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  1. gtman55's Avatar
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       #1  
    This is beyond frustrating. The other day I purchased an app in the catalog "Hit The Deck Baseball". It looked pretty good based on the preview here at PreCentral and was listed as "Minimum OS: 1.4.5"... I have a Pre Plus with 1.4.5 so I went ahead and purchased it through the catalog. After downloading, I went to play it and it loaded but none of the controls worked. Completely unplayable. So I contacted the developer and this is where it gets frustrating...

    The developer told me he didn't even realize HP/Palm had released it in the catalog. And he was trying to figure out why it wasn't working. He then told me he developed the game using his Palm Pre 2. Ok so if he made the game for 2.0.0 and up why was it listed as compatible with 1.4.5 in the catalog? Then the day after I purchased it it was changed slickly in the catalog to ""Minimum OS: 2.0.0"... Ok I understand they're covering their **** .... but... what about the people who bought this with 1.4.5, and based on the reviews I saw people were pretty PO'ed. Now I see where the app has been pulled from the catalog.

    This begs quite a few questions. Like who checks things before they get approved for the catalog? And I simply don't understand programming this simple baseball game for 2.0.0 and up only when most people still own Pre's and Pre Plusses on 1.4.5 which is perfectly capable of playing a game like this. And why was it listed as for 1.4.5 when it wasn't? Arrggghhh
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by gtman55 View Post
    The developer told me he didn't even realize HP/Palm had released it in the catalog.
    The developer is just making excuses. Of course he knew it was released. HP will only release apps you submit for review. And once it's released, the app portal will change its status to "Published".

    Quote Originally Posted by gtman55 View Post
    Ok so if he made the game for 2.0.0 and up why was it listed as compatible with 1.4.5 in the catalog?
    Because he didn't bother to test it on a 1.x device. He just assumed it would work. He's obviously a very poor developer.

    Quote Originally Posted by gtman55 View Post
    ...and based on the reviews I saw people were pretty PO'ed. Now I see where the app has been pulled from the catalog.
    I don't know if you checked the reviews before you purchased it, but the average rating of the app is less than 2 stars. If an app has such a low rating, I'd probably steer clear of it, unless it was new and there was only 1 rating. I'd then give it a little time to get some more ratings.

    Quote Originally Posted by gtman55 View Post
    This begs quite a few questions. Like who checks things before they get approved for the catalog?
    The HP app reviewers should have caught this. At a minimum, they should be checking to see if it works on the "min OS" platform.

    If you haven't already, I would ask the developer for a firm estimate on when 1.4.5 users can expect a fix. If he won't provide you one, contact HP and ask for a refund. Mention that the app is now listed as "min OS = 2.0" but it was "1.4.5" when you bought it.
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  3. gtman55's Avatar
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       #3  
    I don't know if you checked the reviews before you purchased it, but the average rating of the app is less than 2 stars. If an app has such a low rating, I'd probably steer clear of it, unless it was new and there was only 1 rating. I'd then give it a little time to get some more ratings.
    Actually I was the first one to buy it and wrote the first review.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by gtman55 View Post
    Actually I was the first one to buy it and wrote the first review.
    Oh that sucks...
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
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    Twitter: @Hedami
  5. #5  
    As a developer myself (I developed B'lox!) I have come across a similar problem with my game on the Palm Pixi. B'lox! was developed in GLBasic (the same programming language as "Hit The deck Baseball") and was designed to comply with WebOS 1.4.5.

    As lone developers it's not always possible to test code on every possible device, and both of us only have Pre 2's. We also rather stupidly assumed that when HP review apps, they do so on each machine to ensure compatibility. This is obviously not the case, as my app, despite being 1.4.5 compliant fails completely on the Pixi - this should have been picked up at Review.

    To call the dev "poor" is pretty unfair. As a dev for multiple other machines (pc, mac, GP2X, Wiz, iPhone, WebOS) I can tell you now that the same app on a supposedly exact same machine can run differently. In an ideal world each dev would own every machine that they were devving for, but in that scenario I would have to own 50million different types of pc...

