File that under grumpy 1 star reviews

App Store reviews are infamous as a lousy one-way feedback mechanism to developers. Thankfully the majority of reviews I get are 4 and 5 star, but every now and then someone posts a 1 star bug report or makes accusations I can’t respond to. So for a bit of balance I’d like to address a few here.

I paid for this app in good faith long ago, but since then the developer’s primary concern has been about pushing “updates” that do nothing more than expand IAP, even as long-standing, irritating bugs go unfixed. You have kanji revision cards missing readings that are then tested for, sets of “fully learned” characters which reset for no reason, etc., but fixing these take a back seat to getting you to pay for “Kanji Drawing Practice” and “Kana Chart”. – Disappointed Developer

Well Disappointed Developer, I’m sorry if you’ve had trouble with iKanji touch. The correct place to report problems if you want them acted upon quickly is here. Why you’ve picked the 1.9.1 update to complain about IAPs that were added in version 1.7 I don’t know. You can read the rational behind adding them here.

By your own admission you bought iKanji touch a long time ago, you can’t expect a lifetime of free updates to a piece of software, it’s simply not financial viable. If you’re a developer you should realise that or you’ll go out of business pretty quickly. We’re not all Googles or Apples, funded by venture capitalists or hoping to get bought up by FaceBook before the money runs out. If I don’t earn enough in sales from the App Store in a given month, I can’t pay my rent, it’s not that I’m a greedy mega corp trying to nickel and dime you.

If you’re wondering why fully learnt kanji are reseting back to unlearnt then you’re probably not understanding the way the spaced repetition system works. Look at the help documentation within the app.

Most readings are wrong. For the price the developer could at least proof tested by a native speaker. – Meksonthego

It has been tested by native speakers – out of the thousands of people using iKanji touch you seem to be the only person who thinks it’s a scam with incorrect readings. The original source of the readings are Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC, a highly respected free kanji database and dictionary. For clarity’s sake we only include jouyou readings in iKanji touch – that is the readings Japanese kids learn at school. There are many more of course, you could spend your life learning every one if that’s your thing, but the majority of people just want to know the basics and you can pick up other readings if they’re used even remotely commonly through everyday usage of the language (e.g people’s names, place names, literature etc).

£3 is a ripoff for a kanji only app. No vocab, grammar or listening. – WillTRiker

No £3 is a bargain. I’m sorry your expectation of software value has been so skewed that you think years of work isn’t even worth £3. If you read the app store description you’d also see none of the things you’re claiming are missing were ever indicated to be part of the app. Even the name ‘iKanji touch’ implies it’s primarily an app for learning kanji.

Won’t let me subscribe to google alert feeds. This app is useless to me. – MJbor

NewsLife never attracts terribly positive reviews on the App Store which makes me sad, but it’s a pet project rather than a real money earner so I don’t let them get to me that much.  When I went and created a Google Alert feed myself I found it added without a problem though. User error perhaps?

3 Comments on “File that under grumpy 1 star reviews

  1. Hey Rory,
    I liked the way you have dealt with the criticism by customers about your application.
    Really appreciable!!!

  2. I’m and avid blog reader, and I’m always on the lookout for new newsreader apps, particularly on the laptop, because nobody seems to want to get them right.

    The ones I’ve tried are hideously ugly (Shrook), or bloated with too much junk (Pulp, Leaf), or languishing from years of neglect (NetNewsWire), or suffer from page rendering problems (Vienna).

    In my opinion, Newslife has struck the perfect balance between aesthetics, common sense functionality, and price. Every once in a while I still try the other guys out, but I always keep coming back to Newslife.


    • Thanks Greg 🙂 I’m putting the finishing touches to an update to NewsLife now to bring it more into line with the look of OS X Yosemite which should be out soon.

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