Monday, December 20, 2010

If it ain't broke... break it!

What do Evernote, MSNBC and Accuweather have in common? In the past few days, all three have released a significant upgrade. Evernote's PC app to version 4, Accuweather (v4) and MSNBC (v2) upgraded their iTunes apps.

And in my perspective as a regular (probably daily in all cases) user, all three upgrades stink.  And judging from the early results in the iTunes App Store, MSNBC and Accuweather's updates register as a major miss by its userbase. Especially Accuweather.  It's off-the-charts bad. Results weren't great before (36% with only 1-2 stars) but now... wow.... 67% 1 star, 79% for 1 and 2 star.)  

Evernote loses several great features and has a pretty significant bug.

MSNBC sacrifices for ads, showing less content, and in a move that I believe is designed solely to make the ads more prominent, the articles stay grayed out for awhile after you click on them while the ads take up a lot of the screen, slowly retreating. I call "shenanigans" on that.

But Accuweather takes the cake. It starts with a really crummy new icon and gets worse from there. Loses several great features (like the ability to see at a glance the day-by-day rainfall estimates) and a number of other things either take much longer, or require far more clicks to get there.  And so now there's a "1 app to update" badge permanently stuck on the iPhone for the App Store since I don't want to update Accuweather.  So I had to move the icon to a different screen where I can't see it.  And have to remember never to click "Update All"  I have to assume it's temporary.  I have to think they'll put together another reason soon enough because if people live up to their word, they're dumping the product in droves.  I sadly can't, AccuWeather lives up to its name.  AccuWeather is the only one that does a decent job forecasting, the others are wrong a vast majority of the time.  I'm stuck with AccuWeather, and with the exception of this latest upgrade, I've been pretty happy.

I was able to get back to the old Accuweather app: It was still in iTunes, so just deleted it off my phone, re-synced and it came back.

Evernote, I uninstalled and then searched for the previous version and installed it.

MSNBC, no such luck.
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