The trials and tribulations of the App Store

I'm getting hammered on the App Store! YAY!
I've posted about this before... 3 years ago ;-), but here we go again.

There are, to oversimplify it, A LOT of problems with the App Store.  But this is isn't solely on Apple, this problem comes from all sides.  Let's take a look at some of the pitfalls that i currently face.

  1. Older Devices - Apple, which has very few SKU's in comparison to Android, does not allow you to limit the devices an app will run on.  This is a huge problem.  Just yesterday i received a 1-star review from a guy playing on a non-supported device, claiming it ran slow.  Well of course it does.  
    The one way to get around this is to warn people when they launch the product, but it doesn't matter.  Once they make the purchase, the damage is done.  Instead of being mad that it doesn't work, they'll get mad that they wasted the 5$.  Nevermind that they can come back to it when they inevitably upgrade their device, or that its their fault they didn't read the description.  There's nothing else we can do as developers, sadly.
  2. Users judge you with ratings instead of emails - As a developer, i cannot stress enough what a terrible idea this is.  What you are essentially doing as a user is crippling any potential revenue the game might generate, destroying all momentum, because of a bug that WILL get fixed.  By doing this, you make it almost impossible for the developer to even want to fix the bug.  Why fix the bug of a game that isn't generating any revenue? Congrats, user.  The classic "This gets a 1-star till fixed" review is the worst.  I completely understand the desire to tell people: "Hey, this doesn't work".  But in an app-world where you get 1-week to successfully get the product into people's hands before it disappears, all this does is cripple the game instead of help it.  Just send an e-mail!  So far i've gotten 3 1-star reviews that are taking up the app store page, and 0 emails.  Thanks, users.
  3. The inability for a publisher/developer to effectively reach the purchasing audience before and after purchase. I think on this a lot.  NO ONE reads the description, so what do you do? The only thing i can think is that games should come with a latest news dialogue that pops up no matter what.  That way, if there is a bug, users aren't blind-sided by it as they launch for the first time.

Maybe i'll edit this post as i think of more things, but these are just a few of the things i have to deal with.  And its bad for everyone.  Users need to calm down and save their ire, and developers need Apple's help to better communicate with the buying public.