September 30, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
The Android Market has several problems that we have begged Google to fix. However, there’s one problem with the market that Google can do very little to curb: user comments.
The Android Market, like any other forum that brings together a group of people and gives them free reign to express themselves, is filled with negativity. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but the negativity is often expressed inappropriately and in the wrong direction.
Comments can play an important part in shaping user impressions, so I’ve decided to offer a few suggestions that everyone should follow when using the Android Market. Consider these a few basic guidelines to consider whenever you rate, comment, or read the Android Market.
1. Rate only the app
It never ceases to amaze me that so many comments and ratings have absolutely nothing to do with the actual app. The official Miami Dolphins app has plenty of people saying, “Jets rule! Dolphins suck!” I don’t even want to go into some of the venom expressed on religious apps.
Whenever rating or commenting on an application, at least have the decency to focus on the merits of the app, not the politics or personal feelings of its subject matter.
2. Stop hijacking stars
Enough with the “One star until you add___” comments and ratings. It’s perfectly understandable to notice problems or shortcomings and comment on them, but you don’t hijack a rating until it adds a feature you want. Judge an app on the way it performs now and don’t unfairly trash it because the developer can’t read minds to anticipate what people want.
3. Don’t seek tech support
There’s a nasty habit of Android users to give widgets 1-star and say, “It won’t even launch!” Well, that’s because widgets don’t launch; you add them on the home screen. The Market should be reserved for impressions of the app after you have opened them. Trouble with an app? Send the developer a message. Trouble with an app? Go to a help forum. Don’t rate an app 1-star because you can’t figure out how to open it.
4. Don’t download just to trash talk
This is the most perplexing thing about Android users that I will never understand. What kind of weirdo goes through the trouble of downloading an app just to trash talk and complain? When Logitech released its remote app and clearly stated, “Only works if you were invited,” practically every comment I read said, “You should have just sent an .APK” or “1-star until you open up to everyone.” Come on, people. Your time is more valuable than that nonsense.
5. Don’t be a jerk
Developers and users alike need to stop being obnoxious jerks. It’s disappointing to open the Market and see flame wars between users giving feedback and developers taking comments personally and responding in mean-spirited ways. I know it’s a lot to ask, but behave like you have some sense. Save the insults and foolish banter for the appropriate places: sporting events, highways, and sample sales at your favorite boutique.