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Old 19-11-2009, 11:37 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Move over Apple - Nokia, App Stores need to get FAR more draconian

I've now used most of the major smartphone application stores now and have, at last, worked out where they're all going wrong. You see, Apple get stick for applying a little editorial censure and not allowing every app submitted to make it into the live App Store. But what we need is for Apple - and Nokia - and Google - and Microsoft - and Samsung, Sony Ericsson and the other pretenders - to get dramatically more heavy handed. Read on.

Read on in the full article.

Old 19-11-2009, 12:05 PM
viipottaja viipottaja is offline
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Bravo. The prob for Nokia/Apple etc. is that they would be picking winners while at the same time encouraging the ecosystem/community to grow. What might be more feasible could be a selection/filter for for apps recommended by a (semi) independent panel of experts/geeks. Sort of a Music Recommenders but for apps and not just one individual making the recommendation (although even that could work if rotated).

Old 19-11-2009, 12:06 PM
Kala-Eemeli Kala-Eemeli is offline
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Specialists ?

I somewhat agree with the others, but simply throwing away stuff because it is 'too specialist' is a bit too much .. Instead, push them to the 'Other' category and provide some kind of search utility, and ask those thrown to 'Others' to provide a few keywords to help the search.

Old 19-11-2009, 12:12 PM
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The trouble is that there is no other legitimate way for an application to be distributed on the iPhone. If you're turned down for the Ovi Store, fine, you can distribute your app online. If you're turned down for the App Store, you're left with the comparatively tiny audience of hacked iPhones. In that environment, Apple's whimsical approach to interpreting its own rules and promoting or demoting apps completely controls not just the store, but the entire software platform. For someone seeking to spend money to develop a commercial app, that means you're utterly hosed. You might as well have burned the cash.

Old 19-11-2009, 12:22 PM
ajck ajck is offline
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> What's needed, I contend, is far more draconian control of what makes it into each smartphone application store.

Ah, but you're missing the point. I know you've convinced yourself of your argument, but that does not mean it's correct

The point is humans are all different, or rather, have different interests, needs etc. and if you select a limited bunch of apps to present to people you're only ever going to end up with a set of apps to offer that user that partly fulfill their needs part of the time. Or to put it another way - considering the diversity of needs and interests out there (i.e. all the billions of potential long tail scenarios where a computerised app could be really useful) how many people's app needs will be fulfilled by that limited set of easy to reach apps (i.e. easy to reach within an app store) that some random 3rd party person has decided are 'quality'.

I totally see the problem you are outlining, effectively one of search, but you have gone off in precisely the wrong direction to solve it. To translate your solution into the world of web search, it's like Google only ever coming up with the same top few web pages for ALL queries they get from anyone, and with the right and most appropriate results, i.e. websites, for that user probably buried several pages of results deep. Is this good? Is this right? No.

Now you mentioned long tail of course. But you said: "note that all other applications could still be 'there' in the background, available should a user dig deep and want something really specific (by name or topic)". This is the antithesis of a search service's (e.g. Google's) algorithms that strive so hard to find the best results for YOUR needs, for YOUR search, not some arbitrarily decided set of top results that are the same for everybody. And Google invest literally billions to do this - which shows that it is important.

And so this leads me onto ask, if you're searching for something, why is an app any different to a web page - i.e. one is trying to solve a problem with information (webpage) or functionality (app) or a random mix of the two (web app), and therefore both respond to the same strategies to give the user what they want and need.

Answer, it's not. The solution is actually for app stores to melt into the general background of the web and for apps to be found using much the same algorithms (and preferably even better ones) that are employed to find web pages for you, by Google et al. And this is where the future lies, I think we'll find.

Alex Kerr

Old 19-11-2009, 12:23 PM
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"Some kind of search utility"

"Instead, push them to the 'Other' category and provide some kind of search utility"

On Maemo, you should be able to do `apt-cache search REGEX`.

Here's an excerpt from the man page:

search performs a full text search on all available package lists
for the POSIX regex pattern given, see regex(7). It searches the
package names and the descriptions for an occurrence of the regular
expression and prints out the package name and the short
description, including virtual package names. If --full is given
then output identical to show is produced for each matched package,
and if --names-only is given then the long description is not
searched, only the package name is.

Separate arguments can be used to specify multiple search patterns
that are andŽed together.

