As I have previously covered concerning software quality in app stores, the issue of app stores filling up with poor-quality software is being addressed. This time Microsoft has taken decisive action to remove the fake apps that were littering the Windows Store and reshaping the developers’ agreement to stop the creation of paid clone apps of established software.
But this kind of problem can beset any platform that creates a download site or electronic storefront for software and there needs to be an upper hand on the quality of the software that appear in these markets. Personally, I would still encourage people to rely on “word of mouth” or spotlighted apps as a way to gain value out of the app store. As well, people using feedback and reporting mechanisms can help with rebuilding quality in to an app store or download site.
Anyone who is building up an app-store for a product, whether it be a regular-computer or mobile-computer operating system or a “smart device” like a printer, NAS or smart TV should work out how to manage the app stores and download sites that they intend to run. They would need to:
- provide a human-driven software curating arrangement especially to draw out well-written software that does the job properly
- define policies concerning the software that exists such as intellectual property, software behaviour, taste and decency, end-user privacy and security, amongst similar issue
- establish a feedback and reporting mechanism to allow customers to highlight good and bad software
- define and maintain consumer-protection policies according to what is expected by any decent person to avoid end-users being ripped off.
Once this is done, it could engender more respect in platform app stores and the ability for users to shape their experience as they see fit.