Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Nov 2012 23:01 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The abuse of push notifications is spreading across the App Store. As a result, users are starting to reflexively reject app requests to send push notifications. I always allow apps to send me push notifications, just so I can see what other app developers are doing. Here is a collection of valueless, invasive, and annoying push notifications that I've received recently." Perfect illustration of why one of the usual arguments for strongly curated application stores - quality control - is, as it stands now, pure nonsense. A decent quality control system would bar all these applications from the store. Similar stuff is going on in the Windows 8 application store: a never-ending stream of ugly, pointless crap nobody cares about. Heck, many of them do not even have a tile icon! The end result is that whether you go to Google Play or the App Store, 99.9% is crap. I would much rather have a very restrictive, quality-focussed store - but with an option to enable sideloading. The way application stores work today in no way leads to better quality applications than with plain-old internet distribution. In fact, I'd argue things have gotten worse, not better, due to application store spam.
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Hmm
by Saladar on Mon 12th Nov 2012 23:25 UTC
Saladar
Member since:
2011-10-25

So app stores have become the new mail order catalogs. Just flood the (whatever) and even if just 1 out of 100 buys something, it's profitable.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hmm
by WorknMan on Tue 13th Nov 2012 05:07 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So app stores have become the new mail order catalogs. Just flood the (whatever) and even if just 1 out of 100 buys something, it's profitable.


Ya, pretty much. For me, rather than having a super-curated app store, I'd rather have one that is honest about whether the app is REALLY free or not.

Honestly, I don't mind paying for apps, but I hate downloading apps marked free, only to find that they're infected with adware, or you have to make an in-app purchase to get the full functionality. If it costs money, then just make me pay for the f**king thing up front, with a free trial preferable.

Point being, I blame app store vendors for a lot of this.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hmm
by sparkyERTW on Tue 13th Nov 2012 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

You sadly have to blame the market somewhat, too. The number of "I don't buy apps" people I've come across is far more numerous than those that do. So while I too would prefer to shell out at least a few bucks to avoid adware, developers and publishers see me as the minority case.

Of course, I already get a bit leery about app stores. As a frequent user of open source software, I get a little antsy when I read the list of permissions apps want and know that no independent review has ever or can ever be done to ensure the app isn't abusing its allowances.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hmm
by Nelson on Tue 13th Nov 2012 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I agree. I'd love to see clearer up front descriptions about the app in the Marketplaces.

At least on Windows this metadata is already available (for Advertising and In app Purchasing) so you can get a lot more descriptive than they currently are

"This app is paid + includes in app purchasing." or "This app is free + includes in app advertising"

Also, I'd love for a clear description on what upgrading from Trial does. This should be a hard requirement.

Reply Score: 2

Amzon App Store
by kragil on Mon 12th Nov 2012 23:40 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I don't use or like the idea of Amazons App Store, but from their marketing it sounds like it is what you are looking for.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by some1
by some1 on Tue 13th Nov 2012 00:10 UTC
some1
Member since:
2010-10-05

I would much rather have a very restrictive, quality-focussed store - but with an option to enable sideloading.

Isn't that what all kinds of Featured and Editor's Choice lists are supposed to achieve? I.e. manually reviewed, tested and known not to be shit subset of all apps.

Reply Score: 2

Anythign not obviously violating the ToS goes!
by tomz on Tue 13th Nov 2012 00:12 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

Even the Amazon App store isn't "curated".

Apple, for all the pain they inflict on their own developers, doesn't actually seem to test out the apps, merely run them through whatever validator to insure they aren't doing anything obvious.

But because they don't actually distinguish, there can't be even a hierarchy of "High Quality Apps, certified by Apple", the 5 star (when it isn't star spam) big catalog apps, and an "anything goes". So there are many fart apps, sex content when they can hide it to get it through, Faux app copies...

The "Apple seal of approval" only means that the developers didn't break an obvious Apple rule, not that it is horrid to the user. And sometimes things like tethering gets through, and is pulled. Or kill-switched.

