Appscores and How Developers Can Improve Them

Over the past decade with the meteoric rise of smartphone popularity, countless applications have been developed for sale on the Google and Apple stores, ranging from video games to practical apps such as those for managing finances to fun but useless diversions. With so many applications available, many of which claiming to perform similar functions, users have faced some challenge in weeding through the less useful apps to find those rare gems that are worth downloading.

However, the invention of appscores for iOS has changed the game, allowing iPhone users an incredible basis for comparing apps that goes beyond conventional ratings. While this provides convenience for users, developers of iPhone apps can also capitalize on app scores by sizing up their own applications to find out where improvements may be necessary.

The Unreliability of Ratings and Rankings

For most iPhone users searching for useful applications, ratings and rankings seem to undercut the necessity for app scores; however, rankings and ratings are not as reliable as most would think. For example, app rankings will only determine those ranking within the top 200 applications, leaving hundreds of thousands unranked. Not to mention rankings are generally bought via large marketing campaigns, rather than earned through merit alone. While apps that consistently rank highly should receive more attention, users will not be able to tell the difference between these apps and those that skyrocketed in rankings due to substantial amounts of invested capital into marketing.

Like rankings, ratings can also mislead iPhone users. For new applications, ratings take a significant amount of time and user engagement to accurately reflect the usefulness and usability of the application. As ratings are considered locally, rather than globally, apps can rate very differently from one country to the next, calling into question the reliability of these ratings overall. Furthermore, some companies resort to using third-party software and black-hat techniques allow apps to achieve a rating higher than deserved.

Factors for Appscores

In order to give users a better, more reliable basis for comparing apps, appscores use several key factors for determining an application’s worth. Essentially, an appscore is generated by taking into account ranking consistency, rating consistency, and developer reputation. For the first two, rather than taking rankings and ratings at face value, appscores track how well apps
retain their success, penalizing apps that shoot to the top temporarily only to sink down to a more appropriate position. An appscore also takes into account projected usability for apps, where more useful budgeting tools, editing, etc. will get a small boost in appscore provided they work.

Using Appscores as a Developer

Developers can improve their applications’ performance by keeping track on their appscores. Particularly, appscores take into account the history and reputation of developers, including Klout score and previously developed apps. For those with an impressive track record, the designation of “Top Developer” may be assigned, representing those with high quality apps and no suspicious history. In contrast, developers with a history of suspicious activity, especially with regards to rankings and ratings, may be labeled “Dodgy Developers” and will be penalized in their appscore. Using this information, developers can create apps that genuinely deserve a high ranking and rating, and whether they achieve success in these areas, appscores will reveal their true worth to savvy users.

While most consumers put a high degree of faith into rankings and ratings on the Apple Store, appscores provides a much more accurate assessment of an app’s value. Until suspicious and underhanded practices can be better recognized and reflected within the rankings and ratings, users should consider appscores as a more unbiased score, allowing them to pick out those diamond applications in the rough.

About Megan Ritter

Megan Marie is a student at USC who is studying marketing: Internet marketing specifically. When she’s not studying she’s submitting written content on the web.

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