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An iOS developer is showing just how messed up Apple’s App Store can be

Apple is making apps more transparent, but bad apps still run wild.

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Image: KnowTechie

Apple has been making an effort to increase transparency for apps that you download through the App Store. New information levels can give you an idea of what data is being collected, but what is the company doing about shitty, money-grabbing apps that don’t work?

Not much, according to Kosta Eleftheriou, a developer who is behind the Apple Watch app, FlickType. In a recent tweet thread, he looked at how scammers basically took his app’s promotional material and advertised a knock-off app that was worse in every way. Then, this week, he focused on an app with glowing reviews, but after digging a bit deeper, most of the reviews and ratings seem fabricated.

The app in question is StarGazer+ and, surprisingly, I actually have personal experience with this app and can confirm that it is a bullshit app that offers little and tries to charge you $9.99 a week the very first time you open it.

Eleftheriou dives into the reviews for the app and once you get past the glossy exterior, a quick look at the one-star reviews shows that the app is terrible and a downright scam.

He then looks at just the reviews on the App Store and finds that its rating is 1.6, far lower than the overall 4.6 rating the app boasts.

Eleftheriou tells The Verge, “It’s surprising more people don’t know about this. The extent to which this has been going on and is currently going on is absolutely mind-blowing. In particular now with the App Store, which is my main concern, the problem has grown to such an extent that having the rating and review system is making it worse. It gives consumers a false sense of security and a false idea that the app is great as you’re entering it through a glowing App Store page with raving reviews.”

So, yeah, next time you go to download an app, maybe skip the featured reviews and head straight to the one-star reviews to see what people are saying.

Have any thoughts on this? Do you have issues with the App Store? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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