Windows is similar.

Google doesn't try, but then they aren't making a pretense. There may be room for a side-loading quality app store under Android. So it could be done.

Reply Score: 4

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Apple, for all the pain they inflict on their own developers, doesn't actually seem to test out the apps, merely run them through whatever validator to insure they aren't doing anything obvious.


With all the news bits in the past about obvious human morality issues with otherwise fine apps, I doubt that your statement is actually true. I may be wrong, but there seems to be a very arbitrary set of human minds at work here.

Of course, with the silliness that comes from the App Store at times, I wonder what kind of party drugs those QC folks are on.

Reply Score: 6

Let me just be the first to say...
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 13th Nov 2012 01:35 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

LMFAO! ;) ;)

Edited 2012-11-13 01:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Flatland_Spider
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 13th Nov 2012 02:27 UTC
Flatland_Spider
Member since:
2006-09-01

I would much rather have a very restrictive, quality-focussed store


I'd like to add different "repos" like I can with Linux too. Community run meritocratic repos seem to be working pretty well there.

Edited 2012-11-13 02:28 UTC

Reply Score: 5

I don't see the problem
by leos on Tue 13th Nov 2012 04:01 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

I have about 70 apps installed on my phone. I don't get any push notifications that I would consider as unwanted. The closest was Draw Something, which would sometimes send unwanted app news as a notification. I've since uninstalled it as I was bored with the game anyway.

So what's the secret for not getting spammy push notifications? Don't use shitty spammy apps. It's that simple. Pay a couple bucks extra for quality and you don't have that problem.

And if you do want to use the app, just block push notifications. Duh, that's what the option is there for.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 13th Nov 2012 06:10 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

mandate store interoperability and we'll get store competition, and someone will kill these problems.

until then enjoy walking in circles around your walled garden

Reply Score: 2

push abuse
by l3v1 on Tue 13th Nov 2012 07:10 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

I would say they only do what you allow them to do. If you allow them to push, they will push, I don't see how that's a surprise. Anyhow, when this happens, then at least it makes people think twice about what to allow and what not to. It's become fairly general that people only start waking up when they get a kick in their behinds. Well, good morning.

Reply Score: 2

Then just switch notification off
by majipoor on Tue 13th Nov 2012 08:00 UTC
majipoor
Member since:
2009-01-22

In case you missed it, you can fine tune what kind of notification you get for each app and disable all notifications for an app if you want.

Isn't choice supposed to be a good thing?

Reply Score: 2

karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

In case you missed it, you can fine tune what kind of notification you get for each app and disable all notifications for an app if you want.

The article says: "most non-technical users do not know that these settings exist, or don’t understand the settings if they do happen to stumble across them."

The fact that you can (and know how to) disable push notifications on a per app basis is not the point. The point is that the behaviour of these apps appears to be in violation of section 5.6 of the App Store Review Guidelines:

“5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind”

Still, these apps have been accepted and rest assured that they're not going to be removed, which means that that a curated app store doesn't automatically translate to quality apps and it's really a way to decide who gets invited to the party and who stays home.


RT.

Edited 2012-11-13 09:05 UTC

Reply Score: 5

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I'm sorry, but since at least iOS 6.0 (but possibly the last iOS 5.x release) every app you install will ask "Xxxx want to send you push notifications, accept?" or similar on first start up. At this point you are perfectly able to click "no". You therefore get no push notifications from that app ever.

iOS 6.0, open settings: Notifications is the second item in the second block on my phone. Clearly visible. The list of apps is pretty clear - "In notification centre", "Not in notification centre". All the user needs to know is what "Notification centre" is. You can argue all you want that the average user will know what that is, but Apple have it all over their product announcements, and so I don't think it is a stretch to believe that many non-techie users know/can work out what the term means from the context.

Reply Score: 3

karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

I'm sorry, but since at least iOS 6.0 (but possibly the last iOS 5.x release) every app you install will ask "Xxxx want to send you push notifications, accept?" or similar on first start up. At this point you are perfectly able to click "no". You therefore get no push notifications from that app ever.

