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The iPad App Store is full of phony ratings and flame wars

Howard9999

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Mavro Inc., the creators of a series of medical Spanish guides, appear to be packing their ratings with phony recommendations from friends and flaming those who criticize them. Their medical Spanish apps are also available on the Android platform.

How are they rated? As of late Saturday July 24, 2010, their ratings are 5 stars (43 ratings), 4 stars (none), 3 stars (1 rating), 2 stars (1 rating), and 1 star (1 rating). The final one star was my own rating! Do you believe they have really earned these ratings?

The latest written review on the App Store, the one that is rated el número uno when you sort the Customer Ratings by Most Helpful is a flame against me and the rating that I gave them. A so-called customer who calls himself "Dr. Edwards (UTSW)" writes:

(I use italics to show what this "Dr. Edwards" writes.)

Dr. Edwards (UTSW) said:
ATTN: Howard9999, its (sic.) obvious you are the competitor for this application.

I stand as a third party user who was not going to comment, until I read this comment.

If you are such an expert at medical spanish, may I ask why you are roaming the app store downloading medical spanish guides?

Anyway, from a medical student's perspective.... the EMSG has it going on. I use this in clinics and it works great, effectively and most importantly, my pts love it.

Be professional, Dr. E signing off

Look me up.




First of all, let me give you some examples of how bad the
Spanish is in MAVRO apps:

EXAMPLE ONE:

"Is your vision blurred?"

MAVRO translation:

"Tiene la vista borrosa o nublada?"

What the MAVRO translation says:

"Is your view blurry or cloudy?"

The mistake that MAVRO makes, probably because they used a machine translation program, is that vista means view, not vision.

Here is how you would say it properly in Spanish:

¿Tiene usted visión borrosa o nublada?

EXAMPLE TWO:

"Shrug your shoulders."

MAVRO translation:

"Encoja sus hombros."

What the MAVRO translation says:

"Cripple your shoulders."

The mistake that MAVRO makes, and this is critical for medical professionals to understand, is that when you refer to your own body, you use reflexive verb forms.

Here is how you would say it properly in Spanish:

"Encójase los hombros."

For what it's worth, the creators of these Mavro Inc. apps also don't appear to be literate in English. For example, take this sentence from their blogspot website:

http://mavroinc.blogspot.com


Mavro Inc is dedicated to helping non-Spanish speaking healthcare professionals from gaining vital medical information from their Spanish speaking patients.
(Note that the boldface text in this paragraph above is from their website, and was not added by me.)

So there you have it. An application developer (MAVRO Inc.) that appears to be competent in neither Spanish nor English is attempting to teach English speaking health professionals how to communicate with their Spanish speaking patients in emergency medical situations.

And do you think "Dr. Edwards" is a real doctor who is using this app? Give me your opinion, and while you are at it, go to the App Store and do something about the lopsided ratings and recommendations that have been given to this obviously incompetent iPad application.

Also, while you are at it, read my review at the App store itself, in which I show how one of MAVRO's translations attempted to say, "When was your last bowel movement?" The MAVRO translation ends up meaning "When was the last time that I [the doctor or nurse who is asking the patient] defecate?"
 
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King Hal

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This is the price we pay for the Internet. It's a readily available platform for a whole plethora of crazies and fraudsters!
 

Prasius

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Yip, the whole app store rating and review system is flawed and practically worthless from a consumers point of view. Morons rating GPS apps 1 star saying " THIS DUNT WORK!!!! RUBBISH!!!" when they're trying to run it on an iPod touch.....
 

Joker

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Not exactly a ''breaking news'', however I do believe there is a solution. Disable the rating system and comments. and add a live chat. that way you can ask anything about it before downloading. But I'm sure that won't happen in the near future. Or just give every single app a 1 day free tryout.
 

iPadCharlie

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Or just give every single app a 1 day free tryout.
Or have a "lite" version that does not have all of the functionality of the paid version or uses advertising. There are some very interesting apps out there for $9.99 (and up!) that I might like to try, but that is a bit steep so they lose me right off the bat. I will spend 99¢ for an app or maybe even $2-3, but $10 is too much to spend just to "kick the tires" since I can't get my money back just because I don't like it.
 

Hasty

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If Apple could come up with a Try Before You Buy system it sure would be a game winner for them.
 
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Howard9999

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Thank you

I think the original poster has a sense of humor as well as justifiable outrage.

Thank you so much. And you're not my sock puppet, are you? *winks*

My review of that MAVRO app has now risen from the bottom to the top of the pile as Most Helpful when you browse the App Store.

I bought a bunch of Spanish learning apps, including ones intended for children. I was appalled at the number that contained incorrect spellings in both Spanish and English.

Apple is trying so hard to keep the App Store family friendly. What about parents and teachers who want their children to learn from apps that contain correct spelling, grammar, and usage? It could be nice if the App Store helps to break the monopoly of large textbook companies, but what parent or teacher wants their children to learn from freelance app developers who butcher the English or Spanish languages?

I am a semi-retired, former Apple employee who has plenty of money to buy apps and plenty of time to review them. I've also worked as a teacher, a writer, and an editor. I'm going to start reviewing educational apps, and if I find bad spelling, punctuation, grammar, or usage, I am going to give excoriating reviews to the apps. That goes for mistakes in content as well.
 

drwinston001

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the simple way to solve this would be for Apple to do what Android does. If you pay for an app you don't get charged until 24 hours later. If in that time you have deleted it from your device you don't get charged for it. It remembers what you have and haven't downloaded before so you can't download an app, use it, delete it, then re-download it and delete it etc without being charged.

It's a very simple thing for Apple to implement and the fact they haven't shows a complete lack in care for consumers in the app store.
 

Prasius

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I've submitted a couple of reviews in the last 48hrs and have noticed they go through some kind of "review" process. Do they just computer scans for bad language or something?
 

newfmp3

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I feel the entire structure of the app store is designed to rip people off. There are no demos or try before you buy apps. Only a few developers have their lite version of their software when it should be mandatory across the line. It's like apple purposely has it structured in such a way where they are relying on the consumer to impulse buy a bunch of apps - and who cares if you lose say 2.99 on a garbage app? Who is really going to go and demand their 2.99 back right?

This is my first Apple product, and I love my iPad so far, but I despise several things about it, iTunes and the rip off that is the apple app store.

Don't get me started on the apps that should be free anyways, apps like vnc that are free on pc, or being forced to buy things to open functions like upnp media that should have been included on iPad in the first place.
 
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Howard9999

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newfmp3,

I'm probably a generation older than you, because I remember when application software cost hundreds of dollars and did almost nothing. My first Macintosh was the beige 512K Fat Mac, which could run a simple word processor and a paint program together if you were good at swapping out 400K floppy disks.

Seriously, the app store is full of apps that cost almost nothing and why should you be so angry that some of them do almost nothing too? The problem with try before you buy is that many of them are only meant to be used once, like a glass of beer. You can no longer buy a decent used paperback for $2.99. What do you really expect ... that app developers should work for nothing. Most of them do it as a hobby, and they don't really make much money.

I am buying apps and reviewing them as a hobby. I don't mind doing so. I won't be around very much for the next month, because I am going to be traveling with an iPad as my map and guidebook.

People complain about $2.99 as the standard cost of a map, when a paper map costs 10 Euros, and is impossible to find when you need it. Paper doesn't stay up to date either.

Howard9999
 

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