Everyone’s jumping on the mobile app development bandwagon, and that includes enterprise tech vendors.
The problem is, some of the apps they’ve released, despite being free, have been so glitch-ridden and poorly designed that they’ve actually done more harm than help.
It’s clear that some vendors are just putting apps out there to show how mobile-savvy they are. They’re probably thinking, Hey, people can’t complain because they’re free, right?
Wrong. Once apps are out there, they’re out there — standing as monuments to a vendor’s lack of mobile app development skills.
And then the negative feedback starts piling up. Or worse, apathy.
We looked around on the Apple, Microsoft and Google app stores and found a bunch of enterprise vendors that apparently didn’t put enough effort into their apps.
What It Does: Lets Android smartphone and tablet users connect to Microsoft's Outlook.com email service (previously known as Hotmail).
What People Don't Like: On the Google Play app store, 60% of the 75,000 reviewers gave it one star out of five. Common complaints include keyboard usability problems, trouble opening attachments and slow performance.
Microsoft makes a lot of money from patent licensing agreements with Android device makers. They're a big reason why Microsoft's patents could become a multi-billion dollar business this year.
You'd think Microsoft would want to give Android users a good email app.
What It Does: It's supposed to give iPhone and iPad users a 'high-level view of everything Oracle,' according to the app's iTunes page. 'Hear about developments, releases, mergers and acquisitions, and other important events,' it reads.
What People Don't Like: So far, 55 of the 118 people who've rated the app on iTunes have given it one star out of five. But no one has taken the time to explain why they don't like it. Perhaps they're so dismayed they can't even put their frustration into words.
What It Does: This lets Android smartphone and tablet users print photos and documents by sending them over Wi-Fi to Dell printers.
What People Don't Like: More than half of the 275 reviewers have rated this app one star out of five. Many are upset that their Dell printer model doesn't work with the app, and there are tons of complaints about printing errors while using the app.
What It Does: Lets iPhone and iPad users access enterprise files, apps, and desktops on their devices over the Internet.
What People Don't Like: On the app's iTunes page, users have complained about problems with logging in and choppy video performance. This has happened over Wi-Fi and high speed 4G LTE cellular networks, they said.
Citrix pulled a bug-ridden version of the app from the App Store last November, but didn't replace it with the previous version for existing customers to use. Many were frustrated about being left with no alternatives, Brian Madden of BrianMadden.com reported.
Citrix was an early mover in tech that connects mobile users and devices with corporate apps and data without putting valuable data at risk. But it still has some fine-tuning to do, apparently.
What It Did: Released in 2011, this was supposed to be security vendor AVG's app that scanned Windows Phones for viruses. Instead, it displayed ads and searched for Hebrew text strings, for some unknown reason.
What People Didn't Like: There weren't any viruses for Windows Phone then, and there still aren't. People who tested out the app quickly figured out that it was basically just a sloppy copy of AVG's Android app that didn't provide any benefit to users whatsoever.
We described this app in 2011 as possibly the worst app ever made. Microsoft quickly pulled it from the Windows Phone app store.
What It Does: Lets users access 'virtual desktops' running on servers in their company's data centre from iPhones and iPads.
What People Don't Like: This app actually has good reviews overall, but people aren't crazy about the latest update, released in March. Some said it doesn't take advantage of Windows 8's touch features. Others complained about not being able to connect to the server, and having trouble logging in.
What It Does: This app works with software installed in the company's data centre. It lets employees access email, contacts and calendar, and there's lots of security tech baked in to protect this data from hackers.
What People Don't Like: 132 reviewers have given the app an average of 2.5 out of 5 stars. Complaints include crashing, freezing, and email problems.
'The app crashes after pressing a key in the email response text. What good does it do if I cannot actually work with the emails?' said one reviewer.
What It Does: Previously called Cisco Connect Cloud, the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi mobile app lets customers manage the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router, a high-end router Cisco began selling last June.
What People Don't Like: The first three customer reviews on iTunes all use the word 'useless' in describing this app, and that's never a good sign. Most complaints have centered on the app have trouble connecting to the router.
This router caused quite a stir when Cisco introduced it. Cisco released an update to the router's 'firmware'--the software inside it that controls its functions--and signed customers up for its cloud based management service without telling them.
It turned out that the terms for this service prohibited people from looking at porn or sending advertising emails. There were even questions about whether Cisco was using the service to monitor people's web traffic. Cisco denied this, but it was still a big mess.
What It Does: Lets customers of Xerox Enterprise Print Services, in which Xerox handles all the set-up and maintenance of a company's printers, use smartphones and tablets to send print jobs to Xerox and non-Xerox printers.
What People Don't Like: The app currently has an average of one star from 5 reviews. One reviewer said it has trouble finding printers, which is it primary purpose.
Another reviewer waded into tinfoil hat territory with this comment: 'Scam? If you hit the search function a list of printers come up--out of 11 found printers 3 were named after Futurama characters.'
What It Does: It was supposed to let customers stream their digital photos, audio and video from their HP MediaSmart Servers to iPhones and iPads.
What People Don't Like: In 2010, HP released an update to the app that disabled video streaming over 3G cellular connections. Judging from the furious reaction on the app's iTunes page, this didn't go over well.
So far, 229 of the 456 people who've rated the app have given it one out of five stars.
What It Does: Lets customers that have NetApp storage systems running in their organisations keep track of how they're performing. It also alerts users to problems. NetApp's business partners use it to send service orders and submit feedback.
What People Don't Like: 15 of 29 reviewers have given the app 1 star out of 5.
Some say the app is too large, at 2.5 MB. Others are upset with poor performance and being made to log in every time they use it.
What It Does: This app connects with Concur software installed at the company's location and is aimed at salespeople who need to file expense reports while they're on the road, away from a computer.
What People Don't Like: 26 reviewers have given it an average of 2 out of 5 stars.
People are having trouble uploading new expenses and viewing receipts. And they're frustrated with the app's lack of features. They're particularly upset because the app works fine on other platforms.
'Hate to say it but here is a prime example of an app that is so much better on iOS/Android,' said one reviewer.
What It Does: This app is a mobile front end for SAP's customer relationship management software, which companies use to serve existing customers and find new ones. Salespeople with Android smartphones and tablets use it while they're outside the office.
What People Don't Like: Five of the nine people who've rated it so far have given it one star out of five. Only a few have taken the time to comment, and they seem confused by the user interface and set-up process.
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