iMaverick iPad app – A total let down


I am a big fan of South African developed apps. Actually, probably one of the biggest advocates of iPhone & iPad development in South Africa, if I have to be totally honest.

But today, I downloaded the new iMaverick app (Free – Sorta). There has been loads of hype surrounding the app over the last couple of months, with huge noise being made about them giving you an iPad if you bought a subscription. Fair enough. I have no qualms with their business logic, but the iPad app itself is shocking.

I don’t understand how Apple allowed it to go onto the app store like that, and given the hype surrounding the launch of iMaverick, I suppose I expected a lot more. Also given that the screenshots in the app store show one of their first editions (2nd Sep) it looks like the app has been probably been rejected once or twice. I been down this road :)

Some of the things that I picked up on from a user interface & use experience point of view:

  • The app itself is 26MB !! This is huge, and won’t be able to be downloaded over a 3G connection. Anything over 20MB = WiFi. The content is mostly stored in the cloud, and only downloaded to your device on a daily basis, so the initial app size should be a lot smaller than 26MB. By comparison Angry Birds is only 19MB.
  • The app store description reads: “Africa’s first media tablet-only daily newspaper”. . . . . Yip. That’s it. Offers me absolutely no value as a potential subscriber to tell me about rates, or (probably the most important) that I actually NEED to be a subscriber to use the app. You have unlimited space here to tell people about your product. Use it. If I was a first time user looking on the app store for African News, and came across the iMaverick app, I would have NO idea what I needed to do. The screenshots also offer no visual assistance to show me what the app is about. Just a few covers of the PDF’s that we have been able to get, and that’s it.
  • Once the app has downloaded, and you open it in landscape, it auto rotates to portrait, and cuts off half the screen(small aesthetics)
  • The info screen then loads and doesn’t offer me anything in terms of pricing to sign up. I want to buy the subscription, and I just can’t. I suppose this is a finiky one, but the buttons look terrible. They the stock standard iOS buttons. Eeeuww
  • The “Intro Version” they offer you is from the 10th of September. Old news doesn’t help me. I should be able to read the latest edition, to make my appetite whet for more, more, more !!
  • Once you have exited the app, and come back in, that initial welcome message is gone. Can’t ever get back there, can’t even read my 10th of September edition again :( You can now see all the latest versions, but if you click on one of them, it comes up with an error message telling me “Alert – Not logged in” – Huh. Firstly change the “Alert” title and tell me what I need to do. Clicking ok takes me back to the page. Basically stuck.
  • I see there is an info button in the bottom right, so I click that, and it get taken to a login screen. Again, no info about what to do, or how I can buy a login, which seems like gold. There is no way to get back to the previous screen, leaving me highly frustrated. It does give me an option to mail iMaverick. Which I declined. Thanks. Hold app, delete button. Bye.

All in all, a very frustrating app to use, and really hope the team at iMaverick do a V2, to try and fix some of these basic usability issues. /Rant Over