Wishlist for the Android market

My latest Android app has been on the Android market for about 3 months now, and while the site works fine in most cases, in this time I have come to miss a couple of features that I feel would improve the experience both for developers as well as users.

First and foremost, I think registered developers should have the ability to respond to comments made on their apps by users. Don’t get me wrong – I am not looking to escalate every negative comment into argument with the user; I would be perfectly happy just being able to email them in private to try to respond, without making my responses visible to the public. In my experience, most negative reviews are caused by users not fully understanding the app, or at least not being able to find a feature they are looking for. Sadly, most of these users do not take the time to just email the developers, but instead leave a negative review, and uninstall the app. While most of these support situations could easily be resolved with one or two emails, the current system leaves the user unhappy, and the app with a permanent bad review.

My other complaint is about error reporting: whenever your app crashes or freezes up, Android allows the user to submit an error report. These reports are collected and visible through the developer interface, but there is no way to get notified when a new report comes in. Unless you frequently check the developer console, you will never know of any new issues. I think it shouldn’t be too difficult to provide a way to either get an email notification whenever a new defect is reported, or alternatively a daily/weekly digest that contains all new issues.

In addition to this, it would also be nice if the error reporting system would provide a case number to uniquely identify each issue. I suspect that with larger apps and bigger development teams it otherwise will become quite hard to keep track of issues.


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