Saturday, November 30, 2013

How should Apple go about controlling the quality of the content on the App Store?

As of what seems to be going on throughout the past few months, the Apple App Store seems to drastically diminishing in its quality of content. That's not to say the apps released prior to Summer 2009 were any better per se, but rather, how much of a comidity apps have become as of late, and how tiresome most app genres and concepts have become.

There are most likely millions of apps neither you nor I will have any hope of seeing. Unless by either word of mouth, or a lucky or accidental query, we as customers are sadly restricted to the filters that make up the App Store, and make it that much harder for indie developers to get ahold of this revolutionary market, when they may actually may have the next great piece of software on their hands. There's truly no convienient way as of now to find what's out there.

Especially given the fact that the most prevalent 'sect' of iPhone gamers, if you will, are what we would call 'casual', I wouldn't imagine Joe, the businessman is too thrilled to go app hunting so that he might have the blissful opportunity to possibly play a remotely fun game that controls well. And that's perfectly understandable. I don't care how mindless their expectations for iPhone apps are. I agree: when you're on the go, the first thing you want is some fresh, easy fun.

I don't get the sense that the average casual gamer is particularly patient, discerning, or knowledgable about what makes a good app, as they feel they themselves are not reliable enough to wade through the truly heinous apps and pick out a gleaming star of an app, or maybe even ask friends about apps they recommend.

I think Apple should not let the App Store, considering its young state, go to waste by any means. Apple should take an active role in policing the content that is literally crapped out by the world's shoddiest "game" developers (if they can even be called that). I have seen an innumerable supply of iMafia ripoffs, with Respect Points rebranded and all for your money-wasting pleasure -- iPhone "MMOs" are reskinned cashins that The Godfather app company have all but exploited to the fullest possible extent. I hope to God iPhone gamers' ratings bear some meaning, and if they do, the iPhone gamers themselves have some sensibilities with their tastes in games, and aren't always looking for the next cheap and utterly disposible thrill. If Apple expects to have the App Store grow in any way, they better start making some restrictions on the blatant 'The Godfather' cashins. Look at their latest contribution to the already skyscraper-high pile of steaming crap on the App Store: Girl Wars. If you look at the description, you can get a sense for how contrived and throw away this whole "game" surely is. And the sad thing is that I think I may know a few, if not several girls that would play that. (And what makes it sad is that there's so much better content out there that is not reaching its critical mass -- such as Rolando 2 for example).

But I don't mean to generalize -- there have been some excellent apps put out by indie developers that have received some much deserved recognition and press, and have made us all appreciate the App Store and say how great it is.

Using Area 5's weekly Co-Op show as a radar for new and exciting apps, it's clear the App Store is currently in a bit of a slump.

Written 8.25.09

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