Have you ver noticed that a lot of the official non-Apple iOS apps sucks?
I’m talking about the Functionality of the app, the design, and the features that it offers.
And I couldn’t help my self but to mention on example from Apple own apps, but you will find out more about the app when you read the article.
Let’s start with twitter for example, I’m sure a lot of people use it, but let’s be honest with each other here, a lot of third party apps are way much better than the official twitter app.
Why the official twitter app sucks?
I’m not sure if twitter know this fact, but there’s people who use the twitter app on their iPad, I’m afraid they don’t know that, bcuz lately they have been updating the iPhone app a lot, leaving the iPad users with nothing, what’s worse, is that the app is universal but when you update it on your iPad you won’t see anything different.
The camera filter on the iPhone is not available on the iPad, a new layout for activity and discovery is only for the iPhone, on both the iPhone and the iPad there’s no option for Readability as a read it later service!!!
Can anyone tell me why Readability is not available?
Readability is as awesome as Pocket and Instapaper, and its way more advanced than Safari’s reading list, so why it’s not available?
I have no idea.
And please someone calm me down before I start talking about Twitter customer support bcuz that subject deserve a separate article.
Twitter even made an evil move by creating their own Two-Factor Authentication system that force users to use their own app and not Google Authentication App or Authy which is way much better.
But it’s obvious why they did this, like I said they want you to use their app.
- *Let’s take another example, WordPress for iOS.
The official app is not that good, and even the Desgin look cheap, even though they aquired Poster app months ago, it feels like they didn’t take advantage of the great design of Poster or even the great features that it have such as markdown support for writing.
But it was a surprise that they did release an update for Poster to support iOS 7 for people who already purchased the app which is great, bcuz these days you don’t see a lot of acquired app or companies continue the support of their apps after being acquired, for example summly that was acquired by Yahoo, but Yahoo did release a new app yesterday called Yahoo News Digest, which have a lot of features and design from summly.
The WordPress app is not that bad actually, it does have a news reader built inside of it, if you wanna follow other WordPress blogs, it also have notifications and support for jetpack notification plugin which is great.
- *Even feedly goes into this article with their own app, that should make it easier for you to manage and arrange and read news from sites, but let’s face it, every time I tap on an interesting article to read, I see my self forced to view the webpage bcuz there’s no built in support for any mobilizer view such as Readability or Pocket or Instapaper.
Great Replacment for feedly is Mr.Reader and Reeder, both of them is packed with many great features and support for third party apps.
- *Dropbox, the official app lack many features that you can use in the main website such as viewing old versions of your files, and restoring them, and the camera upload folder, for me it’s like a cocktail of photos that are not organized, there’s many third pary apps out there to replace Dropbox and they are way much better than the official one.
- *Let’s write some Google things here.
Gmail, chrome, authenticator, and translate, all of them sucks, oh dear god they do.
All of them, no exception.
I don’t even know where to start, let’s take a chance here and talk about Gmail.
The official app have most of the features that you will get in the web version of the service, but the app slow, like really slow, and I admit I have an iPhone 4 which a lot of you consider old but I also have an iPad 3rd generation which is still fast, but the app is a pain in the ass when it comes to getting an inbox zero! Ok, I’m sorry it’s imoossible to get an inbox zero with that app.
Chrome, is no way near Safari, after Apple updated it to iOS 7, and I, like many other users out there are waiting to see what Google is going to bring in the next update.
Third party app developers worked their ass off to include open in chrime feature to their app, only so the users end up switching back to safari, that what I call insane, they really should do something about that.
Another example of Google apps, is authenticator, which I talked about a bit in the previous article when I talked about Authy, Google Authentication App is old, with no feature what so ever, no iPad version, no cloud backup, nothing.
Your iPhone is stolen, you are lost and stuck out of your accounts.
You restore your iPhone, you are lost.
Your iPhone gets broken, you are lost.
There’s really no solution for backup, and when Google pushed the iOS 7 update, users creditails were lost due to a bug which is crazy, how a company like Google do this to its users.
I know Google is human in the end, and human make mistakes, but isn’t there people at Google working hard so such thing won’t happen?
