Third-party iPhone apps scored significantly lower than their Android counterparts, according to an analysis of user reviews of 4,400 top mobile apps.
This does not necessarily mean that Android offers better third-party software, though. iPhone users simply expect more from their apps.
“The data shows iOS users are more critical of mobile apps than Android users are,” said David Kravets, senior content marketing manager for unitQ, the company that did the research, in an interview with Cult of Mac.
And after going through nearly 122 million reviews, unitQ analysts say there’s “lots of room for improvement” in mobile software.
iPhone app reviewers have higher standards
Anyone wavering between iPhone and Android should compare the quality of third-party applications for each platform. Software is as important as hardware.
And unitQ did a far more complete comparison than any individual could do. The company applied artificial intelligence to millions of reviews on the App Store and Google Play.
Going beyond simple “star” reviews, the analysts looked for a ratio between negative and positive reviews.
For all the Android applications covered, the analysts found a score of 78. All iOS apps got a 61 combined score.
Prices for the handsets probably play a big part in the phenomenon, according to unitQ.
“iPhones cost more,” said Kravets. “And so they [the users] are more likely to add complaints in their user feedback on the reviews that they leave.”
The state of mobile software is ‘fair’
After an analysis combining reviews for both iOS and Android software, unitQ gave an average score of 75 for mobile apps in general. By the company’s criteria, that’s “satisfactory product quality, lots of room for improvement.”
The analysis firm scrapes reviews from the App Store and Google Play. Then it uses AI to look for complaints in a wide variety of categories, including slow performance, crashing, freezing, excessive ads and in-app payments.
unitQ summarizes this information and offers it to third-party application developers, saving them the time that would be required to read through thousands of user comments.