    With the Pre Plus, there is at least hope that the control problem (in Hit The Deck) will be fixed, and should be a simple update. However, my Pixi issues look like they may not be addressed (within GLBasic), as there's more than just control issues. Yet my game should run perfectly on a Pre Plus. However, as a result of said problems, I too have update my app to a suggested WebOS 2.0.0, rather than upset Pre Plus owners with a game that may or may not work. It also means a lot less potential sales.

    Everyone makes mistakes, new developers especially. To err is human. The dev in question has tried to do something about it, and appears to have pulled the app before it becomes a much bigger problem - for him and his customers.

    Would you prefer that he left it and didn't respond to any problems?

    As for the second point, not knowing about the app being on the store, I can understand that too. When we upload apps, we are placed in a queue for review. The portal states that the dev will be informed of any changes in circumstances with the app. That is not true; unlike Apple, Palm do not send out emails to inform you that the game is available (or any other steps along the way). Also the App Catalog didn't show the apps as being available in Europe until yesterday - two or three days after they were released. So issues could not be addressed sooner, as they could not be seen. The first I knew my game was available was when I received an email complaint from someone who had bought the app on Pixi machines.

    BTW, I am in no way related to the dev of Hit The Deck Baseball, but I have played the iPhone version and it really is a cool app and does deserve to do well on all formats.

    It's a shame that despite supposedly being compliant with 1.4.5, some ugly issues reared their head.

    As a dev the last thing I want is to PO my potential customers. B'lox! is my very first commercial game - for the last 20+ years I've devved (since 1984) I've given everything away for free for a variety of platforms.

    I want my target audience to be happy with the games I make, whether free or not. I've had several reviews for B'lox! and two of them (understandably) are quite negative, due to the Pixi problem. Now I didn't do that on purpose and I didn't set out to rip anyone off, but that review will now be indelibly inked to my app. And purely because -
    a) I can't afford/don't have access to a Pixi
    b) Palm review service don't check that a game actually works (so why does it take upto a week to review then?)

    I can only apologize to those affected by my app. not working. Sorry.

    So, we live and learn - as devs and customers. Hopefully the issues will be sorted in an update. Failing that HP must have a refund policy.
    Last edited by iprice; 04/15/2011 at 10:46 AM.
    My published and impending WebOS apps -
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    As lone developers it's not always possible to test code on every possible device, and both of us only have Pre 2's. We also rather stupidly assumed that when HP review apps, they do so on each machine to ensure compatibility. This is obviously not the case, as my app, despite being 1.4.5 compliant fails completely on the Pixi - this should have been picked up at Review.
    It's the responsibility of the developer to ensure the app works on the specified min OS version and devices. You shouldn't expect HP to thoroughly test each app.

    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    To call the dev "poor" is pretty unfair. As a dev for multiple other machines (pc, mac, GP2X, Wiz, iPhone, WebOS) I can tell you now that the same app on a supposedly exact same machine can run differently. In an ideal world each dev would own every machine that they were devving for, but in that scenario I would have to own 50million different types of pc...
    Yes it really is fair to call him a poor developer. As you mentioned, apps run differently on the various versions of webOS (1.x vs. 2.x). If he's going to release the app with a "min OS version" of 1.4.5, he should be sure it runs on that platform. If he cannot do so, then he should have specified 2.0 as the min OS.

    Also it's easy to set up a private beta (using HP's beta feed) and invite people using different OS versions and devices. If the developer would have done that prior to releasing the app, the negative reviews on his app and the bad customer experience could have been avoided.

    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    As for the second point, not knowing about the app being on the store, I can understand that too. When we upload apps, we are placed in a queue for review. The portal states that the dev will be informed of any changes in circumstances with the app.
    Once you submit the app for review, the developer should assume it could appear in the catalog at any time. They should only submit it if they're ready for the app to go live. Again it's the developer's responsibility to ensure the readiness of the app, not the HP reviewers.
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    Twitter: @Hedami
  7. #7  
    did the OP contact Palm for a refund?
  8. #8  
    It's the responsibility of the developer to ensure the app works on the specified min OS version and devices.
    Of course your apps have never suffered from bugs (in the OS) that prevented them from working correctly - http://forums.precentral.net/2912187-post1.html

