Wednesday, October 09, 2013

MoBill Android App Review

This app has great graphics!  I really like the interface, choice of button shapes, colors, etc.  A lot of thought went into the designing of the GUI portion of the software. I give this part of the program Five Stars.

Another excellent feature of this app is that it has a real embedded help menu. Most apps with a help button simply link it to a function that opens a web browser, opening the developer's home page. It's nice to have an embedded help list, so I really like this feature. Five Stars.

Embedded Calculator Feature, Available As Stand-Alone Function or Available in Sub Menus: Five Stars! (I can't speak highly enough about this one. Some apps link to an on-device, secondary calculator, which is cumbersome in a financial app where numerical calculation is desired at the record-creation entry point. The addition of an embedded calculator like this one fills this gap beautifully!)

The last thing I will review is the way in which the developer has chosen to add additional functionality to the app: AdFree. This doesn't work for me in many ways, either from a practical viewpoint or a philosophical one.

The Practical: Having to register with an ad service provider for extra functions is cumbersome. Mosts developers simply don't require this. Also, this particular app has the ad glaring at you at the very top of the app when it launches, drawing your attention, nay, "sucking you into" the advertisement at warp speed!

Some of the ads displayed have button-like, shaped graphics which are easily confused with app function buttons. I found this de-enhancing to proper app navigation, making the app somewhat unintuitive to someone new to the app.

The Philosophical:  This is more of a pet peeve of mine than anything else. I simply do not like advertising in phone applications like this one.

This a budgeting app, designed to help one keep tabs on their expenses.  It's not a game or a social app where advertisements might be expected.

Also, and this is the most glaring flaw as I see it: To enable advanced features, one has to register with a third party ad-provider, AdFree.

I don't agree with this kind of application development. Android is rife with advertisers, and others, that want people to believe that profit can't be made without a glaring, flashing banner adorning the various pages of phone apps.

I also don't buy into the "App Subscription Model" for an application whose primary purpose should not require it. A registration fee for additional dev support and feature enabling is fine. This is how most devs float, and makes sense, practically and philosophically.

However, combining both with as heavy a dependency on an ad service like AdFree, does not.

App Ad Factors: One Star

Final Total: Four Stars

Summary and Suggestions:  Get rid of AdFree! Re-write the code to more uniform standards of marketing, such as the "free app with advertising and limited features/paid app with all features and no advertising" model.

Also, ditch the ad-subscription marketing model. It's outdated and annoying as hell! Most users aren't going to pay a yearly subscription unless you're a magazine publisher offering original content or some type of professional service.

Keep the excellent graphics! This dev has an obvious talent for GUI design that captures the user. It caused me to download it and give it a try, merely from looking at at the app icon in the Play Store.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this app. I appreciate and pay for excellent quality software. I believe that the suggestions made in my review can, and will, help this app to become a winner in the market.

Best of Success,

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