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Could Use Some More Stars, Google

happysadMy mother-in-law uses Google so I figured I’d install the Gmail app on her iOS phone, but checked the reviews on the App Store first and discovered that while the app had an okay all-time rating of four stars, there was a second set of stars for user votes on the current version and it was only three so I didn’t install it. In-law diplomacy crisis averted.

Then today I see a SwiftKey update pending on my Android phone, and because Google only has the all-time star votes for an app I didn’t know that this would be a step back, can’t squish down the keyboard anymore and no apparent sign of improvement. I could have checked the latest user reviews complaining about the latest version, but a star count would have saved me a moment or two.

Review from Jackie Hollis
Change is bad Why would you change a good layout?! I can’t find the buttons I primarily use anymore, like quotations and I have to dig around for my punctuation! The only reason I bought this app was because it had that layout and now you change it with no way to revert back to what worked for me? This has slowed me down so much in typing, I’ve finally decided to cut my losses and uninstall it. Guess I’ll have to use a different app.

Ouch, right? Plenty like that on this and many other apps upgrading a little too fast for their users’ taste.

There’s a decent chance you’ve installed an update which you regret, whether a phone app like Google Maps, iOS 7, maybe a version of Firefox, Windows Vista and so forth, so Google, this is one of those steps from Apple’s playbook you ought to sort of embrace. Better check your patent site first.

What does Microsoft do on their app store? And Blackberry and Amazon?

Doug Simmons

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