10/12/08
9:22 am

iPhone App Store Needs Improvements

The Apps in the Apps Store are a huge success. There has been just the outpouring of creativity and innovation that everyone expected. But the App Store itself is very inadequate.
First of all, try navigating around in it. Slow and sometimes just unresponsive. But that is par for the course when you consider the music store has always been that way. The iTunes store works as an online store, but it could work a lot better, especially considering it is a specialized piece of software communicating with a specialized server.
Second, it clearly does not meet the needs of the developers or the users. Consider how many developers right now are communicating with their audience through updating the description of the app. Notes are sometimes changed daily with little messages about updates and such. Clearly the description area is not where this should be. Perhaps a notes, messages or developer mini-blog are needed. Perhaps the store just needs to make it clearer to users that they should visit the developer’s Web site for information like this.
Two-way communication also seems to be a problem. Users are using reviews as a way to talk to the developer. Maybe this is because developers are being unresponsive? Or maybe it is because there is no clear line of communication between the developer and the users. Or maybe it is because the barrier to entry for a developer is so low that a single person can soon find themselves with tens or hundreds of thousands of paying customers, but no system in place to respond to requests.
What is clear is that reviews should be reviews. That needs to be fixed. Apple already fixed it somewhat by requiring that you purchase the product in order to leave a review.
Perhaps the App store should be taken out of iTunes altogether and put on the Web where it can be faster, presumably. We’ve done it at MacMost, sort of, by creating our own iPhone Apps directory. I enjoy using it myself just because I can quickly and clearly see what apps are new each day.

Comments: One Response to “iPhone App Store Needs Improvements”

    John Goulart
    10/23/08 @ 12:30 pm

    It works better, especially the search. Thanks for listening.

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