2011-12-29 14h23_54

As 2011 comes to a close, the internet is abuzz with best of, top, and most popular posts covering the past year. Mobile analytics firm Mobilewalla has gotten in on the action and released a list of the highest rated apps of 2011, as chosen using their own ranking system. The list itself covers all four major mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7), but, naturally, we're just going to discuss the Android entries.

Each app was given a numerical value between 0-100, using a scoring system that calculates the app's overall rating based on a number of variables, including social media sentiment and volume, the app's placement within its own category, and more. We realize that's pretty vague, so a request has been sent to Mobilewalla for more info on exactly how they calculated these results and will update when we hear something back.

Update: After digging around on the Mobilewalla site a bit more, I stumbled across this definition of the score:

One of Mobilewalla’s key contributions is a set of analytics that provide practically useful intelligence regarding the mobile app ecosystem. The Mobilewalla App Score (MAS) is a numerical value; between 0 and 100; that is computed for every app in the Mobilewalla system; for a given platform. The MAS values are representations of how successful; i.e.; how hot an app is at a given time; on a given platform; with higher values indicating hotter apps. In other words; an Android app with a MAS of 90 is considered more successful than an Android app with a MAS of 70.

Without further ado, here's the list:

It's an interesting one indeed - definitely not what I would expect from a "top of 2011" type of list. Hopefully Mobilewalla will get back with us soon so we can shed some light on how they came up with these results.

Until then, what do you think about the list? Sound off in the comments.

[via TechCrunch]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://www.longren.org tyler

    I really expected the DICK title to be in that list.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    For reference, this is what happens when "Analytics Firms" are unpopular and have access to relatively little data. Imagine if a search engine that had <1% search share (market share) and tried to do the same thing Google does with their analytics engine. When you don't have access to a large sample size, you're going to miss the market on everything.

    Btw, take a look at the TechCrunch article and skim over the list, especially a few of the Blackberry apps, and you'll see some absolutely ridiculous entries.

    I'm going to speculate that they probably had access to the data for a URL shortener, one marketing firm that handles mobile app referrals (clearly not admob), and I'll just about bet anything that they built a web scraper that watched the minimal amount of data that's available on the various markets.

    Here's my real theory though...they just managed to get at least 2 (probably 50) relatively major news websites to publish this list (with links) for several million viewers, meaning that a bunch of these absurd no-name apps just got a ton of attention at virtually no real cost. In other words, I'm calling this list BS that they were paid to publish... :)

    • https://profiles.google.com/AndroidAbh AndroidAbh

      i want to +1 ( or +1000) your comment .

    • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rubicon.dev.glwg Paul Johnson

      I'll declare my interest as the author of Great Little War Game.

      I don't see the problem tbh. Their definition of terms does seem a bit wooly, but the score they gave us matches our avg total user review score pretty perfectly, so I'd expect that is the main if not only variable.

      Which I think is pretty good tbh. I see a lot of big name games getting shitloads of downloads but bad reviews. I also see small games with very few downloads but great reviews.

      Measuring a game's success by number of downloads is bogus as price is a big factor. "Top Grossing" is perhaps better but might not be available to third parties without tons of extra scraping.

      So I think adding up the user reviews is a sensible way to give an overall impression of popularity. User reviews are after all mainly there to show what other's think of the game. And that should speak volumes as to its quality.

      It's like metacritic, but instead of just polling the opinions of a few major websites, the reviews aggregated come from anyone who bought the game.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

        Actually, your app being in the list was part of my logic for my final theory. It conforms to the concept that the best way to lie is include grains of truth. In other words, nobody would believe the lie if you can't point to a couple of elements and say, "duh, you have heard of this one and like it, obviously you're just not cool like us to know about these others" ;) Believe me, I'm not calling you or your app into question, it's the majority of everything else in the list that looks suspect.

        I do have to disagree (partially) the argument that ratings/comments/reviews should be the primary factor, at least when it's coming from an Analytics firm. Frankly, anybody can run a web scraper to determine which apps have the highest ratio of 5-star reviews. Just for illustrative comparison, it would be like a boxing analyst releasing a list of baseball's greatest batters and only using the longest hits as the basis for comparison. At the very least, they should re-title their list to "best rated" if that were the case, because an analytics firm using "hottest" implies that they're looking more into the apps that have received the most attention/views/click-throughs/downloads/etc.

        Note, I actually agree with you, I think you're right that it's a big part of how they built their list, but their subtly worded "computed for every app in the Mobilewalla system" statement would suggest that they may have filtered their list to only include apps that are somehow clients of theirs (or their affiliates)...sort of a way to boost attention just for their customers and pretend that it's a less biassed list. I think we can agree, GLWG probably didn't need much more attention than it's already had, where most of those others, as others have said, few people have even heard of (especially looking at the list across all platforms, yikes).

        • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rubicon.dev.glwg Paul Johnson

          Can't argue with much of that tbh. It's worth pointing out though that we weren't asked to take part in this, so probably none of the others were either.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

          Oh yeah, the way I had pictured it in my mind was that either they decided to do this as a general promotion just to increase attention or there was some small possibility that they have a stake in the success of some small portion of the list (an app they created or somebody paid them to promote). Either way, this never really struck me as something where anybody on the list was approached.

  • Me262

    These for the most part are just the 10 cent apps. That promotion had a huge impact.

    • Lumy

      No, if I remember correctly, only Pixlr-o-Matic and GLWG were on the 10 cent list. Probably.

      Was this NFL game on the list too?

  • rd

    I only heard of 2 of them and do not have even one. And I do have a number of paid apps...

  • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rubicon.dev.glwg Paul Johnson

    GLWG was on the 10B promotion and it was great publicity but had no lasting effect on our chart position.

    We went to the #1 spot in "Best Selling" for a day or two, but we're back at about #16 now, which is where we were before the promotion started.

    • RF

      I have to say this sir, your game GLWG is a great little war game! Bought it at the 10B promo.

      • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rubicon.dev.glwg Paul Johnson

        Thanks, glad you like it! :)

  • Dan

    Where can we find this list? When I go to the Mobilewalla page, select Android as the platform, and hit the HotApps button, I get lists that seem to be a lot less stupid.

    Free apps:
    ESPN ScoreCenter
    Google Maps
    Angry Birds
    Tiny Flashlight + LED
    Advanced Task Killer
    Mobile Banking (Bank of America)
    Drag Racing
    Barcode Scanner

    For Paid Apps, it's:
    Beautiful Widgets
    Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro
    DocumentsToGo Full Version Key
    double Twist Air Sync
    PicSay Pro
    Camera ZOOM FX
    Paper Camera

  • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rubicon.dev.glwg Paul Johnson

    Makes no sense either. Here's the top grossing apps:
    That is a true reflection of popularity - it's what people are spending their money on, pure and simple.