the Top Charts. Top charts are OK, but we need much more of them, not only 3. This could be solved with a much more complex category or tags system, at least for video games. I don't want a 2D platformer pixel art game competing against a 3D photorealistic FPS from a big company in the same chart. It makes no sense.

In addition to keywords (freely chosen by the dev), Apple should use fixed tags that unequivocally identify any app (like 3D, 2D, Pixel Art, Platformer, FPS, etc.). And they should review this tags thoroughly during the review process (as well as keywords). Tags could replace categories, and could be used to filter searches and get much more interesting top charts.
I like the idea that part of the review process they had their own tags as well. Which have some sort of weighting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stromstock View Post
@coolpepper43

How about fake screenshots? I remember an app that had some Minecraft images in it's description and finally was just a slideshow of Minecraft images of some sort. Any ideas if Apple checks, if screenshots actually come from an app?

@davilca

Great idea, altough it might be problematic if a game mixes styles. Still sub-categorys in the gaming section would be a big help.
You are allowed to have screenshots not in the app I think. Previously it had to actually come from the app, now you seem to be able to edit them however you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stromstock View Post
@davlika
Thanks for the input. Alas I think a prompt removal would be problematic, since a dev has to prove it was indeen his appp that was cloned.

@Destined
I personally think that my examples illustrate that the app store could be improved upon, fixed for that matter. Do you have any idea if Apple is actively searching for apps that harrass users, as with the forced ratings? Also nice point with the keyword spam.
I doubt they actively check past the review. But I don't know.

You are saying they should be fixed from an indie developer point of view. I am sure they are a big problem there, but from a consumer point of view you are putting the most popular apps in front of them. Seems like a smart move from apple.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8