    But anyway -
    Also it's easy to set up a private beta (using HP's beta feed) and invite people using different OS versions and devices.
    I wasn't aware that this even existed - do you have a link?
    My published and impending WebOS apps -
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    Of course your apps have never suffered from bugs (in the OS) that prevented them from working correctly - http://forums.precentral.net/2912187-post1.html

    But anyway -

    I wasn't aware that this even existed - do you have a link?
    That's a pretty unfair statement..... as that was something that happened AFTER 2.x was released and that app worked perfectly fine....along with a free version that was out for the better part of a year, before the paid version was released. (I haven't checked, as I have the paid version myself(that works too for that matter), but as the paid version is 2.x ONLY....wouldn't there still be a Homebrew version available for those that are still on 1.4.5, with essentially the same features?)

    Just sayin' And he might have some new bugs, but he's VERY proactive and doing what he can to bring it up to others attention and trying to find a solution.
    Due to the cancellation of the penny, I no longer give 2 about anything. I may however, give a nickel
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    Of course your apps have never suffered from bugs (in the OS) that prevented them from working correctly - http://forums.precentral.net/2912187-post1.html
    The fact that you'd even consider the "Hit The Deck Baseball" bug and your app's bug to be similar to the media indexing permissions bug says a lot. The two issues are nothing alike. The OP's bug (not running on 1.4.5) and your bug (not running on Pixi) is something easily reproducible in your specific apps when run on a specific OS version or device.

    The media indexing permissions issue is not specific to any one music app (all 3rd party music apps are affected) because the bug is within the webOS media indexer, not within any one app. Plus the webOS bug is not reproducible at all. It happens completely at random.

    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    I wasn't aware that this even existed - do you have a link?
    https://developer.palm.com/content/r...n_details.html
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  11. #11  
    Two questions:

    1) Can the emulators available for PC's adequately test webOS version and device type - I understand the kernels are different due to cpu but is this a rational minimum step for a developer to take?

    2) Does anyone else think we should petition HP to change the rules in the App Catalog to be more Android-like? The Android Marketplace allows 24 hours to delete an app and get refunded - this eliminates a lot of the hassles of badly working apps without trial versions.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    Two questions:
    1) Can the emulators available for PC's adequately test webOS version and device type - I understand the kernels are different due to cpu but is this a rational minimum step for a developer to take?
    You can use the emulator to test most things developed in the SDK, but not everything. So in many cases it's still vital to test an SDK app on an actual device. However I find the emulator is adequate for testing screen layout differences between the Pre (320x480) and Pixi (320x400).

    I don't think PDK testing is possible on the emulator. I believe the apps being referenced in this thread are PDK apps so they would definitely need devices to test on. So if the devs can't afford to get a Pre- or Pixi to test on, they'll need to rely on beta testing or otherwise don't offer the apps on those devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    2) Does anyone else think we should petition HP to change the rules in the App Catalog to be more Android-like? The Android Marketplace allows 24 hours to delete an app and get refunded - this eliminates a lot of the hassles of badly working apps without trial versions.
    I thought Android changed their policy to be 15 minutes or something like that. I think 24 hours is excessive. There are a lot of games people could play and then just delete. I'd be fine with a 15-minute trial period. But even if HP doesn't make this change, developers can offer trial versions of their app. This allows people to try the app out before buying.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    I thought Android changed their policy to be 15 minutes or something like that. I think 24 hours is excessive. There are a lot of games people could play and then just delete. I'd be fine with a 15-minute trial period. But even if HP doesn't make this change, developers can offer trial versions of their app. This allows people to try the app out before buying.
    I personally wasn't aware of this but I did confirm that the Android Marketplace is now only offering refunds up to 15 mins after purchase. My own opinion of this is that 15 mins is far too short of a time to validate that an app works other than a very basic test. Also if a game can be completed in 24 hours - it seems to me that the game might not be worth the hard earned cash they asked for it in the first place. I'd be OK with something less than 24 hours but certainly more than 15 mins.

