Why you should read app reviews?

Recently, I read thousands of DropBox reviews. Call me insane, but it was one of the most fascinating things I have done recently. I got to know the Good, the bad and the ugly side of our creation, DropBox.

“What’s so intriguing about reviews?” you might wonder. Reviews are not there just for the other users to learn about your app, It’s there for us, the creators to understand the feedback directly from the users. I was ecstatic that moment as if I found a hidden treasure.

We do conduct user studies at DropBox. But It is limited to a small subset of the data. It was not enough for me, I wanted more. I wanted to know the real opinions from all around the globe.

Looking back, I cannot be more thrilled that I did this. There is no way, I would have known so many interesting things even if I have gone the route of ad and marketing campaigns to understand our customers. What’s better, I literally had to spend “Zero” dollars for this.

app review

1. People like to have an opinion

Not everyone who uses the app will give their review. But if someone is taking the effort and time to go to the product page and write a review, they feel strongly about it, whether good or bad.Unsurprisingly, I noticed a lot of reviews mentioning the superlatives like best”, “most” and “worst” more often than others.

I noticed that more than 70% of reviews were either 1 or 5-star. To put it in simple words, over two-thirds of the people either loved or hated our app.

What makes people pick extreme sides? Is it because people who rated 1 star did not find what they were looking or because they think they have seen much better apps under the same category.

Do people who rated 5 stars loved it because they haven’t tried an app like this before or because they think the app performs better than other similar apps?

It’s a fun exercise going down the rabbit hole analyzing the possible scenarios. We do have our theories but I like to think it’s because they just like being heard.

2. People like to know what’s going on

We ended publishing release notes recently because we thought they were not important enough for the users. Instead, we replaced them with a generic message saying “regularly releases updates”. I was of the opinion that people ignore reading release notes much like the terms and conditions.

Guess what? I was wrong. Turns out there are a lot more people who read release notes whenever we push an update. A shocking 12% were not happy with generic updates. That’s more than 1 person out of 10 people.

3. People use apps in creative ways

Human beings tend to be remarkably creative and you can never guess how people might put the product to use.

Are you aware that Play-Doh was originally invented to be a wallpaper cleaner? Little did the creators knew that some people were using it for their art projects.

At some point, creators noticed this and decide to fine-tune the product and market it to be used as a children’s toy. It was a stroke of genius. Sales of Play-Doh soared and it holds it’s position as one of the most popular toys of the 20th century.

For DropBox, people mentioned all sort of novel ways and I will be thankful to them. For instance, I noticed people use it as a note-taking app or a music player.

Keeping these in mind, we could enhance the features so that they can be effectively used as a music player by adding a shuffle button for example. The possibilities are endless and could well be on our way to building our next big thing all because I paid attention to people’s opinions.

4. Feedback is stimulating

Building Products is tough. It is easy to lose sight of how we’re changing people’s lives. Every time I encounter a personal note from a user, the warmth of it gives so much joy to my heart.

Sometimes I see a note that makes me sad

I find notes like this inspiring. Feedback is an often overlooked treasure. It isn’t the kind of reward we were looking for, but it’s still insanely informational.

The fact that we are creating for the real people and not for some company is all the more satisfying and humbling.

5. Ratings vary a lot by country:

DropBox app has its presence in over 100 countries.

The app fared well in some countries while not so much in others which is strange knowing that the app is similar in all aspects except for the menu language.

In the US, for iOS, approximately the number of 5-star and 1-star reviews is equal. But in Japan, 1-star reviews are twice than 5-star reviews and in Brazil, the tables have turned, a lot of 5-star than 1-star reviews.

What could be the possible reasons? I would bet on two things

1. Translation Quality: Some languages are harder to translate and if the text does not sound natural enough to native speakers they won’t mind venting out their frustration in the form of 1-star reviews

2. Cultural Bias: People from different cultures respond differently to different things.

DropBox conducted a survey about UI languages recently and unsurprisingly, the Japanese got the lowest score. Brazilians tend to give higher ratings in general as evident by a past Youtube survey.

6. Android users love us more than iOS users:

Okay, I got to be honest, this one puzzled me. Despite being similar in Android and iOS, for some reason, Android users gave us higher ratings than iOS.

Is it because Android users are happy in general? Or because they have lower expectations than iOS users?

In a Twitter poll, 37% of creators said they rarely or never check their app reviews. If you are one of them, think again!…

PS3 – firmware update v2.76 now live!

Well PS3 firmware version 2.76 is now live, so whats new I hear you ask?

And the honest answer to that would be……. nothing, nowt, niente, nada!

