Rich’s Note: Travis brings up some points here that have impacted every app store out there and continues to do so. With the sheer number of apps being submitted the quality control in the approval process has to be working well across the board. Things will still slip through as we have seen in the past and this type of App Spam has been talked about before especially relating to Windows Phone. I have no doubt that the process evolves every single day but I certainly understand Travis’s frustration.
I’ve now spent a solid ten weeks giving you the lowdown on the applications I find useful during my own day to day usage of Windows Phone. We’ve shared tales of how to get the best audio and video entertainment. We’ve explored the depths of the Windows Phone Marketplace for the best ringtone applications. Indeed we’ve risked our lives and searched for Silverlight and XNA gold and lived to tell the tale.
On this, the eleventh week of Windows Phone App Flow we’re going to do exactly the opposite.
A platform’s number of applications has become something of an identifier as of late. If you’re creating a platform the first thing users want to know is ”how many applications are there?”. Windows Phone has lived up to our greatest expectations as far as development is concerned. Applications are based on languages that are fairly easy to understand. The Windows Phone developer tools are so well documented and easy to use that a Travis can do it. All of these factors have created a platform that’s easy to develop for and sadly easy to exploit.
Take “alarm_app” developed by windows phone app (no I’m not joking). It’s a simple enough application. Set the time you want to wake up, alarm goes off. That’s great except for one thing. The application is actually in the Windows Phone Marketplace, twice, and with the same name. Since it’s free and that applications contain no ads, this is less of a scam and more of a “what happened during the approval process?”.
While we all would like to hold Microsoft’s feet to the flame on not approving what we believe to be bogus applications, there’s another irresponsible party who is just as much to blame for the amount of bloat that the Windows Phone Marketplace is currently saddled with – developers. Take developer Yalla apps for example. The outfit has a number of apps including “The Time”, “News”, “Okaz”, “Game News”, “Huffington Post”, “Fox News”, “AlArabiya English”, “CNN”, “Rueters”, and “Tech News”. All of them use the same RSS template. All of them use ads to generate revenue from other’s content. All of them were uploaded within the last week.
We all know that I could go on and on and while I’m not sure of my position on developers mass producing applications to take advantage of open RSS feeds, I am sure of one thing. These practices are hurting the Windows Phone Marketplace. What good is having 60,000 applications if a great deal of them are a poorly executed excuse for showing you an advertisement? Why can’t we expect that Microsoft contain The Flood like parasitic rise of half-efforts currently making their way to our beloved platform?
On this week’s App Flow, I’ve not recommended a single application. Not because there aren’t any decent ones out there, but because they are drowning in the sea of nothingness. We’ll return to our regular hunt for amazing Windows Phone applications next week.
Until then send me your app recommendations, I’m on Twitter username: @harlemS.