It has always been considered that the App Store is a more reliable app store than Google Play, and it is largely because of it that iOS is so well protected. After all, if users download software only from the App Store, where it is checked and approved by censors, the risk of infection with an adware Trojan or other malware tends to zero. In this case, the defense mechanisms of iOS itself are not even so important, the effectiveness of which does not have to be tested when there is such a bulwark of defense as the App Store. However, in recent years, developers more and more often make claims to the Apple software store.
High ratings in the App Store – often screwed up.
It turns out the App Store is not as well tested as it might seem at first glance. The developer Costa Eleftheriu drew attention to several problems at once:
- Fake reviews that are not verified or deleted by anyone;
- Cloning applications when a fake is passed off as the original;
- Unfair subscriptions that are imposed on inattentive users;
- The decrease in the rating of popular and promotion of unpopular applications.
How is the App Store cheated?
Sometimes even a good app gets killed with low ratings.
According to Eleftheriu, he faced each of these problems literally in one day.
A little background. Eleftheriou is one of the creators of the Flexy keyboard, which Flickr successfully bought some time ago. That is, there is no reason to doubt his experience. So his current app, FlickType, has received a lot of high ratings and lots of positive reviews from reviewers who call FlickType “a whole new way of typing,” “the best third-party keyboard for the Apple Watch,” “amazingly accurate keyboard,” and other flattering terms. However, at some point, the rating of the Eleftheriu app dropped to 3.5.
The downgrade has prompted a large number of low-rated reviews that have surfaced in recent years. In principle, this is logical: if a developer does not cope with his duties, then he gets an unsatisfactory mark. However, Eleftheriu responds to its users and regularly corrects any bugs that are reported to them, and expands the capabilities of FlickType (official website here).
Eleftheriu’s problem is that the creators of clone apps are undermining his work. They diligently mimic FlickType both externally and functionally, but, unlike the original, they do not have the same high-quality support. At the same time, they do not behave entirely honestly towards users. They are given a window with a subscription, which they sign up for because they do not read the fine print. But here’s the paradox – such apps tend to have a very high rating.
How are App Store reviews cheated?
Cheating reviews in the App Store is a popular service used by unscrupulous developers.
Do deceive users give them positive ratings? Well, of course not. While users who are fooled give apps a negative rating, fake reviews are crowding out genuine crowdsourced ratings. As a result, users who have just stumbled upon the application see a high rating and, of course, download it. Then everything starts in a circle: subscribing, writing a negative review, which is still interrupted by a fake one, and someone falls into this hook again.
In fact, the problem of fake reviews in the App Store is more global than it might seem at first glance. For the request “App Store promotion,” Google produces a colossal number of matches. This is a real service in demand among unscrupulous developers who cannot do something of high quality and are forced to gain popularity and earn in such an unfair way.
But if it is not easy to deal with fake reviews in general, it should obviously be easier with fake applications. In the end, this is much more obvious. However, even here, Apple is seriously screwing up: many developers are corny using screenshots, videos, promotional materials of other applications, and censors do not notice this.
Simultaneously, it is quite ironic that the App Store rules clearly state that cloning applications and even duplicating their features is a strict violation, and developers who try to bypass the requirements are excluded from the community without the right to restore.
Why is this happening? Well, there are likely two reasons. The first is the human factor. Often, censors cannot keep track of everything that happens in the App Store, entrusting the verification of applications, for the most part, to software algorithms that cunning developers cheat in one way or another. And the second is that Apple makes money even from fake and fake apps. After all, she is given 15-30% for the subscription payment. So why not take advantage of the naivete of users to make some extra money?