How to Find a Quality App (Without Relying on Ratings)

There are literally more apps out there, for both systems, than you could ever imagine. But, how often have you downloaded an app only to be utterly disappointed in its performance? Don’t worry. There are ways to tell useful apps from bad apps without relying exclusively on reviews.

How to Find a Quality App (Without Relying on Ratings) (1)

Reviews – The Real Talk

App reviews are rather easy to manipulate, and many companies will spend a substantial amount to feed reviews into the system. If you notice specific words popping up in the reviews, then take care because these are likely reviews being plugged in to manipulate an algorithm.For example, a review for a note-taking app should be rather encompassing either discussing a few key features or a general, “This app is great,” sentiment. However, if you see something like, “Take notes in class or take notes on the train. [Name of app] is the best note-taking app ever.” Then it’s probably a plug. Always take reviews with a grain of salt, and the most helpful reviews are neither five nor one stars. Look at reviews that range in the mid-section.

Data Logging and Improvement

The annoying window that pops up when software such as Microsoft Word or Excel crashes is actually important. It alerts the creator of the software of an error and logs what was happening at the time of the error. Data logging, such as Node.js logging, will work on different levels, and you may never even notice that it’s happening. But you can identify apps that use logging for their improvement within the bug fixes.

When checking an app out to see if it’s really worth your time, consider looking at the version history. It’s a feature that’s on both iOS and Android phones, and you’ll look specifically for “Bug Fixes.” Now nearly every app developer will continue to make improvements, but bug fixes mean that the system or their users told them something was wrong, and they improved upon it.

In-App Purchases

A little more than 5% of users spend money within apps, but it’s safe to say that most apps have in-app purchase options. If you don’t want someone to sell you something, or to receive ceaseless notifications about “upgrading” or getting the “pro” version, then don’t choose these apps. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a great app and then feeling pressured to buy it. If you’re ready to pay for a quality app, then go for it, but if not, skip on anything that has in-app purchases.

Check Out the Developer’s Other Apps

Few people have picked up on this habit, but if a developer is just pushing out a ton of apps, then they’re probably not putting out great work. It’s also clear when people whole-heartedly enjoy the developer. For example, Niantic released Ingress, the Pokémon Go, then a Harry Potter game, and each has better reviews than its predecessor. With that information, you can take an educated guess that they’re improving their skills and putting thought into how their users interact with their apps.

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