Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Wonders of the iPhone Star Rating

So, I have my free MythTV remote in the iPhone App Store and it only has a 2 star average rating.

Not exactly a Gaussian distribution.

I think that there are a class of iPhone users who download every free app they can get their hands on, whatever it's description of use, and then later tidy up, delete the app and give it a 1 star rating. For free apps, you should only go by the ratings of people who bothered to write a review.

Of course, reviewers can be pretty picky. Here are some nearly representative 1 star reviews for RRgh:

“Trop compliqué, pas ergonomique, trop cher.. bref! tout faux. A déconseiller fortement." (Google translates this as "Too complicated, not ergonomic, too expensive .. short! all wrong. A highly recommended.” 1 Star

“I love this because of it's ease of use. All who done know time consuming getting myth to work the way you it is so this application come is a fresh breath of air. I use myth on my 64bit Suse 11.0 box an it took me less than 3 minutes to set up my box to work with the app. I want to note that mymote has not worked for me yet which is disappointing because I think the interface looks better. Just remember that your default port is 6546 and your ip of your myth box. After that just enable it in the setup/utilities -- setup -- general option.” 1 Star

“A virtually flawless app I use it all the time, no more looking for the remote, it's always in my pocket! My only suggestion is to add the ability to schedule recordings if possible
Thank you
Dave” 1 Star

I will freely admit that out of 10 reviewed 1 star ratings, 7 didn't like the app, mainly because they didn't know MythTV. Fair enough, MythTV is not for the casual computer user, or someone who gets paid by the hour. My major point, if I had a point, is you should read the reviews of free apps, their star rating is not generally helpful.