buyers, finding reviews are a key determinant in their decisions to purchase
an app. A survey by Lim et al.
reviews are one of the top reasons for
users to choose an app. Likewise, Mudambi et al.
18 showed that user reviews
have a significant effect on sales of on-line products.
The importance of user reviews has
motivated many studies, as well as our
own work analyzing and summariz-
ing user reviews for mobile apps (see
Table 1). Iacob and Harrison12 built a
rule-based automated tool to extract
feature requests from user reviews of
mobile apps, an approach that identi-
fies whether or not a user review con-
tains a feature request. Chandy and Gu3
identified spam reviews in the Apple
(iOS) App Store, using a technique that
achieved high accuracy with both la-
beled and unlabeled datasets. Carreño
and Winbladh6 used opinion-mining
techniques and topic modeling to suc-
cessfully extract requirements changes
from user reviews. Fu et al.
an approach for discovering inconsis-
11 highlighting the need for addi-
tional in-depth investigation of the re-
viewing dynamics in both stores.
Mobile App Analytics
A Vision Mobile survey of 7,000 developers, also in 2014, found 40% of them
made use of user-analytics tools and
18% used crash-reporting and bug-tracking tools. Other studies also found
that developers need tools for app analytics. For example, a 2013 study by Pagano and Bruegge19 of how feedback
occurs following initial release of a
software product identified the need to
structure and analyze feedback, particularly when it involves a large amount of
A number of app-analytics compa-
nies, including App Annie,
in tools designed to help developers
understand how users interact with
their apps, how developers can help
generate revenue (such as through
in-app purchases, e-commerce, and
direct buy), and how to leverage user
demographics of the apps. These
companies also provide developers
overviews of user feedback and crash
reports. Google promotes its own ex-
tensive analytics tools for Android
developers as a key competitive differ-
entiator relative to other mobile app
stores. The tools measure how users
use an app (such as by identifying user
locations and how users reached the
app). They also track sales data (such
as how developers generate revenue
through in-app purchases and the
effect of promotions on app sales2).
However, other than crash-reporting
tools, many analytics tools today are
mostly sales-oriented rather than soft-
ware-quality-oriented involving bugs,
performance, and reliability.
Other studies have highlighted the
effect of reviews of mobile apps on an
9, 15, 19 Harman et al.
a strong correlation between app ratings and an app’s total download numbers. User reviews include information
that could help developers improve the
quality of their apps and increase their
revenue. Kim et al.
15 interviewed app