Originally Posted by solipsism
How about if it was done when you sync your iPhone to iTunes and you get a choice to send your anonymous app usage stats to Apple or not, just like with your anonymous iPhone OS and app crash data? Devs are already monitoring your usage already, there is just no built in API for it.
Well, no, because usage doesn't necessarily equate to app quality. Consider 2 apps, A & B.
A. You use this app frequently, but, you don't think it's great, it's just something that happens to require frequent use by it's nature. But, if a better alternative were available, you'd dump it in a second for a new app.
B. You absolutely love this app, it's beautifully designed, no bugs, a joy to work with. But, you don't actually us it that often because it's something you only need for specific circumstances.
Now, based on usage stats, app A, which you have a sort of love-hate relationship with would be highly ranked, and app B, which you think is the most incredible app on your phone would be ranked poorly. Without the context of what these apps are for and how they are used, usage stats are meaningless measures of quality.
I think for ratings to have any meaning, they have to be knowingly provided by users. What would be nice is if you had to, in addition to just tapping a star, actually list, or check off, some pros and cons and maybe add at least a brief review. That's why I was thinking of some relatively unobtrusive way to solicit app reviews from inside the app, as well as actually expanding the optional rate on delete feature. This is why I was thinking it could use functionality from iAd -- rate the app without leaving -- to pop-up a short survey form.