Old 19-11-2009, 12:24 PM
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i don't think app stores need much better editorial control. what they need is better tools for crowdsourcing, such as:
- better search
- tagging (with tag clouds)
- like/don't like/block (or rating, but at least 5 stars)
- recommendations, based on tags, likes, usage
- better reviews (e.g. ability to rate reviews), better blocking of spam/troll reviews
- user app lists
- better info about apps (more screenshots, more text info, better info about pricing - free/demo/ads/...)

Old 19-11-2009, 01:04 PM
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"rather than recoiling from the whole app store idea in confusion and disappointment."

I personally know of about 12 iPhone users (mail and female of different ages) within my circle of friends, not one of them has *ever* expressed 'confusion and disappointment' at the App Store. There is no problem here to fix, at least not from an iPhone users perspective. Sure some of them grumble occasionally about having to pay, but then they do that in most physical stores too! ^_^

Apple's app store issue is entirely different from all the other device app stores. Apple have to be careful that every time they make a small movement they don't crush thousands of developers. On the other side of the fence, Nokia, Google, Blackberry and Maemo have to work hard to improve the general quality of the apps on offer - and their current crazy multiple device - and in some cases multiple OS strategies (looking at you Nokia) - is working against this in a very large way indeed.
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Old 19-11-2009, 01:31 PM
rohitpsk rohitpsk is offline
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Thumbs down first give me apps on ovi store and later you can look for "Quality" conrol

hi,.... this is one of that irregular posts that some time my type of people do.....
... but what does the author of the post wants to convey????????

i am in india,.... using nokia n85.... for which apps are hard to find... because nokia's focus area is the 5th edition at this point of time!!! ... yup you have to say it on the face.....

now coming to the problem of plenty...... is this article there to say that we need a small app store(miniscule ... almost non mentionable like ovi) instead of a big one, easily accessible and hugely popular like iapp store????

well, it is simple .... allaboutsymbian is more and more becoming a mouth piece of nokia.... that is the only thing i can see and feel........... since we(nokia) can not have a huge app store..... we retaliate by saying we dont need a big app store.....

the google analogy given by some one above is a beautiful example.....we need better search engine for the apps..... but we need more apps......

as far as bad apps are concerned...... the trial version is always going to be there..... and good apps will automatically get bubbled to the top..... given that there is no tinkering for with the actual download and rating data.....

come one..... we need a big app store..... as far as a small book store in a far far away village is concerned..... you are reading books from last century and ..... where do you live...... c'mon..... communist Germany..... a grup of people should tell what is good for all the people...... welcome to CH!NA(no hard feelings)......

this is free world my friend..... and yup.... like all of people around here.... i need to know what is new in the market..... yes... the "SPECIALI$T$" can review and add some comment if they feel like.....

and my friend, you know as much as I do..... good reviews cost money and..... bad apps are always going to find a way if they get "reviewed" by the right people for right money.................

give all apps to all the people with right records of downloads and reviews.....
as simple as that..... people are brainy enough to find what they are looking for...................

Old 19-11-2009, 01:36 PM
svdwal svdwal is offline
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If an App Store is going to implement some kind of restricted access, it is going to be in terms of money, because that's is simply the easiest way of getting rid of developers, making them pay. Apart from a bit of time and the mac you already had, there are few things stopping you creating apps for iPhone. Tools are free, entrance is a pittance (for people that can afford macs it certainly is).

But by having to pay, let's say, 500 dollar a year for the right to publish your apps, you will loose all people that make less than 500 dollars. By making the publishing fee a 1000 doller, you loose all the people..., well, you get the point. That doesn't mean though that you loose the fart apps. After all, they might very well make that kind of money easily.

There are other possibilities: you can pay for a position, you can pay for a quicker review. Think of them as advertising fees.

And you can also greatly increase the number of categories, and make sure all apps are in the right one.

Point is, there is no shortage of developers for the iPhone platform, and there won't be a shortage of developers for Ovi, if people make money there. Nokia's widget strategy was to attract more developers and Nokia Qt strategy is there to attract more developers, increasing the number of apps and making their devices more attractive. Lots of developers mean lots of apps, lots of competition, lots of fart apps, possibly.

Old 19-11-2009, 01:40 PM
pennas pennas is offline
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My biggest problem with the app store is the limitations that Apple stick on anything that can be sold there.

Ultimately, some of the most *useful* apps on my iPhone are jailbreak-only apps. Apps that do things that apple wouldn't allow in the app store.

UserAgent faker
Winterboard (only used for adding a background image to home screen...)

All of the above improve the iPhone user interface (a lot), and improve my user experience. None of the above, that I can fathom, do anything illegal / nasty / or that could harm the "apple experience *tm".

