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An examination of the current rating system used in mobile app stores

Journal article
Authors Israel J Mojica Ruiz
Meiyappan Nagappan
Bram Adams
Thorsten Berger
Steffen Dienst
Ahmed E. Hassan
Published in IEEE Software
Volume 33
Issue 6
Pages 86-92
ISSN 07407459
Publication year 2016
Published at
Pages 86-92
Language en
Links doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109...
Keywords Android, Google Play, Mobile apps, Rating, Review systems
Subject categories Software Engineering

Abstract

© 2015 IEEE.Unlike products on Amazon, mobile apps are continuously evolving with new versions of apps in the app store replacing the old versions at a rapid pace. Nevertheless, many app stores still use the Amazon-style rating system for their hosted apps, where every rating assigned to an app over its entire life time is aggregated into one rating that is displayed in the app-store (which we call store-rating). In order to examine if the store-rating of an app is able to capture the changing user satisfaction levels with respect to new versions of the app, we mined the store-ratings of over 10,000 unique mobile apps in the Google Play market, every single day for an entire year. We find that many apps do increase their version-to-version rating, while the store-rating of an app is resilient to fluctuations once an app has gathered a substantial number of raters. Therefore, we conclude that the current store-rating of apps is not dynamic enough to capture the changing user satisfaction levels associated with the evolving nature of apps. This resilience is a major problem that can discourage developers from improving the quality of their app.

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