First, I need to address a comment that really angers me on the Android Market against SECuRET SpyCam DEMO. It reads as follows; "Malware Detected... Don't install....". Before I go on, SECuRET SpyCam does NOT contain any form of malware or virus. None of my applications do!! I have tried and tried to get Google to remove this comment from the Market, but they don't even bother to reply to me. After the late nights and hours of blood sweat & tears I have put into SECuRET SpyCam, and all the effort I exert to gain a reputation as a quality and reliable developer, this sort of comment really hurts me personally.
I have already noted a drop in sales since this comment was made, but alas, there is absolutely nothing I can do to counter this false and damaging comment. It's quite frankly appalling and Google need a way for developers to be able to take action against comments like these! I wouldn't be surprised if the comment was made by a rival developer, seeing as this is the only feedback I have seen like this after over 115,000 downloads of SECuRET SpyCam DEMO. If that is true, then it sickens me even more that I can't do anything about it.
Secondly, I need to air my feelings about a more general trend that unfortunately seems to be catching on more and more in recent times...
And that is, down-rating FREE demo/lite applications because they are NOT the full version. Yes, you did read that right! I don't, as lots of other independent/hobbyist developers, have a large budget to market my applications. I rely on the model of having a 'cut down' FREE version of a particular application to compliment the full PAID version. I'm sure everyone is familiar with this approach and it's something that generally works ... the user gets to try a limited version of the application for free and make a decision on whether they want to part with some cash for the full version. So why oh why oh why, do users rate FREE DEMO versions low for actually being FREE DEMO versions? Again, yes, you did read that right! "Demo version, 1 star", "Don't download, it's only a demo, 1 star", "It's basically just an advert, 1 star", "Doesn't do as much as the pro version, 1 star", "Can't use colour captures in demo, 1 star" ... these are just some of my favourites. Now surely, as the comments are accurately pointing out it's a DEMO, then it should be getting 5 star ratings across the board as it does a darn good job at being a demo ;)
Please don't get me wrong and think I am moaning about all bad comments and ratings; I am well aware that people are entitled to their opinions and that you can't please all of the people all of the time. In fact, some of the more constructive negative comments really help me to improve my applications. It's just the comments and ratings that whinge about FREE versions not being functional enough or just leaving comments like 'Crap' or 'Sucks' - it really helps no-one at all! I know people love free stuff and I'd love to give all my work away for free and for everyone to benefit from my coding skills without paying a penny, but sadly society and nature dictate that I have to pay for certain things called 'food & shelter', and so I humbly ask for small amounts of money in return for the work I do. I am confident that you can relate to this!
So finally, I ask for your help in 3 different ways:
- I'd like to ask that you kindly download the SECuRET SpyCam DEMO (and any of my other demos, which are all FREE) from the Android Market and give them a decent comment and rating to try and counter the idiotic ones on there (particularly my most popular application, SECuRET SpyCam DEMO, as this seems to be the worst effected). Hopefully we can readdress the balance and add some sense to the swathes of illogical nonsense that litter the comments sections of my free applications;
- Next time you comment and rate any application from any developer on the Android Market, just consider what effect that will have and whether that is the effect you truly want. My personal preference it to never give a low rating to an application - I'll just uninstall it and not use it ... job done;
- Give me some feedback. The user is always right, so if they consistently moan about a FREE DEMO not being functional enough, then maybe I need to take a different approach? How could I change my free offerings to be more appealing to users, but still provide enough of an enticement to upgrade to the paid version and therefore help pay my bills!
I feel it is a serious point though, and as I have no other way to combat the senseless comments myself, I am relying on the decent amongst you reading this now to help me get some balanced comments and ratings for my free applications. Thanks :)