Tag: mobile app ratings

Mobile apps may be easier to find with upcoming Google Play highlights

The tech giant has said it will be using this new feature to overcome the issues in application discovery.

While user reviews can be helpful in discovering which mobile apps are better than others, among the main struggles that are found in using reviews in order to produce search results is that the quality of all reviews is not created equal.

Many mobile app reviews are vindictive, not created by real users and can be quite juvenile.

Because of this, they don’t always provide any benefit to people who are trying to determine whether or not they’ve found mobile apps that are worthwhile. As the discoverability of mobile applications becomes an increasingly challenging issue, Google has now said it has come up with a unique solution that is designed to overcome the issues currently faced by Google Play in the recommendations it makes.

The new highlights feature, which is gradually rolling out by region, should help to improve in finding mobile apps.

Mobile Apps - Google PlayThe highlights feature of Google Play is meant to help to pay attention to phrases that are commonly used within reviews. For instance, if the phrase “too many ads” appears consistently within the reviews of a specific mobile application, that term will be highlighted by Google Play and will be revealed to anyone who is considering the download of the app. Though this is admittedly far from being a complete solution to all the struggles faced by app developers in producing better exposure for their products, the hope is that it will be a considerable improvement from which things will be able to get better.

The way the review highlights will work will make it possible for people browsing through Google Play with the ability to gain insight into the trends among reviews that wouldn’t be possible simply by listing the feedback and the number of stars it has earned in ratings. The feature is being launched a bit at a time and is already being seen in the United States, though it has not yet stepped into Canada, for example.

That said, this feature for finding mobile apps is expected to make itself outward in the near future.

Canadian telco posts fake mobile app ratings, faces $1.25 million fine

Bell Canada was caught rating applications fraudulently and is now required to pay a penalty.

After having been caught posting fraudulent mobile app reviews and ratings, Bell Canada has now agreed to pay the $1.25 million penalty that was laid down by the Competition Bureau in the country.

The telecommunications giant had been downloading its own free applications to give them top ratings.

That said, it was reviewing these mobile apps without identifying that they had a relationship to the source of the applications. Beyond having to pay the “administrative monetary penalty”, also known as an AMP, Bell Canada has now also agreed to “enhance and maintain its corporate compliance program, with a specific focus on prohibiting the rating, ranking or reviewing of apps in app stores by employees and contractors.”

The company will also be sponsoring a workshop that helps to overcome behaviors such as its false mobile app reviewing practices.

Mobile App - Canadian Company Faces FineThe workshop to be sponsored will look into the trust that Canadians have in the “digital economy, including the integrity of online reviews,” said the consent agreement that was registered with the Competition Tribunal and that was made public last week.

The Commissioner of Competition, John Pecman, explained that “I am pleased that Bell Canada demonstrated leadership to fully resolve the Competition Bureau’s concerns in this matter.” Pecman went on to say that he applauds the combined compliance that has been adopted by Bell in order to bring resolution to this issue, “which will benefit both consumers and the digital marketplace.”

The accusation against Bell, as per the Competition Bureau, is that last year in November, Bell’s own employees were encouraged to download two of the company’s free apps, “Virgin My Account” and “MyBell Mobile” from the Google Play store and from iTunes. The employees were encouraged to leave positive ratings and reviews for those mobile apps without also stating that they were working for the company. The Bureau explained that the false ratings were taken down as soon as it was notified that this had been occurring. They were eliminated as of December 2014. That said, the Bureau found that the false ratings and reviews had temporarily impacted the overall star rating for those applications with the potential of giving it an unfair advantage within those app stores.