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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Trust App Store Reviews

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Trust App Store Reviews

I challenge you to find the one app here that doesn’t completely blow…

1. Ratings Are Based on Personal Bias

When a customer reviews an app or game, they’re doing so based on their personal experience, which could’ve been 10,000 hours of use or they may have never opened it. As a game and app reviewer, it’s not uncommon for me to install and use hundreds of apps during any given month.

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I write about many of them in blogs, and when I’m especially impressed or disturbed by something, I’ll review it everywhere I can find. I’m especially brutal with game reviews, as I’ve been a dedicated gamer for a large portion of my life and the freemium business model opened the flood gates for a slew of awful games that are nothing more than glitchy and unplayable advertisements with no entertainment value. Keep personal tastes in mind when reading anything.

2. Reviews Aren’t Comprehensive

Don’t just look at the stars – read the entire review. It’s not uncommon to see reviews like “This game sucks” or “I still can’t use flash with this app” in the app stores. While I appreciate the often colorful scenes people paint, they’re not really giving much information. Ok, Evernote doesn’t sync with the 3rd party calendar you use; that’s not a feature I care about, so the review isn’t worthwhile to me. More often than not, the review you’re reading is from someone who barely spent an hour with the app.

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3. The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Anyone who works at a help desk can tell you people are generally not very smart with technology. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone talk about some “great new app” they found that changed their lives. I work in the tech industry, and I get dozens of emails a day from developers selling me the same Kool-Aid. Most of the great features discussed in these apps aren’t new, and they’re not very intuitive; just because an app does something doesn’t mean it’s the only app or even the best app doing it. Do more research.

4. Developers Pay PR Companies for Positive Reviews

I’ve worked with marketing, PR, and other consulting companies – it’s not uncommon for companies to pay people for Wikipedia articles, guest blogs, social media reach, and product reviews. You can find these gigs listed everywhere from Fiverr to Craigslist to eLance, and there’s no shortage of people willing to take them. Software developers are no different; they’re trying to take your money like everyone else, and they pay for good reviews. Keep this in mind while browsing app store reviews.

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5. Competition Is Brutal

Not only do developers routinely pay for positive reviews, they also try to undercut the competition by posting negative reviews about competing products. That’s right – those negative experiences you read about may be part of an elaborate marketing scheme meant to deliberately sway your decision.

With so many shenanigans going on, it’s hard to know what to believe anymore. You can never be sure of whether or not an app or game is right for you unless you try it, but there could be a virus or other malware attached, and it could also just be a ploy to harvest your personal information for marketing purposes. Stay vigilant by checking reviews at a variety of trusted outlets, including Gizmodo, here at Lifehack, Tom’s Hardware Guide, CNet, etc. Once you’re sure you want something, download away.

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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