Hell Hath No Fury Like an App Developer Scorned, and a Small Bit of Advice for Devs

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Like many iPhone and iPad site owners, I get a lot of approaches about apps every day.  Some stand out and inspire a further look or even a download and tryout of the app, some don’t.  This week I got an email from a developer that is a unique one in my experience – an email (accompanied by a blog post) having a dig at my site and several others for failing to cover this developer’s app, after his approach to all of us last week.

The email and the blog post from the dev are quite bitter about the fact that all the tech sites they approached did not end up publishing anything about their app.  Their accusation seems to be that all of these sites (mine included) just don’t pay attention to apps that come from smaller, non-big-name publishers.  I know that is not true of this site and firmly believe it’s not true of most or all of the others either – and I have a suggestion to the dev concerned about how they might increase the chances of getting coverage for their apps in future …

I can’t speak for other sites, but I would guess they may have passed on this app for similar reasons to me.  Basically, the email approach I got for the app was terrible.  It told me almost nothing about the app, which is called World Cup 2010 HD.  Not only do I (and other site owners) get lots of approaches all the time, but we’ve also been swamped with approaches about World Cup apps leading up to (and during) this great sports event.  In fact I recently did a little mini-roundup of a few World Cup apps that did catch my eye at our lovely sister site covering the iPhone.

So why was the approach for this app terrible / not worthy of interest in covering it? Mostly because the email text rambled on almost incoherently without providing any real summary or description of what the app actually is or does.  This is a killer blow for me with new approaches – if I have to read through several paragraphs and I still don’t know the answer to the simple ‘what does it do?’ question, I’m bored and likely out as far as interest.

Here’s the opening Intro to this app I received via email:

Excitement is just a beautiful thing to have. We wanna have exciting friends, do awesome things and have challenging hobbies everyday. Let’s get the excitement also onto your couch tish. You can challenge friends and  plan how Schweinsteiger scores for Germany. All on your iPad, now. There is the first WM App on the iPad App Horizon and it lets you just smartly plan and tip your Soccer Worldcup 2010. We are still in the Approval, but already want to inform you. We would be pleased if you will take the chance to report on our App directly after its release on Sunday or Monday.  If you want to know more, please inform here.

Now I realize there’s a language barrier involved here (the developers are German) and I wish my linguistic abilities were stronger, but I also feel that if you’re going to approach an English language site, then you need to get your materials together in good, lucid English. The above text illustrates how these devs completely failed in this area. Seriously, reading that paragraph is painful and leaves me clueless about their app. 

What is a ‘couch tish’???  Actually I don’t think I want to know.  And what’s a ‘WM" app?  Last I heard, years back, that stood for Windows Mobile. 

The only real clue in the text as to what the heck the app does is in the phrase ‘and it lets you just smartly plan and tip your Soccer Worldcup 2010‘.  Again, what does that mean?  I tip my waiter or bartender.  The only screenshot that accompanied the initial approach also provided no great insight on what the app is all about, and links out to a web site for the app lead to another very badly worded page that made it incredibly difficult to discern what on earth the app does.

So … my advice for these devs (for their next big app launch) and all others is to make sure  materials are well presented in each language they are sent out in, and that they do a much better job describing their app – if they want to generate any interest or coverage.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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5 thoughts on “Hell Hath No Fury Like an App Developer Scorned, and a Small Bit of Advice for Devs”

  1. Hmm let’s see, couch tisch means coffee table and WM means world cup, both in German.

    I agree of course that the key to everything you sell is the pitch. If it’s flawed and uninteresting you won’t get anyone’s attention.

  2. Amusing to me that the author must have misspelled "Tisch" in German to get "tish" out of the translation program…. So, not only did he or she not bother to proof the English text, but apparently the German text, as well….


  3. *facepalm* 'Cause that's a great way to get app reviewers to change their mind and review their app. /sarcasm

    All joking aside, I've pretty much given up on 90% of email tips we get. Just yesterday I had some moron spam my email account every twenty minutes with his app announcement for eight hours straight. It wasn't until I emailed him back with "Are you kidding me?" that he stopped.

    I think these guys fail to realize that we have to vet through a lot of crap in our inboxes these days. Sure, his app was a success on the German AppStore, but did he ever stop and think for a moment that his German copy was far superior to the English copy that he sent reviewers? International Marketing 101. Hopefully it's a lesson learned. Speak to people in their native language if you want to be understood, use google translate and they'll probably be left scratching their head.

    And now for a german translation (hopefully that makes more sense than his pitch did, but maybe he'll get he point):

    * * Facepalm 'Cause, dass eine gute Möglichkeit, sich app Kritiken ihre Meinung zu ändern und Überprüfung ihrer app's. / Sarkasmus

    Spaß beiseite, ich habe ziemlich viel bis auf 90% der E-Mail-Tipps gegeben die wir bekommen. Erst gestern hatte ich einige moron Spam meine E-Mail-Konto alle zwanzig Minuten mit seiner Ankündigung für ca. acht Stunden geradeaus. Es war nicht, bis ich ihn per E-Mail zurück mit "Are you kidding me?" dass er gestoppt.

    Ich glaube, diese Jungs nicht zu erkennen, dass wir auf die Berufsbildung durch eine Menge Müll in unseren Posteingängen in diesen Tagen. Klar, war seine app ein Erfolg auf dem deutschen AppStore, aber hat er jemals aufhören und denken für einen Moment, dass seine deutsche Kopie weit überlegen sein Englisch Kopie, die er geschickt wurde Kritiken? International Marketing 101. Hoffentlich ist es eine Lektion gelernt. Sprechen Sie mit Menschen in ihrer Muttersprache, wenn Sie wollen verstanden werden, die Verwendung von Google übersetzen und sie wahrscheinlich ihren Kopf kratzen links sein.

  4. Thanks Joshua – and I know what you mean on some of the junk that lans in Inboxes. There are some great apps and approaches of course, but wow, there are some lame and bizarre ones too.

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