92 : 70

Yesterday Apple shipped the new version 2.2 of IPhone OS. While surely there is a lot to like about it (“stability improvements” – always appreciated), it also ships a new functionality for user review: the ROD.

ROD = Rate On Deletion

This jolly little tool ask users about their opinion on an application they are just about to delete. I would say this is perfect timing – if you want to ruin the ratings for free (and especially popular) applications. Free and small applications are easy to download (just one tap away) and everyone wants to try the new cool stuff. You start it once and realize that you have no use for it, then of course you did not check the description or the reviews. Why should you, when it is much easier to just try it. Ok, so now the only thing you want is to get rid of the app. No biggy, just hold the home button, wobbly wobbly, tap and then … this annoying window pops up. Guess what you do…

Some good hearted people expressed their hopes in the Apple IPhone developer forums that Apple would surely be smart, and use these ratings just for internal use (i.e. weighting of popular applications). Well, guess what, I don’t think so. The overall rating of my RegenRadar app used to be almost 5 stars. Since yesterday, three more written reviews appeared, all 5 stars, but the overall ranking dropped to 4 stars. On the overview page there are 92 review, but on the details page you can find 72 written reviews. So 20 more ghost reviews, with probably bad rankings. Wonder where they came from…

There is a good reason to only allow to rate an app when you at least give a comment and your “name”. You avoid simple flames. Hopefully Apple will work on this.

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