Well nothing exciting, unless of course you find pairing up long lost socks from under your bed to be exciting, in which case this will most likeley be the highlight of the month for you.

As the US Sony Playstation blog tells us “This is a minor update that improves the playback quality of some PS3 format software”. So there you have it folks, a big download that gets you nothing more than half an hour of boredom (depending on your Internet connection and the Playstation servers).

If you have any opinions on this let us know! Would you rather updates like this be optional? Do you think these small updates are essential to increasing the ps3’s potential? Do you wish you could still use the ps3 (at least while the update was downloading)? We would love to hear from you on this!…

Stuff Live 2008 Event: PS3 games to be sold via vending machines

We attending the Stuff Live 2008 Event on Friday 31 an the Excel Center in London and must say enjoyed it very much, PlayStation 3 booth was there where you could play some of their games (We will talk about these sometime this week.

Today is all about “PoP”, if you like PS3 games, spending all your cash and like vending machines then you will like the following.

Who would have thought that vending machines that sell PS3 games would ever happen, well it has. Sony and Universal Pictures will manufacture and distribute “PoP Instant Entertainment 24/7″ vending machines across the U.K. these new vending machines will allow you to purchase PS3 games, media downloads, DVDs and Blu-rays.

They are planning on having 150 movies available like Mama Mia, Hellboy II and many of the new releases. You will get to see trailers before you buy; you will be able to download movies and music directly to MP3 and MP4 players, or even an SD card.

You will start to see these new machines in travel stations, theaters, universities, gyms and several of other places. What do you think of these new vending machines?

Does exclusive titles and Blu-ray give PS3 the edge?

The reason we are asking this question is because according to MCV president Kaz Hirai from Sony Computer Entertainment he said PlayStation 3’s first-party exclusive titles are “the best out there”. We want to look into this further because we have said this all along.

Surely rivals cannot compete against the PlayStation 3 exclusives, when you think about the exclusive front being it downloadable or not is one of the main strengths the PS3 has, Kaz Hirai also said that they have a proven this over and over again and that the power of its internal worldwide studios “”Our first-party product is obviously platform exclusive and is the best out there.

“We’ve talked about a raft of great titles, whether that’s Little Big Planet, Resistance 2, SOCOM, God of War 3, Killzone 2, MaG, and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift.”

Now when you talk about the Blu-Ray, you know there is a lot of capacity there and things can only get better.

Please answer this for PS3 Daily “Do you think the PS3 has the best exclusive titles that leave the likes of Xbox 360 behind?…

Does MGS4 freeze your PS3? Metal Gear Solid 4 Problems

A member of the EuroGamer forum put their point across which was about MGS4 freezing, they said that they bought the 80 GB MGS4 bundle in USA but they live in the UK, forum member called “magikdodo” said that whilst playing against screaming mantis when entering the drebins shop to get some ammo magikdodo could not exit the start menu, so the only option was to try and quit the game and then a message popped up on the screen saying ‘please wait’, I had to restart the PS3.

magikdodo carried on to say that hours later magikdodo finally got through to where Snake is at the graveyard when the disc icon with a question mark shows up at the upper LHS of my TV. magikdodo has stopped playing now and does not have any other games to try on the Sony PS3, magikdodo wants to know if anyone else is experiencing the same problem, magikdodo also said that if the PS3 dies I am screwed as I do not have no warranty cover.

So readers please help magikdodo, Does MGS4 freeze your PS3?

Sony Playstation 4 hitting market soon: Futuristic Head View Headset

Great news Sony Playstation gamers, the all new Playstation 4 is hitting the market soon and we want to blow your mind of what you can expect from the biggest gaming console in the world.

Digital Spy has been at a celebrity bash in London and the O2 Arena where celebrities such as Brooklyn Beckham, Prince Harry, Brooklyn Beckham’s wife Emma Bunton and Jonathan Ross, they were all there to see the all new Sony PS4.

What a machine, the eagerly awaited next-generation gaming console will blow your mind, you will see new motion sensing controls on the new revolutionary console and a stunning PS hand wand that has optional changeable heads, this basically means you can change from say a golf club to a tennis racket and even change it to a steering wheel.

The bit we like the best is that Digital Spy found out about the all new Headview headset, this headset is a helmet that gamers will wear; it covers your eyes and will offer virtual reality experiences. Check out the video below of the PS4.

The PS4 will feature five microprocessors and visual capabilities, this is without a doubt the all new super computer, and price will be £399. For more information please visit Digital Spy.

Oh just so you know the above is for fun, but got you going didn’t it. Sorry about that, we love to tickle your gaming spots.…