Saturday, January 22, 2011

*The Worst App Developer Award*
Candidate: xhumans

[...While I wait for Apple to fix my very simple iTunes Store problem, now entering day #14...]

Introduction: I'm not interested in a libel suit. But I have to say there are some very shady developers at the iTunes App Store. Today I ran into one astounding developer I have to share. Judging from everything I have seen about these guys, they are my candidate for The Worst App Developer, the makers of 'Chatroulette! ~2.0':

eMail address to contact them:

How to find ALL their Apps at the iTunes App Store:
• Search for 'xhumans' inside the iTunes Store
• Follow this link:

Why am I picking on xhumans?

The main reasons I consider them a candidate for "the worst app developer" are the remarkably consistent one star reviews they receive for their various apps. I've provided several at the end of the article for your amusement. Here are a few one star user reviews from one of xhumans' more poplar apps, NarutoTube costing $2.99. These reviews are in chronological order from the past year:
Don't download you will only get a blank red screen
by Dvcyr - Version 3.0 - Apr 28, 2010
If you buy this app you will not be happy. It's a blank red screen. No videos to watch. No upgrade to fix the problem.
This app suks balls
by J krazy - Version 3.0 - May 11, 2010
Yea good job making a app that doesn't work douche bags...
Videos never change
by Obamaslama spaceburrito - Version 3.0 - Jan 22, 2011
U find these videos on u tube n there's only 4 vids it's a scam
According to the iTunes App Store, xhumans have 847 Apps. Most of them have bad reviews, but not all of them. I did find a few apps where a third of its reviews were positive, hovering between three stars and 2.5 stars. The developer claims that their 'TubeWorks' series of apps has an award winning interface. From the graphics, I would guess that xhumans won the 'Double Tap Grand Prize' in the 'Mobile Video Awards category'. Apparently not all of their apps FAIL.

Most xhumans apps are offered within a few categories. Let's visit the most prolific category:


If you read descriptions of the TubeWorks, Apps they are nearly all identical. However, each description contains one unique word, the name of the 'Tube'. Here is a general transcription. I use '[ ]' in place of the each app's tube name:
[ ]Tube - best [ ] videos!!


Kick back and watch some of the best [ ] videos on the App store.

[ ]Tube is the premier place for [ ] videos. We hope you like it!

We hang out in the chat room a lot... Drop in and let us know if you need any help with anything or you just want to chat. [chill.]

Also, follow us on twitter to see what we're up to:

- enjoy a spectacular selection of [ ] videos
- suggest your favorite videos to [ ]Tube and make [ ] history
- chat with other [ ] fans
- TubeWorks' award-winning interface
- exceptional application graphics and professional sound production

download now if you're a real [ ] fan!

NOTE: A Wi-Fi connection is required to watch videos.
The graphics on the TubeWorks pages are nearly all identical as well. The result is a profound sense of the generic.

Then there are the scattershot names. Here are my favorites:


When you apply these names into the xhumans generic description you get lines like this:
Kick back and watch some of the best sodium videos on the App store.
UndertakerTube is the premier place for undertaker videos. We hope you like it!
Tube is the premier place for nymph videos.
 - suggest your favorite videos to OldTube and make old history
- chat with other weasel fans

download now if you're a real sleep fan!
... The dangers of lazy marketing. In all fairness I must state my pleasure at finding they do not offer JarJarTube, CelebrexTube, or CelebrityRehabTube, indicated a molecule of taste.


Fans of [ ]: Designed for fans of such things as Drinking, Sloths, Rumpelstiltskin, Badminton, Bunnies, Crows, Gophers, and of course Sodium.

iCodes for [ ]: For those who seeking input codes for games such as Girl Wars and Epic Pet Wars.


You can either have:

1960sTube for $0.99
1960Tube for $1.99 
Your choice!

Then there's this gem:
 ChearleadingTube @$2.99


I've saved the best xhumans app for last! Its name is 'A5000•HD Radio by Gatsby'. The cost is $59.99. That is not a typo. Here are a few lines from its description:
A magnificent radio with the finest music for your iPhone. A radio made for the few. You know who you are. You lead a life of privilege and luxury. It is your way. You are one of the elite. One of the chosen, the few. In a world of commonality, you soar high above the crowd in your private jet. You relax on your private beach far from the masses, your magnificent yacht anchored just offshore. A bevy of impeccable sports cars await you at your estates around the world. The world's most beautiful people obey your every command. Because this is who you are. Now. Leave the others far behind. Make your mark. Own a legendary radio that defies the expected. Download the radio that others only dream of. Yes, you deserve the best. Gatsby. Find Luxury Radio.
Here is what you get for $59.99, you impeccably privileged person you!
=======ABOUT THE RADIO=======
12 High Definition Digital Streaming Stations - featuring Gatsby approved content.
12 International audio experts - our panel of exceptional judges.
A team of renowned software developers.
Paris London New York Los Angeles Tokyo
Before you buy your luxurious 12 station Gatsby radio, I have a stunningly elegant bridge in Brooklyn I'm willing to part with for a mere pittance of its true aesthetic worth...

