Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

How I Pick Apps And Portable Games

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Sometimes a screenshot doesn't do an app justice... other times, it doesn't tell the full story.

Between my iPod Touch and my Epic, I have pretty much every cool app and/or game I could care to have.

That isn’t to say I won’t be downloading more. I’ve been pretty fortunate on my choices of apps and I have yet to purchase one that isn’t something I use on a semi-regular basis. I’d like to say that it’s because I’m awesome (which I am) but in this case, I’ve actually had a little help.

I’m not the type to be taken in by a pretty screenshot or to make impulse purchases online. I typically go in armed with some form of information before I make a purchase. If you’ve had a few digital lemons in your purchase history, let me give you a few hints on how to avoid them in the future.

Your first source of information for app or game purchases for your portable device is most likely your friends and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, you have to consider the friend you’re talking to before making a purchase. Are they the type who like more flash in their apps than substance? Do they have 20 different soundboards that they use to torment you on long trips? If their taste is different from yours in another entertainment media (like TV or movies), you might want to think twice before taking their advice on an app they say is a “must download”.

The second place you might find advice on apps would be tech or gaming sites (*ahem* Like this one) which again isn’t a bad thing. Many of the sites I visit have entire articles dedicated to specific apps or might only mention something in passing in an article about a device. Again, you have to consider the source. Is the site you’re reading geared towards casual gamers and you consider yourself a hardcore gamer? Are you reading about a game on a site that typically reviews hardware? Have you ever purchased a game or app based on the advice of the site and had it be a flop for you? Make sure the opinions you’re reading match up with yours more often than not before acting on it.

Many people quote the reviews of the apps as the deciding point. But when I ask, they never go past the initial three or four reviews and typically don’t even read the reviews, instead choosing to rely on how many stars an app has been awarded by reviewers. This is what I like to refer to as a mistake…

There are, unfortunately, app creators who are not above using false accounts to promote and recommend their own apps. This can come in the form of using the accounts to push a sub-par review off of the front page or last three reviews in order to make their product look better. If you want the skinny on a particular app, take the time to fully read a few randomly chosen reviews from *all* of the reviews, not just the first three or four.

Lite and beta versions can often be downloaded to try out before you decide to purchase...

Keep in mind that a large majority of the apps out there have a “lite” version, something you can download before you decide to purchase and see if you like it or not. It’s worth the few extra minutes to try on a pair of shoes before you just go and buy them, right? Same principle applies here.

Finally, I recommend a quick search on the company or persons that produce the app you’re looking at. If there’s any potential foul play or if the company has a track record of producing crappy, buggy apps, you’re going to find out pretty quick just by typing in their name in the search bar.

Remember, it might only be a buck here or a buck there but it adds up… and crap is crap no matter how pretty the bow on the package it’s presented in.

Gritskrieg – End of Line










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