On App Review Mechanisms

Marco Arment on his approach to requesting app reviews from his customers in apps he's developed.

My strategy to get good App Store reviews is simple:

1. Make an app good enough for some people to love it. By nature, you’ll lose some people along the way, but that’s OK: an app that strives to satisfy as many people as possible will usually only get people to kinda like it, not love it.
2. Accumulate a huge surplus of goodwill from those customers with a combination of step 1, usefulness, delight, and adding more functionality over time.
3. Make it easy to rate the app with a button that’s never annoying or in the way, like the Settings screen.

This is one facet of why I love Marco's apps and will choose to use them over others. The passive aggressive “Do you like our app?” which leads to two different options for providing feedback is one of the things that grates on my nerves1 the most in an app. Oftentimes it causes me to leave the app altogether to avoid having to make the right decision to get back to what I was doing in the first place. That's a terrible experience for a customer to have and Marco's advice is solid wisdom to other developers.

  1. I'm looking at you Urbanspoon and MileIQ. 

Evernote Web Clipper 6 for Chrome

Evernote just released a major update of their web clipper for Chrome. This update is specific to Chrome for the desktop right now but I'm sure it'll roll out to all the other major browsers soon. Version 6 brings a huge chunk of the toolset typically found in Skitch straight into Chrome with the click of a button. You can now markup any web clip as soon as you've made your selection. Another massive change comes in the form of telling the Web Clipper what chunk of content you want and how you want it formatted in a concise manner. This has always been unclear to me in previous versions of the extension.

One of the biggest use cases I see this filling for myself is telling the clipper to grab the whole page and then quickly marking up all of the content (even if it's not in my current area of view within the browser) and clicking the new Share button to generate a link such as this and easily share any clip from your browser in seconds. Droplr recently added Capture and Draw features for paid users and Evernote just stepped right in front of it for capturing in the browser. The space for quickly capturing and sharing on the desktop seems to be heating up and getting even simpler. Be sure to check out the Evernote blog for the rundown on all of the new features.