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ACIDS - How the evaluation works


 
I decided that, as I am writing reviews for various Apps, it would be useful to have a rating system that gives an objective score, and of course it needs some catchy acronym to act as a mnemonic.
 
Try as hard as one may, it is of course impossible to be totally objective about matters but, this is a genuine attempt to be as honest as possible, and certainly to be totally impartial.
 
Each App is reviewed on five main criteria. Each criterion starts with a score of 20, from which points are deducted. The theoretical maximum is therefore 100 but, it is extremely unlikely that this score will ever be given. The eventual score is then translated into a star rating:
 

80 - 100  = 
You've just got to have it!


70 - 79   = 
Very good App but slightly flawed


60 - 69   = 
Worth trying


50 - 59  =  
Possibly a bit specialised; might be useful


 0 - 49   =  
The star is for having got through Apple's approval process


Aesthetics
 
Some Apps have clearly had a lot of time and effort spent on getting them to look pretty, some have not. The importance is more than skin deep though, and an App should also be intuitive and/or have a good set of instructions and/or FAQ. Points are deducted for any deficiencies in any areas.
 
 
Cost
 
The only way to score 20 points is for the App to be entirely free. Points are lost for adding in App purchases, and the more an App costs, the more points are deducted. Any App that relies on a subscription has all the points in this section deducted, regardless of the amount of the subscription. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, I believe in agreeing a price for an App (even if it is 0.00) and then that is an end to it; subscription prices can be changed during their lifetime (a bit of the puppy dog sale). The second reason is that one relies on the App vendor staying in business in order for the App to be of use; this is unacceptable.
 
 
Indispensability
 
Some Apps are great but, after you've used them a couple of times, the novelty wears off and they are confined to a back page of your Apps directory. Although this is not a big deal in itself (especially if the App is free), it does, however, mean that time invested in learning to use the App is wasted. Points are also lost if there are other (better) ways of achieving the same result.
 
 
Dependability
 
An App that crashes or freezes will lose (many) points. If there is a reliance on external data (share quotes, for example), then the accuracy and timeliness of this information is also taken into account.
 
 
Security
 
Sharing information always carries risks. As soon as your information is 'in the cloud', it is also available to others. Whether there is a hack into 'their' data, or an overly inquisitive employee, your data is at risk. Additional points are deducted for cavalier privacy policies, unsecured internet connections, passwords having to be provided for access to other information (such as your Facebook account).

The intention is to be as equitable as possible but, I'm only human (or so they tell me).
 
So, there you have it, this is how the ACIDS test works!


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Last updated: 25/10/2013