Author Archives: Ellen

Fun with Passwords

Can you guess the 20 most common passwords?

Sporcle, a really fun site where I’ve been spending too much time, has a game where you do just that.

I only got 5, but looking at the answers, I maybe could have come up with at least 2 of the others, if I hadn’t given up so fast. On the other hand, I’m not convinced their answers are all that accurate. They’re very male, if nothing else.

But, if you use any of these as your passwords – don’t. Pick something a lot more secure. Your passwords aren’t protecting just your email and facebook pages. They’re protecting your money. Probably all of it except what’s in your pocket right now.

Don’t use weak passwords and don’t use the same ones everywhere. Do change them frequently and store them safely.

Final App Store Survey Results

What One Change You’d Like

appstore1Here’s the result of the final question in our survey (check the archives if you want the rest), as well as the winners of the gift cards.

To the question: “What one change would you like most to see in the iTunes App Store?”, over 60% of you picked free trials. I guess given that so many of you indicated that you bought apps regardless of price (or at least didn’t just buy the $1 and $2 ones), trials makes a lot of sense. 18% opted for better categorization, with just under 10% wanting better find. Specifically:

App Store Survey Results

Of the “other” replies, you asked for:

  • All of the above!
  • All of these, app store is almost unusable
  • General change to the style how people use (browse) the app store
  • More serious apps like eWallet and less junk
  • “Best of breed” featured apps, regardless of popularity (# of downloads)
  • Better search and iTunes like search playlists (to exclude junk devs)
  • Less crap!
  • Moderated reviews
  • Review moderation. Many reviews cite problems that are due to apple
  • Dated reviews with version reviewed
  • Sort by rating
  • Rankings based on revenue
  • functionality: wish-lists, similar-apps-bought, order-by-ratings
  • A wish list to keep track of apps, music, etc. until I can decide on them
  • Wish List capacity to store for later purchase
  • A way to save a list of apps I am interested in.
  • Robust wish list (as at Amazon)
  • More game options
  • Would be nice to have a VIDEO review on apps (esp games) rather than on YouTube
  • Demo capability
  • The original ability to see all aps by post date
  • Canadian redeem codes, for the love of Bob!

I grouped those for better readability, but otherwise didn’t edit them at all.

I’m happy to see that Apple took down reviews from non-buyers late last week. I hope – and believe – we’ll keep seeing improvements to the App Store. Find and trials would be great ones!

OK, and now for the 12 gift card winners. Congratulations to: Ken M., David B., Robin C., Addison H., Gina G., Dennis B., Drew C., Terry W., Louie L., Susan L., Nicole T., and Paul T. You’ve each won a US$10 gift card. People in the U.S. will get iTunes gift cards; people outside the U.S. will get gift cards from your local Amazon site. I’ve sent out emails about these already; if you think you’re one of the winners and didn’t see one, please be sure to whitelist emails from I’ll re-send them to anyone I didn’t hear back from.

Once again, thanks to everyone for participating!

More App Store Survey Results

Results #2: How You Evaluate Apps

appstore1Today I’m writing about the questions that asked how you evaluate apps. And yes, I’m still surprised.

The longer version follows. In case you missed it, last week we posted a survey about how people use the iTunes App Store. I published results about how people find apps a few days ago.
Continue reading

How Do You Use the iTunes App Store?

appstore1There’s a lot being written about iTunes and the App Store this week. And a lot of it is by developers who are guessing what people want, how they find it, and how much they’ll pay for it.

Rather than guess, I thought I’d ask.

I’ve put together a very short survey. If you’d like to fill it out, please do! We’d appreciate the answers. And we’ll give away a bunch of iTunes or Amazon gift cards to people who fill it out (and include their email addresses, which we won’t do anything else with), so you’ll have a good chance to win.

We’ll publish the results if we get enough responses to be meaningful. So if you’re interested, help us publicize it!

Check it out. Tell your friends. And if you have comments, please post them below.

Podcast with Todd Ogasawara

Todd Ogasawara, who runs one of my very favorite blogs: the really excellent MobileAppsToday, did a podcast interview with Marc and me yesterday. It’s published on his site and I’m going to add the player here once I make sure it will work.

We talk about products, platforms, trends and how to find us at CES and MacWorld next week.

Here’s the player, if you want to hear it directly:

Thanks, Todd, for including us!

Support Snowed Under

We got a lot of snow last night, and it’s still going on, so we’re a little short-handed, and it may be a little harder than usual to reach us today phone or email. We’re here, so don’t hesitate to email or leave a message, but please be patient about getting an answer quite as quickly as usual from us. Thanks for your patience!

Holiday Thanks

If you’re reading this, we want to thank you for all the support you’ve given us this past year (and other years too). Reviewers, readers, people who link to us, comment on our posts, and use our products: we couldn’t do what we do without all of you!

I’d like to thank everyone in person, but I still can’t teleport (not for lack of trying). So I’ll just thank everyone here, and of course wish you happy holidays (whichever ones you observe) as well.

Looking forward to another exciting year,