We’re closing in on it being two months since Zite 2.0 was released. A major revision is normally a good thing for an app, but the awesome magazine-like news app that is Zite didn’t fare quite as well in its first massive revision. Despite there being some good changes, those were mostly overshadowed by the issues in the update. Issues like you often ending up liking or disliking a story (which is the way Zite “evolves” to fit your personally) when you’re just trying to flip pages.
Zite is a free app, but people won’t use something that annoys them even if given to them for free. The ratings in the App Store reflects that, with the 2.5 star average rating for the current version telling a whole other story than the 4 star lifetime rating. Comments in the App Store complain about the app being ruined, and that people have just stopped using it.
Zite is one of my personal app favorites, and I’m extremely grateful that it’s provided for free, but even I had my doubts after this update. I constantly find myself fighting with the UI, which is not something you should be able to say about an app that lives and breathes UI innovation. However, I was reassured after reading a comment from Zite’s CEO on my Zite 2.0 review, saying that these issues would be fixed in the next version.
Now, a month and a half after that comment, I can’t help but wonder where on Earth that update is. Dropping that much in iTunes ratings is a pretty big deal, and fixing the issues that causes that should have the same priority as fixing major bugs- after all, the result is the same: people stop using the app. Yet, as I check both the app’s blog and Twitter now, there’s absolutely no word on any update coming soon, which means that with the Apple approval process an everything, it’s practically guaranteed that we’ll pass the two month mark before we see an update.
To me, that’s too long. I like Zite enough that I’m holding out for the update despite annoyances, but there are tons of apps out there that I wouldn’t have done that for. Two months is more than enough time for someone to stop using an app, let it sit there, and then one day realize they have an app on their device that hasn’t been used in months- and get rid of it completely. What I fear is that by the time Zite is back in a shape and form that people want to use, it will have gone from something you find on many iPads to that odd curiosity that was popular once, but isn’t anymore.
It’s happened before, with TweetMag. Please, Zite, don’t let Zite 2.0 become TweetMag 2.0.