It looks to me like many tech websites and online magazines are pay to play, even large, important sounding ones. This leads to an overly positive view of technology. The buggy, unfinished nature of most of the hardware and software we use is nowhere to be found in their rosy descriptions. Many online reviews are suspicious as well.
Recently I was reading Google Play Store reviews of an app I use. I found many other people reporting a bug I was dealing with. Their reports were recent. The app was created by a large company. That company’s online community and website made no mention of this bug. A Google search wasn’t fruitful.
From their responses, it looks like some app creators are concerned about defects reported on Google Play reviews. Concerned enough to do something? Good question. One developer seemed upset by the defect and to have corrected it fairly quickly. In another case, some questioned the company’s sincerity.
Are the reviews authentic? For the one app whose reviews I looked at the most, some reviews seem to be real and some don’t. The rating of 4.6 stars out of five is much higher than it should be due to numerous suspicious four and five star reviews. In fact, as soon as I posted a one star review, a spate of suspicious five star reviews happened. The top of the screen shows key words most used in the reviews. In this case, they were 100% positive and sounded like ad copy. That did not reflect the reviews I read. Suspicious. I was also wondering if a few of the negative reviewers work for the competition.
Although Google Play Store reviews may currently be a good place to read or write about product defects, and maybe find contact info to report bugs, app ratings, “key words” and some reviews can be false, based on one example.
Theoretically anyone can look at the reviews in the Google Play store. In the past, I remember them trying to make me sign up for a Google/Gmail account to do this, but there was an alternative path where you did not. Sorry, I don’t remember what it was.
To review apps, obviously, you have to sign up. Do have to have a Gmail and or Google account? Not sure, but it was one way to do it. If so, you may want to review your settings to control what info is public.