Android Market Developer Back-End Now Shows Comments


This might not be a big deal to you users (or even to some of you developers), but it’s still a pretty big deal: developers are now able to see the comments on their apps right from the back-end of the Market site on which they perform their dirty work (in this case, dirty = good).


Until the new Market site enables developers to receive bug reports right from a device crash, this is one of the most efficient (albeit very brief) ways to gauge user satisfaction and to track down issues that commenters would like to inform developers of in the market (most developers prefer to be emailed through the email address they provide, but a lot of users simply don’t do this).

Any developers out there notice the change? Are there any other new tidbits to be had in‘s developer backend?

[via Koush]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Good lord, you didn’t waste any time posting this, did you?

  2. cool. now they are improving market

  3. @Addyr I’m having a very productive night ;)

  4. You (and your helpers) do a great job, Quentyn !

  5. this is certainly a good thing. i had assumed they always could…so they’ve had to go through the market and scroll through the comments previously?

  6. @Cabbie: Yep. And it’s painful.

    This is a step in a positive direction, but it’s honestly not a huge improvement. I can only see the latest 20 comments, and the interface isn’t particularly pretty or nice to use. I’ve had Error and Freeze reports available pretty much since Froyo was officially announced, so that’s definitely been helpful, but overall the Developer Console is seriously lacking in useful features.

  7. I’ve never relied on the Market for developer communication. My comments have always been aimed at users scrolling through the Market. If you want a developer to know something, contact them (bad or good; I’ve done both)

  8. Helpful but no game changer until we can reply to a comment. There is so much the market needs.. what this does is show that Goog IS working on the market so I’m okay with it so far…

  9. As limited as this change is, the developer console was so spartan that it probably counts as a major improvement.

    What I really want, though, is a way to respond to comments and/or interact with commenters. Most negative comments on my app are really feature requests that I intend to address (or that I need help to address), but I have no good way to inform users of that unless they visit the website, and how many people actually do that?

  10. Wow this is cool! an RSS feed is all I need:).

    IF you want developer’s to read what you have to say you should email them. The email get’s sent straight to their email box and not the market. When you have multiple applications it’s difficult to stay on top of the comments and still have time to write apps. Keep in mind alot of publisher’s are just one person operations.

  11. I agree with Bobby J. This update is way late, and there are is a whole lot of information that could and should be added to the market. As much as I love Google the developer site for android market stinks.

  12. If you want developers to fix problems pay them a reasonable compensation. Only nitwits will develop or fix apps for free.

  13. Finally! I used to have to look at the market on my phone to see comments.

  14. I noticed this earlier tonight, and it’s a nice feature to have handy. Browsing the comments on a web page is quicker than digging through the market listings for them, and as I visit the developer page regularly I’m more likely to read them.

    That said, yeah, e-mails are much, much better. A random comment post saying “Doesn’t work, 1 star!” is pretty useless, an e-mail means I can at least ask what’s happening and identify if it’s a real problem, user error, or what.

  15. @Bobby J: There are 20 comments per page – you just need to step through the pages using the page links at the top of the screen!

    This is massively helpful to those of us devs who have multiple apps out there. Before I was using sites like this one, cyrket and appbrain (to read comments) but they all seem temperamental in my experience.

  16. Finally. It’s nice to have, and as a developer I appreciate it (though cyrket did the job pretty well, too).

    But I think Google should focus way more on the user experience. It’s still a pain to find apps unless you already know their exact name or they already have tons of downloads, so they’re at the beginning of “top app” lists. The market urgendly needs keywords, more tolerance (like finding “Test(TM)” and “TestApp” when searching for “test” or “test app” when looking for “testapp”), blacklists (to hide the 1,000 clocks and slider puzzles from the same developer), and possibilities like “top rated apps of the last week/month”.

    And from both developer and user side, I’d like developer comments to comments (“dude, there’s a big button on the main screen for your ‘missing function’!”), an optional detailed description, and changelog informations.

  17. The biggest problem with the Market is communications. I always encourage my users to contact me by mail, so I can give them feedback, or ask for more information. When people write about a bug in the comments, there’s usually nothing to do. If you receive a crash report, you have a pretty good idea, but you don’t know how the crash came to be, and you cannot ask the user. E-mail is definitely the way to go, if you want to report a problem, have a question or otherwise wants the developer to know what’s on your mind.

  18. Like most developers I’d like to have some right to reply on comments whether directly or just being able to mark them as out of date. I still have a comment on my app complaining of bugs in the very first release that were fixed more than a year ago but the commenter never gave it a second chance or replaced his original statement and I’m sure I’ve done the same to others’ apps myself because I can’t remember every one I ever installed and rated.

    That kind of cynical greed and judgement really is a great summary of what’s wrong with the world in general.

  19. @Sophia: Hey, sometimes people just like making fun apps, and while getting paid would be nice, offering them for free doesn’t make us nitwits! :)

    @Mark: Yeah, I saw the page indicator at the top, but when I first checked it out it only had one page, even though my app has hundreds of comments. It seems it just hasn’t pulled in comments before 6/25.

    I definitely agree that the ability to communicate back with users is crucial. I actually set up a Wave on my app’s website so that people could comment there and I could respond, but unfortunately no one has used it so far despite it being up for a few weeks now. Oh well.

  20. To date I have gotten one bug report in our listed apps. It was not very helpful. I want more than anything the ability to contact the users that leave foolish comments or ratings because they did not read the directions or understand how to use the app so that I can help them and or get a second crack at a new rating. There are a few people that I would like to just reach out and ring their neck for the assinine stuff they say about my hard work with zero thought or time to understand anything.

  21. Market improvements? All academic for us Aussie developers WAITING, WAITING, WAITING. Does Google actually hear our prayers!?

  22. Yes, Reply to comments is high on my list of things. I’d also like it to send them mail encouraging a reply or an edit of their original comment. Right now I have two negative comments. But I can’t tell if it’s just a usability issue (option is on the menu – maybe I should’ve put a big button the screen instead), feature request, or an actual bug. Fortunately I hadn’t commented yet, so I managed to get a note up. But what happens now? Have I used up my one comment? What if something else comes up?

    @Sophie: ever hear of ad-supported software?

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