Apple launches new iTunes App Store design (now if only they’d fix their ‘review’ system)

“Apple is rolling out a new look to their App Store individual app pages tonight which brings it in line with the rest of the iTunes 9 design that was revealed a few months ago,” Arnold Kim reports for Mac Rumors.

Changes include:
• Much larger app icon shown
• Multiple screenshots in scrollable window
• App description truncated to first 2 lines by default
• Multiple apps by same developer listed automatically

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: By the way, since getting Apple to remove erroneous customer reviews from the App Store is slightly more impossible than imagining ourselves as Windows sufferers, before you review an app – any app – please make sure you understand at least the basics of how your iPhone works.

For example, sticking an app with a 1-star rating because you “haven’t seen any ‘Settings'” to adjust the behavior of Push Notifications, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. (You control your iPhone’s Notifications via *ahem* “Settings” > Notifications > App Name and choose whether “Sounds,” Alerts,” and “Badges” are “on” or “off.”) Yes, “finelineBob,” we’re talking to you. In your review, you promised that if this always-existing feature were implemented you’d reset your rating from “1” to “5.” Since Apple is incapable of responding to developers in anything remotely resembling a timely manner, please do so.

And, to another “reviewer,” if you can read even a modicum of English, we’re not a “shill for Glenn Beck,” either, thank you very much. Sheesh.

Basically, what we’re saying is that Apple not only needs to provide developers with a means to dispute incorrect and/or libelous reviews and ratings, but they need to actually follow through on such disputes. Right now, it’s a just Web form into what seems like a black hole. Users should keep in mind that erroneous reviews and ratings can skew apps’ ratings to the point where they become meaningless for everyone, including themselves.

Since its July 2009 release, we’ve had tens of thousands of MDN app downloads and we know that the vast majority of those are in daily use. So far, we only have 29 reviews, most of which have been very helpful (thank you!), but we’d like to have more feedback. We want to offer the best free app we can to iPhone and iPod touch users. If you use the MDN app, please give it an accurate review (positive or negative, just be honest) via Apple’s iTunes App Store here. If you don’t have MDN on your iPhone or iPod touch, please download it here and give it a spin. Thank you very much in advance.

Lastly, we have been collecting suggestions via emails and from the App Store reviews for the next version of the MDN app for iPhone and iPod touch and hope to implement many of them upon release (TBA).

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]

26 Comments

  1. Great app MDN! Never use your web version on my iMac , except if you have a video I want to watch full screen.

    Only improvement for me would be a redesign when you have multi pages of comments, bigger page numbers and spaced farther apart

  2. Users should keep in mind that erroneous reviews and ratings can skew apps’ ratings to the point where they become meaningless for everyone, including themselves.

    Unfortunately, we’re well past that point – I’ve given up on using the App Store ratings as any kind of realistic indication of how good or bad an app is, preferring to find reviews elsewhere on the internet.

    I’m sure it doesn’t help that we have developers actively gaming the system – such as that 1,000-app developer who recently got booted. I’m sure there are plenty of others who haven’t been caught yet.

    Perhaps Apple needs a system in place where other reviewers can + or – the reviews of others. Still plenty of potential for abuse there, sadly, but that might help “weight” the reviews properly, based on the collective accuracy rating of each particular reviewer.

    In any event, what Apple’s doing now isn’t working.

  3. Looks better. Although the screenshots are too big.

    Now the app description is hidden! Try and find the miniscule “More…” button. WTF?

    The App Store STILL needs:
    More Categories!
    An advanced search function. With 100K+ apps, what they have now is a bad joke.

  4. I prefer not to give your app a rating at this time because it would of necessity be a poor one. I read MDN several times every day, often in my iPhone, but still have the same complaint I have lodged here before. Simply, the type size is so small that it makes it painful to read. Surely, among your many thousands of readers I am not the only one with this problem. A number of the Mac sites which have their own apps have dealt with this by offering an option to increase type size. Please, please implement this in your update.

  5. And speaking of inappropriate one-star reviews, checkout all the paranoid delusionals reviewing the awsome Dragon Dictation app from Nuance. Nearly a 1000 have given it one star because the app scans your contact names so it can accurately transcribe them. Do these self-aggrandizing people really think Nuance us a CIA operative? If they are so concerned, they could get rid of their phone completely since ATT “listens” to their every conversation and SMS.

  6. @helenfl…

    you realize that you can increase the font type on your iphone by simply putting to fingers together on the screen and spreading them apart right?

    It’s really simple. Try it.

  7. addendum…

    you can also turn the iphone sideways to get more of the text online.

    I’ve got bad eyesight also, and both of these features on the iphone make it a breeze to read from.

  8. MDN, you are experiencing the legitimate concerns of business owners elsewhere. As just one example, for years, innkeepers have railed at the same things that hurt their business with postings on TripAdvisor. Like so many other outfits that pander to customers, they feel no need to correct comparably “incorrect and/or libelous reviews and ratings.” Customers get protected. Business owners, who may lose thousands of dollars on the basis of one incorrect or libelous review have no protection at all. Yes, something is very wrong with that. I do hope that Apple comes up with something that at least partially addresses these issues at some point (hopefully soon), but I hold less hope for other outfits like TripAdvisor.

  9. @helenfl: Type size across the board, not only at MDN, is an issue to me, too. Too many websites are clearly designed by young people. They can read the small font sizes, so it’s not their fault if others can’t, is it? Wrong thinking. The iPhone does have a built in way to increase the size of things, but it is not the same as having that capability built into the aps. I’m personally very happy MDN has an ap. I don’t use it as much as I’d like. Maybe type size is part of it. Normally, landscape mode can improve readability. But too many aps still don’t support landscape. Anyone designing websites or aps out there, please consider making your font sizes bigger by default. I do with my own sites.

  10. @MDN

    While I agree that you’re not a “shill for Glenn Beck,” there are days when I think you channel him… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  11. The MDN app is not worth using instead of just visiting the website. I’ve got the app on my iPhone, but just use the mobile web version.

    The Notifications are not nearly as useful as they should be. Rather than “MDN posted a new story” how about actually including the title?!

    How about allowing the app to download and cache the articles so people can load them up before they go into the subway or something?

    How about having font-size options?

    How about the Comment-Box not being so hard to use? Try it – you’ll see what I mean.

    In short, MDN, how about you have your app developer look at the NY Times iPhone app. It is brilliantly designed. Right now, I feel as if the NY Times app was designed by someone from Apple, and the MDN app was designed by someone from Microsoft. Think about that. Yikes!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.