Users, you just can’t please all of them…

Recently I released the new version of the FillLPG for Android application as a Beta, that is working but with the potential for a few bugs and missing features. Because of my current work load I have not been able to put as much time into what is essentially a ‘pet project’ so I was running the risk of it never seeing the light of day.

On the whole it was received very well and there was a lot of positive feedback and feature suggestions. Then there are the ‘1 Star Brigade’ – you know, those who are so disappointed about an app that they just can’t let it go by and can give it a ‘virtual middle finger’ by leaving a 1 Star review – but frequently without taking the time to explain the reason for their displeasure.

By way of venting my own spleen I have a few examples:

This little gem was left a couple of weeks ago and is factually accurate – there are currently no stations listed in Bulgaria. But then why would there be? All the stations in the system are added and maintained by the users of the FillLPG website (which I should add is nothing to do with On The Fence Development Ltd or myself). Furthermore, the service was initially intended to provide location and price information for UK stations only.As more people hear about the site more and more stations are being added – currently as far away as Poland and Northern Norway! The users who add these stations are doing it for their own benefit and that of other LPG users.

My response to you Kiril is that users who complain about there being missing stations are, frankly, missing the point of the FillLPG community.

Next up in this helpful, two word, review – ‘Empty Map’. Well what am I supposed to do with that? How can I start to diagnose the problem – and to be honest, should I even bother? You see there are currently over 4000 installs of this version of the application and if nobody could see a map I’d be getting a lot more feedback from the users (over 4000 of them on the current release). I strongly suspect that this users problem is due to an out of date version of Google Maps on his device (it’s happened before – but that user contacted me to resolve the problem, which I did). I can’t understand why some users don’t realise that they problem may, just may be to do with them, their phone, connection or carrier and not the application. But no – it must be the app, it’s crap and I’m going to tell the world about!

To Maciej I say that you should think about the users who are running the app without any problems and think to yourself – ‘maybe it’s something at my end’

Finally there is this one, the app won’t run Android M. Now some of you maybe saying “Android M” what on earth is that? Well, it’s the next version of Android that was released AS A PREVIEW at the end of May this year. The actual release will be sometime before the end of this year, some say around September but you can’t be too sure with Google. When it does eventually come out, don’t expect to see it on your handset for a while afterward (unless you’re running a Nexus device) because it can take a while for the handset manufacturers to test it with their hardware and to put their own spin on it if required. HTC state that they will get the new releases onto their current compatible handsets within 90 days – so that’s pushing into next year.

So getting back to Stuarts ‘review’ – basically, two weeks after Android M was release AS A PREVIEW to developers and a good 9 MONTHS before any consumer device will be running it he sees fit to give the app a 1 Star review because it’s not compatible!

To you Stuart, I don’t really know what to say! I’m assuming you are a developer as most normal users won’t know what Android M is or how to get it. So developer to developer, you should know better!

The thing is, the app has about a 4 Star rating – dropping  a little thanks to ‘users’ like those above – and that’s fine with me. What irritates me is when people don’t consider the time and effort that other put in to producing these things. FillLPG for Android is a FREE app and doesn’t contain any Ads (and never will). I develop it in my ‘spare’ time and use it as a vehicle to practice my mobile development skills, so when I hear people whinging about missing stations, maps and the like it really hacks me off.

Anyway – the good news is that there are still plenty of users who make use of the application every single day. Users who provide constructive feedback and feature suggestions and, most importantly, appreciate that I do this with no expectation of reward.