Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

More by this author

How to Disappear Completely and Start a New Life 7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone How to Live Life to the Fullest Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About (+ How to Ditch These Worries)

Trending in Technology

1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 4 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 5 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

Advertising

     

    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

      Advertising

      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

        Advertising

          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

            Advertising

            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

            Read Next