Isn’t there people who test these apps before the release date?
Like seriously Google if you are reading this and you need someone to test your apps I’m available, and millions of great people out there are available too, to do the Job that appertaiy your own employee couldn’t do.
I know I’m being hard on Google but I’m just sick of this.
Another Google example is Google translate, the services is awesome, and I use it a lot on a daily basis, but when I translate something on my iPhone, I found my self translating the same thing again on my iPad bcuz the app doesn’t sync what I already translated between devices.
Google did a great job developing a one time sign in option, so when you sign in to your Google account on chrome, and then open YouTube the app will automatically detect that there’s a Google account credintials in another official Google app and with one tap you can sign in to YouTube, this is great and everything, but why don’t Google add this to Google translate app? Why don’t Google bring more features to this app?
To be honest at one point I thought Google is going to remove the app but no they didn’t, they stopped working on Google reader instead!!!
Google reader is gone, The world was in shock when this happened, they didn’t even try to work on it, no! They just make it vanish, like it didn’t even exist.
Thank god for companies like feedly, digg, and others services like aol for developing their own rss services.
- *Who’s next? Oh Spotify.
Spotify, I’m a premium user who pay each month for a great service that let me enjoy great music all the time, why don’t you develope a great client for your service that make it easier for me to discover music?
To be honest I love Spotify, and I’m really impressed with their customer support service, I have no complaint what so ever against them from that area, bcuz they really have great people working hard to make users enjoy the service with no problems, and they are no way near twitter customer services.
But Spotify, oh Spotify, the app is really slow, crashes a lot, pauses suddenly while listening, and discovering new music is a pain in the … Well you know where!
Please people don’t tell anyone but the design of Spotify’s app is really iOS 6.
What’s so funny about this is that I’m actually using the app while I’m writing the article.
The design is really old, so many things are not easy to find, like shuffle and repeat, they are hidden inside a full screen view player that you can only access if you tapped on the full screen icon on the black bar at the buttom of the app, and if you happened to know where that buttom is (full screen view) you won’t see the shuffle and repeat buttons bcuz of their colors, black on gray background which who ever was behind this did a really bad job.
Rdio did a great job hiring Ryan Sims Bcuz all of you know how great looking is rdio app, they maybe don’t have as much songs or execlusive titles like Spotify, but they do have a great designer who managed to do an amazing job creating an app that fits iOS 7 perfectly even before it was released.
I know I’m comparing apps design to iOS 7 design, and a lot of you hate iOS 7, but let’s be honest, when you use an app that is not using iOS 7 flat design, the app starts to feel old, and not in the right place, you might even think about an alternative, and that’s what a lot of people are doing in the case of Spotify, they are switching to rdio bcuz the design feels like it belongs to iOS 7.
- *The worst app that goes into this category is Apples own Podcast app, yes I know non-apple apps but I had to include this in hone article, that app is a disaster, and no matter how many updates Apple push to make this app better, most of the time it end up getting worse.
That app is just a waist of time let’s be honest, it’s slow, crashes a lot, and if you want to download a podcast episode to listen to it later, you wait and wait and wait for nothing bcuz it takes for ever to do that.
If you compared Apple podcast app with even old apps that didn’t even get the iOS 7 support yet such as Stitcher you will see a huge difference between both of them.
Bcuz Stitcher is way much better, faster, easier to use, and have a lot more features.
And if you wanna take a step further and use a premium app, you can purchase PocketCast like I did and forget about waiting, and enjoy the look and feel of an elegant app that get the job done in seconds.
- *So why companies do this?
The answer is I really don’t know!
Don’t they want to spend money on developing great looking, funciyional apps?
Are they are lazy?
It’s really strange thing, and I’m sure a lot of people notice this like I do.
On the other hand it’s great that they are allowing developers to develop their own apps but some companies (like twitter again) control what developers can add to their app.
So we have no choice but to buy third party apps, and we are actually lucky that we are not stuck with the official apps that companies develop … Sorry except for twitter if you are using Two-Factor Authentication, then you must use it.