Needless to say there are no reviews at the iTunes App Store for the A5000•HD Radio by Gatsby, inferring perhaps that no one has yet purchased it. I wonder why?


As promised, here are further one star xhumans app reviews. These are all 100% real, direct from the iTunes App Store:

Waste of $
by twilight0900000 - Version 3.0 - May 29, 2010
Don't buy it because when I opened it. Blank screen and freezed my iPod. It's a virus
It don't work
by Macoleny - Version 3.0 - Jun 8, 2010
u get 1 star for takeing my money
by B-rad-g Indiana rox - Version 3.0 - Aug 21, 2010
I paid for this app and nothing happened
Weak sauce
by 80s Nut - Version 3.0 - Mar 2, 2010
Good idea but it doesn't work it just crashes

doesn't work
by lalfjhrhjhdjhdhdhsh - Version 3.0 - Mar 30, 2010
I try to open the app but all I get is a red screen with a black bar on top
this is stupid I want my dollar back lol

Don't buy
by Bbdbsdjdi - Version 3.0 - Apr 23, 2010
I want my money back it won't work do NOT buy this app

Horrible App
by Crusada - Version 3.0 - May 4, 2010
The videos have NEVER been updated and the chat is always empty. Waste of a dollar.
Rename it to Bollywood porn hub!!!
by Anonr - Version 9.0 - Aug 10, 2010
My gosh, I was hoping to catch some movies this app, but it's useful, it has snippets of adult rated porn!!! The makers should not mislead users like this. The description doesn't even say anything about the content.
Chatroulette! ~ 2.0:
Don't get this app!
by Britatit - Version 2.0 - Apr 8, 2010
I'm glad I wastes my money on staring at a white screen, yup cool. Needs an update asap.
White screen
by Fun dude - Version 2.0 - May 14, 2010
Loaded toched the screen and still nothing

by Sulio - Version 2.0 - Nov 10, 2010
How can you just take away the pictures. It' like all of a sudden no pics and no users. When people purchase something they generally want what they paid for.
Major bug
by Christian Duncan - Version 9.0 - Feb 15, 2010
It keeps quitting on my... Don't wast ur money
iCodes for Racing Live:
This app is garbage
by Sikmade - Version 2.0 - Nov 13, 2009
All it does is give u codes from a website.... When u add ur code u don't get any invites!! Wish I could get my dollar back but at least it's only a dollar! Don't waste ur time buying it....
Read the reviews cuz one review gives the website to go to for all the codes.. Add me though 21S1U

A finalé word to the 'team of renowned software developers' at xhumans: You have got to be kidding guys. Keep it up and I venture you'll get yourselves 'expelled' from the App Store.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When Apple Support FAILS:
How To Create An IRATE!!!
Part 1

Consider me IRATE and disgusted with Apple today. When you learn why, you'll be disgusted with Apple as well. Get this:


It is entirely impossible.

Apparently there is also no way to interact with a human via eMail at the iTunes store either. All I have received back from them is ROBO-EMAIL. IOW: Everything I have heard back from them has been 100% mechanical in nature. Their iTunes Store email support FAILS the Turing Test.

I went through the usual three levels of tech support at Apple today in a vain attempt to talk to anyone who could solve the simple issue I had at the iTunes Store. Every single level of support told me exactly the same thing:  


Therefore, if their mechanical email support at the iTunes Store FAILs you, there is NO RECOURSE except to call Apple Corporate: 408-996-1010, open 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Time.

And so I shall. Consider me a crusader in ending this insanity. More to follow...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grand Opening Deal Heaven,
Grumbles and Gratitude
At The New Mac App Store

I own RapidWeaver version 4. Recently I looked into upgrading to version 5. The cost is $39.00 from the Realmac Store.

Today, January 7, 2011, I checked out the Mac App Store via the niffy kewl App Store app that is installed with Mac OS X 10.6.6. Wow. RapidWeaver 5 for people that don't already own it is $39.99. Such a deal! The regular price at the Realmac Store is usually $79! They call it their "Special Introductory Pricing". So for $0.99 more than the upgrade price, you can own RapidWeaver 5 ! ! !

