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App Store Archive
The New York City MTA (that’s the group that runs the subway and buses among other transit functions) has announced the upcoming launch of the first NYC transit MTA App Center. The App Center will operate in a similar fashion to the Apple App Store and is described as a way, “to showcase the great apps you have built for MTA customers and make them easier to locate.”
If you want to be included in the launch of the App Center, you need to submit your info by Friday April 29, 2011. If you miss this initial launch round, your submission will be included in a future App Center update.
To learn more about the MTA developer programs, check out their developer website.
I know, I know…Apple does nothing wrong, the iPhone is perfect, yay Apple. With the required Apple is awesome statement out of the way, I’d like to share a very important bit of poor usability in the Apple App Store. The good news is that the issue can be corrected very easily.
This past week on the tech blogs there were two major stories: the launch of the $41-million, VC-baked photo sharing app Color; and the beginning of fun posts about whether we are in a bubble or not. Rackspace employee Robert Scoble wrote a rant where he described how Color will basically never be able to recover from their initial App Store launch. I haven’t installed Color but one of the things Robert noted is that Color has a large number of “scathing reviews” and two-star ratings.
I read a few of the blog posts around the Color launch and wanted to check out the reviews and ratings Robert mentions in his post so I loaded iTunes and landed on the App Store page for the Color app. Below is a screenshot of what I see when the Color page loads. If you look at the red arrow, it points to the Rating for the Color app. It says 4+ which clearly means that Color has a rating of higher than 4 but less than 5 probably meaning the average is 4.xx. This was very confusing to me because Robert said that Color had a much lower overall rating of near 2.
Oh! While it doesn’t look like a link, the “Rated 4+” actually means that the application itself has an age rating of 4+ which means it’s basically approved for all audiences.
When you scroll down on the Color app page, you see what I’ve posted below – the customer ratings for the app. This is horrible usability – it makes nearly all apps with “Customer Ratings” of below 4 appear as if they have much higher overall ratings.
Apple could easily fix this by changing “Rated 4+” to “Age Rating” and placing “Average Customer Rating” right below it with a link that takes the customer down to the customer ratings section seen below. Assuming others agree with me, it would certainly be interesting to look at download counts for low customer rating apps after the change is made to see if in fact this major usability issue led to higher download counts.