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Survey: Exploring the reasons users complain about apps

Why apps get bad reviews and what developers can do
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The problem with bad reviews is they have a way of staying around online forever, which is why developers will need to be sure their mobile apps perform as expected, based on a recent survey.

Apigee, which offers analytics and configuration tools, commissioned uSamp to gather feedback from more than 500 consumers aged 18 or older on why they might give an app a bad review, and the majority said they all experience frustrations with apps that would lead them to do so. The biggest complaints are no surprise: 76 percent said an app that freezes would get a bad review, while apps that crash or respond slowly also ranked high, at 71 percent and 59 percent, respectively. More than half said too many ads would lead to a bad review as well.

While solid performance is obviously a key expectation by consumers, the survey sheds some light on just how particular users can be, and with what kinds of apps. For example, 74 percent said banking apps were the most important apps from a performance perspective, followed closely by map apps (which should be no surprise to Apple). Performance issues, if they happen at all, can't last for very long, according to the survey.

"An unforgiving 18 percent admitted they would even delete an app immediately from their device if it froze for just five seconds," Apigee said. "In the growing app economy, there's a natural Darwinian effect, and only the best apps will survive."

Apigee found that 76 percent of users would delete an app if it froze.

The fallout from poor performance doesn't stop with uninstalling an app, however. The survey report said 32 percent of users would tell their friends how bad the app is, and another 21 percent would go beyond the traditional route of writing a bad review in an app store and take to social media tools such as Twitter or Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to share their bad experience. And don't discount those channels, either: while 76 percent said they use app stores to discover new apps, 45 percent get information from Facebook and 58 percent from their friends.

All isn't lost for poorly performing apps, however, as 89 percent said the best response was fixing the problem quickly. The survey also showed an interesting link between monetization and loyalty: 27 percent said they wouldn't be as quick to delete an app if they paid for it, and easy refunds were cited by 65 percent as a good way of remediating problems.

For more:
- read the full report

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