One thing that is very much being overlooked is the screenshots , other artwork and descriptions for apps in the Ubuntu Store.
Many apps don’t have screenshots or artwork or the same is outdated and doesn’t depict the current look of the app. Descriptions are mostly vague if there even is one compared to the apps published in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
In my interaction with people that I’ve converted to Ubuntu, I’ve found that it is hard for them to figure out what many of the apps published on Ubuntu Store do or how the look right from the app store.
Most of the time they are forced to google that software to find out what it exactly does and because of that they also end up using Google to discover new apps or alternative apps rather than using Ubuntu Store which defeats the purpose of having a gui store at all.
Many times they end up installing software by using some outdated ppa just because they have found it on some website that covered that software at that time. They end up blindly following the commands on random websites even if the new version of the app is in the store just because they don’t see what they’ll get because the information in the store is lacking.
That is a serious regression in the Ubuntu Software and should be addressed somehow for 18.04.
I know that many of us on this hub don’t care about that because by now we know exactly what each peace of FOSS software in the store does but for new folks or even long time users that are not into Ubuntu development but just usage it is a terrible UX especially when they are coming from from other platforms which all have nice app stores and app discovery UX in them.
Also, there are no changelogs in the Ubuntu Store. It would be good to have that like the stores on other platforms have it, a simple changelog section that presents changes in a short, user friendly way. The current practice is going on the project website or github which is too much for a normal user, most of them don’t even know what version control even is but they still want to know what to look for in the new update and that their app is being worked on.
[EDIT]: The app star rating in Ubuntu Store.
Has anyone noticed that no one actually leaves those ratings if we consider that Ubuntu has millions of users?
Nobody uses it because those ratings are essentially useless. There is no option to filter search results in the Ubuntu Software by star rating and most of the ratings and comments are long outdated, in many cases multiple years old.
Star rating is a very useful thing in any store and especially a software one but it has to actually be designed to be useful and smart.
You don’t want to see ratings for some version that has long passed, you wan’t to see ratings for the current version. You wan’t the apps with higher rating to show up first in the search results so that the Store don’t waste users time forcing him to search and search but you also don’t want the apps with higher rating to hide the newly published apps that don’t have any rating at all because they are new in the store.
I think that a better software center would help the distribution by inviting more app developers to publish their apps in it and actually give some attention to the descriptions, artwork and QA because of the rating. I also think a nicer and more useful Ubuntu Software would help in faster and wider adoption of snap packaging technology.