Pete Davison: Idiots of the App Store

Posted on October 18, 2011 by

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Everyone knows that you shouldn’t read Internet comments where the public has been allowed to voice its opinions without any filtering. It’s why sensible people avoid looking at 4chan, YouTube comments and App Store reviews. But, like a car crash, sometimes you just can’t look away from these comments sections, no matter how infuriating they might end up being.

I made the mistake of browsing the App Store tonight and perusing a few obviously stupid apps which, inevitably, had rather low ratings. Let’s see what the reviewers had to make of them, shall we?

First up is Mario and Friends. This decidedly copyright-infringing app makes it very clear in its description that it is a soundboard featuring music and sound effects from classic titles such as MarioZelda and Sonic. Let’s take a small sample of the reviews:

“This is not a game. Where is my money?” — Cheat11111111

“Please do not buy this app does not work my young grand daughter was so disappointed !!” — ena Sproule

“Thought this was the game what a load of rubbish I mean why wud we want the listen to the music without playing the actual game?? Waist of 69p!!!” — lisa green

“None of the buttons work so it’s impossible to play waste of money” — Al24467

What you’ll see from most App Store reviews of this type are a few consistent features: overuse of exclamation marks, an inability to know when one sentence ends and another begins, and an inability to use the correct homophone.

Let’s take a look at another excellent example: Unlock It! which promises new lock themes for your iPhone and, again, in the description makes it clear that it’s a spoof app, not an actual means of overriding a fundamental way the iPhone works. Here are some choice reviews:

“I was so happy that I would be able to Chang e the lock screen but then it turned out to be a scam! I doesn’t let you change the lock screen! Do not get it! SO UNHAPPY!!” — Kezmatron

“Should’ve read the reviews – this is tripe!!” — Jonzo15a

“Don’t get it.. I was so happy with idea.. Then so upset with the lies that lied deep inside!! C***S!!” — Bleepsound

“This app is a complete con. Do not buy it. It does not have any of the functionality it claims to offer it simply takes a photo which you can save as your background to imitate a security function. Very poor.” — Black and White Army

“A new this app sounded 2 gd to be true” — Dj disco dave

What have we learned from all this? That the sort of person who leaves App Store reviews probably hasn’t read the app description before downloading. This type of person can be regularly seen elsewhere on the Internet indulging in very similar behaviour in other places — commenting on N4G having only read the headline, not the whole article; commenting on a YouTube video without watching the video; commenting on a news story without reading the story; commenting on a Facebook page without looking to see what kind of page it is; and numerous others.

It’s very simple, people. Slow down. Read things. If you’re looking at something, look at it properly. You’ve taken the time to click a link to something or other — why not check it out properly rather than immediately flying off the handle and crying “scam!”/”fake!”/”bias!”/”fanboy!”/”bullshit!” etc.

Ahhh. It’s nice to want things, isn’t it?

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Posted in: Pete Davison