    Trial versions of apps are fine but there are two issues I see:

    1) They require additional development.
    2) They clog up the catalog and inflate the app numbers. Combine this with multiple versions of apps to support various hardware flavors and you can see how this is frustrating to an end user but probably a feature for HP.
  14. #14  
    That's a pretty unfair statement..... as that was something that happened AFTER 2.x was released and that app worked perfectly fine....
    The fact that you'd even consider the "Hit The Deck Baseball" bug and your app's bug to be similar to the media indexing permissions bug says a lot. The two issues are nothing alike.
    Actually it was a fair statement - bugs and unforeseen changes can affect software no matter how well tested on whatever machine(s) for whatever reason. It wasn't a dig or a personal attack, just that you can test for every eventuality (obviously as new and inexperienced WebOS devs we haven't done that, but lesson learned) and the stuff can still hit the fan.

    but he's VERY proactive and doing what he can to bring it up to others attention and trying to find a solution.
    And that's brilliant, but I haven't been a member of this forum for quite as long, or coded enough for WebOS yet to be able to give as much input. I have already recommended software to make WebOS development easier, and I will be releasing free and commercial software to the community. I am willing to become an active member and I only came into this thread to state that inexperience, ignorance and naivete can cause mistakes to happen. And lessons will be learned to the benefit of everyone, hopefully

    Anyway, thanks for the link DanPLC - very useful
    My published and impending WebOS apps -
  15. #15  
    I look forward to your webOS contributions

    your avatar is bugging me like I should know it from something and I just can't put it together
    Due to the cancellation of the penny, I no longer give 2 about anything. I may however, give a nickel
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    I personally wasn't aware of this but I did confirm that the Android Marketplace is now only offering refunds up to 15 mins after purchase. My own opinion of this is that 15 mins is far too short of a time to validate that an app works other than a very basic test. Also if a game can be completed in 24 hours - it seems to me that the game might not be worth the hard earned cash they asked for it in the first place. I'd be OK with something less than 24 hours but certainly more than 15 mins.
    Maybe an hour or two?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    1) They require additional development
    This is true. But once you do it for one app, it's very easy to add it to any future apps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclevanya View Post
    2) They clog up the catalog and inflate the app numbers. Combine this with multiple versions of apps to support various hardware flavors and you can see how this is frustrating to an end user but probably a feature for HP.
    I definitely agree. It would be great if a single app could be distributed in multiple configurations (full, trial, lite, etc.) without having to create multiple copies of an app. But that's not the way it is unfortunately.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
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    Twitter: @Hedami
  17. #17  
    your avatar is bugging me like I should know it from something and I just can't put it together
    It's not actually from a commercial game, but a retro-inspired unfinished WIP by a guy from RetroRemakes.com - it does have a very familiar look to it though, doesn't it.

    I usually use a Reaper (the skeletal ghouls from Ghouls 'n Ghosts) as my avatar, but this forum doesn't accept animated avatars, and it doesn't look so good when it's not moving.
    My published and impending WebOS apps -
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by iprice View Post
    Actually it was a fair statement - bugs and unforeseen changes can affect software no matter how well tested on whatever machine(s) for whatever reason. It wasn't a dig or a personal attack, just that you can test for every eventuality (obviously as new and inexperienced WebOS devs we haven't done that, but lesson learned) and the stuff can still hit the fan.
    You're still not getting it. The big difference between the bugs discussed in this thread and the webOS media permission bug is that there's no way for music apps to resolve the issue from within the code. The bug itself is in the way webOS handles permissions to the system's central db8 database (the one used by all apps).

    You want proof? I can run a luna-send command on a device experiencing this issue and the problem will magically go away and the app will work again. Can you do that with your app or the baseball app? No because the bug is in your code.

    But anyway, the thing you should take away from your experience is test everything you have the power to test. If you list "Pixi" as a compatible device or "1.4.5" as a compatible OS, then make sure it is.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  19. #19  
    You are indeed right, that further testing should have been made. I got that point before you even mentioned it, and apologized for not doing so. And prior to even posting here I had made changes to prevent further problems (with regards to the Pixi). As I stated, more than once, lesson learned.

    BTW - My app is compatible with 1.4.5 - it was "Hit The Deck" that wasn't working on 1.4.5.
    My published and impending WebOS apps -
  20. gtman55's Avatar
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       #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    did the OP contact Palm for a refund?
    Not yet. The developer is trying to fix the problem so I hope that he get's it working with 1.4.5... I think the guy assumed if the app worked with his Pre 2 it would be compatible with other webos versions but that's not the case.
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