Studying User-Developer Interactions Through the Updating and Reviewing Mechanisms of the Google Play Store
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Mobile app stores (such as the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store) provide a unique updating mechanism that helps app developers to distribute their updates efficiently. In addition, after downloading a new update, users are able to review the latest update so other users could benefit from the posted reviews. Such unique reviewing and updating mechanisms enable users and developers to interact with each other through the store. In this thesis, we study user-developer interactions through the updating and reviewing mechanisms of app stores. Our studies can help store owners to acquire a global view about user-developer interactions. Such a global view about user-developer interactions can help store owners to improve the quality of the offered apps in their stores. For example, store owners can leverage our findings to identify the common release mistakes that are made by app developers and improve the app updating mechanism to prevent developers from making such mistakes in their updates. In particular, we study the user-developer interactions along three perspectives: (1) study the common developer mistakes that lead to emergency updates, (2) study how the reviewing mechanism can help spot good and bad updates, and (3) study the dialogue between users and developers to help design next-generation app reviewing mechanisms. In this thesis, we identify eight patterns of emergency updates in two categories "Updates due to deployment issues" and "Updates due to source code changes". Our studies show that it can be worthwhile for app owners to respond to reviews, as responding may lead to an increase in the given rating. In addition, we identify four patterns of developer responses. Our work demonstrates the necessity of an update-level analysis of reviews to capture the impressions of an app's user-base about a particular update. An app-level analysis is not sufficient to capture these transient impressions.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/24927
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