Another deal: Apple's iWork costs $79 for the whole show in one go. At the Mac App Store you can buy each of the three pieces for $20. The grand total is $60! That's nearly $20 in savings!

There are other such deals at the Mac App Store. If you've upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6.6 then run, do not walk, to the Mac App Store, via the App Store app sitting in your Applications folder and on your Dock, and check out the bargains. Yeah, the timing sucks because it's immediately after the holidays, (mine is Christmas), and we're all dirt poor. But you'll be tempted!


• I'm running into Mac App Store errors where I can't download certain items. "We could not complete your request. There was an error in the App Store. Please try again later. (@@errorNum@@)". Well doesn't that just suck. The iTunes App Store has similar intermittent problems.

• In order to rate or review any application at the Mac App Store you have to have BOUGHT it at the Mac App Store. Compared to the policy over at MacUpdate and VersionTracker/CNET, this is not good, at least not for a newbie store. I found this very disappointing. Therefore, expect to see me still hanging around at the usual Mac app sites.

• I enjoy the layout and features of Apple's App Stores, both via iTunes for iDevices as well as the Mac App Store. However, there really is nothing to help you find all the BARGAINS. Maybe a bargain will be featured in the store interface, but probably not. That's not good. I'd like a specific DISCOUNTS section directly on the front page of both App Stores. Therefore, expect to see me still hanging around the usual bargain alert Mac app sites.

• There are some gotchas as well that are important to avoid. One example is Apple's iLife application collection. There are five components: iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb. However, at the Mac App Store you can't buy the whole set. There is no such thing as iWeb or iDVD at the Mac App Store. That's not good. And the à la carte prices for the three available pieces do not impress me. The full suite goes for $49. The three available pieces from the whole go for a total of $45. So for $4 less you get gypped out of iDVD (which I consider essential) and iWeb (which admittedly may not be worth $4). Gotcha.

• The Mac App Store has no 'Wishlist'. Why?! I love that feature on the iTunes App Store and use it regularly when I don't have ready cash or I want to research an app's functionality as well as reviews. I want to do exactly the same thing with Mac apps. So add the functionality Apple!

• Apps that are $0.99 for my iPod Touch are typically marked up to $4.99 for the Mac, much like the price difference for iPad app versions. There are cost concerns when writing for a much larger size screen. But $4 worth? On the other hand, I could be paying $4.99 for the iPod Touch versions. So maybe I'll just shut up.


• Unlike at restaurants, where a la carte equals price gouging, at the Apple App Stores à la carte usually (with one exception noted above) means price savings. iWork is a great example. Everyone I know loves Keynote and Pages. But no one I know likes Numbers. Therefore, paying $40 by dropping Numbers out of the suite is a nice deal for many people compared to having to pay $20 more to have Numbers included.

• I like having prices for apps provided right up front. The sad Marketing Moron approach to application sales is to bury the price to the point of unobtainable, unless of course you hit a 'BUY' button, which is entirely insane and counter intuitive. You just want the bloody price man! But Apple's approach gives you what you want right where you want it when you want it. The price is right there with the name of the app AND the star rating. Killer.

Apple's à la carte approach in the App Stores is inspiring developers to think à la carte. Therefore, we are starting to get web apps you can download from the Mac App Store, just like at the iTunes App Store! An example is the Twitter app. It's free! Download it and run just it, not a whole freaking web browser. That's a good thing. I know this approach is going to eat up more disk space in your Applications folder, but face the convenience factor and enjoy.

• The influence of the iTunes App Store means that lots of formerly iDevice-only apps are arriving for the Mac! That means lots of the kewl games like Angry Birds. Thanks to Apple devices like the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad you can use the same gestures as on iDevices to operate these applications. Yes, the Mac really is becoming another iDevice. I like it.


This is a nice start to the Mac App Store. This is a very welcome addition to the Mac universe. It does not actually kill off the alternative app sites like MacUpdate and VersionTracker/CNET, which I still highly recommend. It also extends the à la carte and smaller app approach of iDevices over to the Mac, which is terrific for both pricing and functionality.

The Mac App Store has got the expected version 1.0 syndrome. But Apple have the successful iTunes App Store as a model with which to clean up problems. Other grumbles are going to have to catch Apple's ear before either of the App Stores are perfection.

These are the days when even the most lead-headed Windows box user has Apple-envy. I'm a board member and presenter at the local Windows PC user group. I've seen it. People come up to me and talk about it. Apple envy is real. Keep that in mind the next time you run into a misery mongering anti-Apple troll. They're just as envious as the rest. This is how the computer community evolves beyond Microsoft.