Three Newspapers’ App: Highly Ranked But Not Highly Rated

Regarding the three newspaper companies’ iPhone/iPod app “Allatanys” that was covered in my previous post, it is at the top of the free app section in the Japanese App Store.    But it has attained only two stars in the five-star-rating system.    Why is this?
The App Store’s ranking list is based on the number of times each iPhone/iPod app is downloaded, and App Store users are forced to download an app, and try it before rating it.   So, if an app has a catchy title with a very impressive explanation, this will encourage users to download it, causing it to reach a high ranking.    But it does not always get a high rating if the app itself is worthless.
In the newspaper app case mentioned above, people tried it at first but they complained that it was not very useful.   Contrary to the Sankei Shimbun’s iPhone/iPod app, the newspaper triad’s app does not allow users to read the full text of the papers, only some headlines and abstracts.    In order to read the full text, the user is forced to visit the newspaper company’s website after clicking a link provided in the app.   Some users concluded that it was unnecessary to develop the app, because a website designed for the iPhone/iPod web browser would be enough.  On the other hand, Sankei’s app enables you to download all pages of the paper and read the full text without visiting its website.
Some people think that this iPhone/iPod app was only developed as a catalyst making users visit Allatanys’ website, and they are concerned that the AppStore will be filled with worthless apps in the future.
(Proofread by: Sean O’Hagan)

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