Some apps & games stay on my iPhone out of guilt

  • October 16th, 2008

Earlier today while perusing the feeds, I caught this snippet via DF concerning the Android Market (the app store for Android).

The Android Market business and program policies also include an item that says users can return any application for a full refund within 24 hours of the time of purchase. In the absence of a trial version of applications, this offer will let users return an application that might not deliver exactly what they expected.

A 24 hour window for Android users to act on buyers remorse by returning applications which fail to meet expectations if a trial version is unavailable. I see two great one-ups over Apple’s execution of the app store here: 1) trial versions of software, and 2) 24 hour period for refunds. Common consumer right(s).

Despite enjoying the iPhone 99% of the time, the final 1% when I receive a bank statement – which reminds me of app store purchases screaming FAIL – is not so great. I’ve learned to offset bad apps by skipping the morning coffee run and drinking drip instead.

The choices for finding worthwhile apps relies heavily on feedback from others:

  • Trust reviews within the App Store. Until recently, app reviews were open to anyone. Apple smartened up and now requires that customers purchase / download before reviewing. I may be wrong, but the overall weighted ratings for apps may still be calculated based on prior reviews from potential non-users.
  • Trust reviews on blogs. With the increasing number of fluff apps making their way into the App Store, it is hard to keep tabs on applications with real value. Generally, if an app is good enough for an honorable mention or review on high traffic blog it must be worthwhile. Right?

Feedback and reviews from others are great, but actual hands on time before making an assessment of whether or not that .99 cent tip calculator to the $999 joke of an app I Am Rich (removed) is worth keeping gives the consumer real control.

When I first started reading stories similar to Trism raking in $250,000 in a little over 2 months, I began to wonder what percentage of these hefty take homes should have been refund credits had the model been in place.

One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure… Or so the Cliche goes. I have bought a lot of apps. A couple keepers, a few mehs, and a couple pages worth of garbage. Some remain on the phone just because I feel guilty. $140. The total racks up quickly. A lucrative business model for both Apple and developers.

What are your thoughts on the App Store? How much have you dropped? And of the total dropped, what percentage would you have gladly accepted a refund for?

Yes, I am aware of the fact that most of the high profile App Store releases offer "lite" versions. To those developers, thank you!