There's also a couple of apps that I can kind of understand Apple not wanting available widely, but I still find them useful...

3G Unrestrictor

So while I agree in theory with Steve that there's a lot of crap in the app store, I haven't actually found that stopping me from finding good apps in there. What I have found is that the most useful stuff isn't allowed in, for what reason exactly?

Old 19-11-2009, 02:40 PM
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The iPhone App Store tries to help out by providing 'Top 25' (/50) lists (free/commercial/highest grossing), but the first two of these tend to get taken over by the current 'joke novelties' or by whichever commercial apps have been on 'sale' most recently, respectively.
The top 50 'free apps' in the iPhone App store are....
  1. Sky Mobile TV News & Sports
  2. Convert Units for free
  3. Do Not Press The Red Button
  4. Touch Dog Pets
  5. Papaya Farm
  6. Orange Wednesdays
  7. NatWest Bank
  8. Virtuoso Piano free
  9. Family Guy Uncensored
  10. Facebook
  11. Papaya Puzzle Bobble
  12. Torch
  13. Line Up Free
  14. Real Racing GTI
  15. Hangman Classic Free
  16. Alarm Clock Free
  17. Paper Toss
  18. Spotify
  19. Amazon Mobile UK
  20. Google Mobile
  21. Fling
  22. Rat on the Run
  23. Free Battery
  24. Bump
  25. Ebay Mobile
  26. Eliminate Pro
  27. Tube Map
  28. Lightsaber Unleashed
  29. Google Earth
  30. Shooter Lite
  31. iHandy Level Free
  32. WhatsApp Messenger
  33. iPint
  34. Whats Your IQ
  35. Touch Hockey
  36. Sky Sports Live Football Score Centre
  37. Skype
  38. Shazam
  39. Sudoku
  40. NASA app for iPhone
  41. The TrainLine
  42. Jelly Car
  43. Sky News
  44. MyO2
  45. Unblock Me Free
  46. Finder Physics Free
  47. Crazy Smashing Computer
  48. Wooden Labyrinth 3D Free
  49. Movies
  50. Spikey's Bounce Around

I think most will agree there is some pretty good stuff, hardly all 'joke novelties' are they!! At worst FOUR applications out of the top 50 are 'joke' applications, the rest is a good selection of content across various genres.

The iPhone app store is not perfect, far from it, but its simplicity has proved a hit around the world, take for example how easy it is to update an application to the latest version, just visit the app store from your iPhone and you are automatically advised of any updates to both free and purchased apps, press update all, a few minutes later you are fully update, no mucking around, I love it.
Symbian Phone History: 7650, P800, P900, N-Gage, 7610, 6630, 6680, N70 x 3, N80, 5500, N95, N95 8GB, E51, N82, E71, 5800x5, E75, N97, E52, N97 Mini, N8 Currently using: a busted E71 (as a voip phone)

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Old 19-11-2009, 04:49 PM
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Apple knows best...

Useful productive app has a limit. That is why symbian app market stalled for eternity. Apple may have named their store as app store but most of them are games. Thats a catch. Ovi store will be successful if they produce good games. However despite all the hype of open gl and n-gage, their games sucks. ONly a handful of them are good. Whereas apple games are mind blowing. Iphone hardware supports it as well. They have got such an awesome phone OS that everything is a breeze.

Take one example from me. Symbian games are harldy a megabyte long and takes ages to install. Apple games are 100 to 500 mb in size and installs in less time than nokia takes to install a megabyte file. Nokia has beter hardware than iphone yet it is let down by its OS - operating symstem. Although I liked symbian more than Java, iphone OS is far better. Symbian OS was a big jump from java but it pales in comparison of iphone OS.

Old 19-11-2009, 06:15 PM
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Great, here's the beginning of the Litchfield '12 apps is all you need' manifesto, that will be added to the standard rant portfolio of 'xeon flashes, transreflective this, resistive that, Psion, cavaets, disclaimers' and done to death until Christmas. Woo hoo.

Old 19-11-2009, 07:03 PM
Jay1001 Jay1001 is offline
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Sorry if someone's mentioned this but can't there be a splash screen which pops up when you open up the app store for the very first time. Here, there could be a variety of options for the user to choose from such as the the type of applications they like eg, office, utilities, funny apps, etc. Once the user has selected their preferences the app store then uses these preefernces to personalise the way it searches applications or create new tabs based on those preferences. Therefore each app store would be talior made to each person's needs and can still be adjusted if they choose to do so. I'm not sure if this is possible though lol =)


app, apple, draconian, nokia, stores

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