You are correct, yet you are missing the point.

As stated above (and by the linked post) according to section 5.6 of the App Store Review Guidelines "Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind”. It's as simple as that. At least in principle, that is.


RT.

Reply Score: 3

majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

Thom say "The way application stores work today in no way leads to better quality applications than with plain-old internet distribution. In fact, I'd argue things have gotten worse, not better, due to application store spam."

I was commenting his article, not the linked one.

You cannot do anything against spam while you can easily (yes, easily) configure push notifications.

I don't see how this "problem" can be compared to spam or other app store issues such as malwares: if a developer abuses push notifications, people will disable them or remove the app which will directly impact the developer's business.

A problem with such an easy fix is not a problem.

Reply Score: 1

karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

You cannot do anything against spam while you can easily (yes, easily) configure push notifications.

Again, that's not the point. We're talking about rules put in place by Apple and blatantly ignored by both developers and Apple.


RT.

Reply Score: 3

I don't notice this, but...
by darknexus on Tue 13th Nov 2012 12:49 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

On my iPhone, I've not gotten any push notifications I haven't opted into and, in fact, I've turned several apps notification settings off when they got too verbose. What I notice far more than abuse of push notifications is what I'm going to call abuse of app startup. Half the time, apps will prompt you when you start them "please rate this app," or "please donate," or "follow us on twitter," etc and this doesn't stop even when you tell the app not to remind you. This is completely contained within the app and not controlled by notification settings, and it happens whenever certain apps are launched. I know Apple's put clauses up in their TOS against this, but so far, I don't see these terms enforced. Push notifications don't bother me. If I get notifications I don't want, I'll shut them off, quick and easy. These modal dialogs when some apps open piss me off far more, and that problem isn't limited to iOS apps by a long shot. I saw this same behavior with a lot of "free" Android apps when I had a Nexus One.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't notice this, but...
by MOS6510 on Tue 13th Nov 2012 13:29 UTC in reply to "I don't notice this, but..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I suspect, based on nothing but a feeling, is that apps ask you once to rate them, but this once is reset to zero after an update. Or at least some do this.

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I suspect, based on nothing but a feeling, is that apps ask you once to rate them, but this once is reset to zero after an update. Or at least some do this.

Probably, but it doesn't change the fact that bugging me to rate said app is going to make me give it a much lower rating than I otherwise might have, if I don't just uninstall it right away.

Reply Score: 3

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

When I launch an app I do so because I want to use it, not rate it. So when it asks me to rate it I never do it, because I want to use the app.

I wonder how many do rate an app when asked to do so by the app.

Reply Score: 3

Missing the point
by whartung on Tue 13th Nov 2012 19:51 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

Perfect illustration of why one of the usual arguments for strongly curated application stores - quality control - is, as it stands now, pure nonsense.


And here is the mistake being made.

Perhaps Apple is not enforcing its guidelines strongly enough. Perhaps they're not being informed of the violations to the guidelines. Thus, the suggestions to make reporting easier. And perhaps there needs to be a better way of informing novice users about their options in this regard.

But the key difference between the walled garden of the App Store and the unruly wild wild west of non-vetted apps is simply that something CAN be done about it.

The guideline is in place. Given enough motivation (perhaps through public awareness articles like these), then offending apps can be removed instantly. "Bad app, no key for you" and boom -- it's off the app store.

We also don't know how much more we would perhaps be suffering were the guideline and vetting process not in place.

But the simple fact that Apple can yank your key away and put you out of the App Store business at a moments notice is certainly enough to give some sinister parties pause, if not necessarily all.

Apple can certainly be asleep at the switch here in this case, and an unenforced rule is not better than no rule at all. I don't suffer this problem on my phone (but I don't have zillions of apps either). But the switch is in place, and can be thrown when and if the sleeping tiger awakes. Maybe articles like this one can act as a pointy stick to awaken it.

Edited 2012-11-13 19:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2