Even better, a click or a tap with the finger is all that’s needed to download and install a new app, and Apple builds in automatic updates so there’s no worry about keeping up with the latest. That’s yet another industry that Apple has quietly disrupted. There’s just one problem.
Think Different, Trial Apps
There is a distinction to be made between apps on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad vs. the Mac App Store.
Apps on the former tend to be much less expensive, often with free but limited versions to try out first. There’s also a much greater choices.
Apps for the Mac tend to be more expensive, a few offer in-app purchases, some have free versions for a try-before-you-buy experience.
That’s all well and good but there’s a dark side for each store that most of us don’t think about, and Apple doesn’t talk about.
Orphaned apps. Apps that have been left to die on the vine. Apps that cost money but don’t come with a trial version option. Most of us, both Mac, and iPhone and iPad users, have probably blown a few dollars on an app we tried but didn’t like.
That’s what I call my throw away money threshold. For the Mac, it’s $4.99. Any app $4.99 and without a trial version won’t get a blink from me unless it has a gazillion four and five star reviews.
For the iPhone, my threshold is lower, set at $2.99. Any iOS app beyond $2.99 without a trial version better have a compelling reason for me to hand over my hard earned money.
Think Different, Sales Pitch
That brings me to another issue I have with apps on both stores and this complaint is aimed at developers. Stop trying to advertise on screen shots. Some screen shots have text blasted all over and in such quantity to make it appear like a screenshot from a late night TV informercial.
Bullet points are your friend. So are clean, pristine, obvious screenshots of the apps. And, while we’re at it, how about a real live website? Too many apps on both App Stores have a link to support that ends up being a Twitter account.
Caveat emptor, my friends. I’ve grown weary of trying to find Mac and iPhone and iPad apps with sufficient information to make an informed decision whether to buy or not. That’s the problem. Some app developers are hawking garbage and the less the potential customers knows, the better.
How hard can it be for Apple to lay down a few basic rules for app developers to better showcase their apps? Here’s what I want:
- A detailed description of the app, what it does, how it does, and why it’s worth a purchase or download
- Clean screenshots devoid of clutter and promotional bursts of text
- A link to the developers website and support site (if there’s not one, why is the app even in the store)
- A link to the developers YouTube video which displays what the app looks like in use, and how it works
- Bullet points of features (too many apps have a few sentences with little detail about features and benefits; Marketing 101, people)
Developers spend many months to develop and publish an app, but won’t devote a few hours to describe why I should buy it and how it works.
Apple can fix that with standards. For apps that meet the standards, they get preferential listing in search results. Those that don’t get left in darker neighborhoods.
Fix this problem, Apple.