iNewz 2.5 (coming soon)

iNewz 2.5 (coming soon) - offlineUpdate (December 14, 2008): Version 2.5 is now available in the iTunes store.

The new version of iNewz is now with Apple for review… New features include an offline reading mode which was requested by a few people, complete with a simple bookmark option to tag an article if the summary information from the feed makes it sound as though you’d like to read more.

The offline mode will be used automatically if the application detects that there’s no network available, but it can also be switched on manually so that all articles will display in offline mode. You can then use the Open Page button to get to the full article on the web.

To make offline mode work, there’s also a bulk sync option that will update all the sources you’re subscribed to – can take a while if you have a lot of sources!

No reviews?

No reviews...Devicescape’s new application, a version of Easy Wi-Fi especially for AT&T, has been in the app store now for a few days. The screen shot here from my iPhone shows that it has no reviews (and if you scroll down to the bottom, the place where the link to any reviews is found also says that there are no reviews.

So what? It’s only been a few days after all. But wait, if you click on that button to open the reviews page, you get this:

But really five reviews!

So there are actually five reviews. Why doesn’t the app store app indicate that?

And want another mystery? See that average ranking there – 3.5 stars, well I don’t know how they calculate it because all five of those reviews have 5 star ratings. Last time I checked, 5 * 5 / 5 is 5, not 3.5.

Seems the app store has a number of basic arithmetic problems! And this is not going to help developers much. The ratings and review system is bad enough as it is, but this makes it worse still. An average of 3.5 when all the ratings shown in the reviews are 5 star is pretty damaging. Have you checked whether your aggregate rating is correct?

Apps or Applets?

sbux balanceI’ve seen a lot of discussion recently about application development for the iPhone and iPod touch platforms, and in particular whether the current trend for very low cost apps is sustainable long term.

The first article I read was Andy Finnell’s How to Price Your iPhone App out of Existence. My own experiences with the app store were pretty consistent with his observations, but it got me thinking a bit more about this issue.

VentureBeat also noted that the $0.99 price is going to make it next to impossible to live off of an application, and they’re suggesting that the price is tending back up towards $9.99. Driven in that direction not by consumers (obviously), but by the developers coming to the realisation that they can’t afford to write high quality applications at the lower price points.

Continue reading