Dear Google: The "Want Quick Suggestions" feature of the Google Play Store is decimating the hard-earned ratings of developers because its users are not aware that they are actually rating apps.  Please correct or remove this feature.

While a user may think that this rating box is informing the Play Store only of their preference to see similar apps, it is in fact submitting an actual review of the app that affects its overall rating score.  Users are giving 1-star ratings to their favorite apps because they are happy with them and are not looking for a replacement.

The ratings of SystemPanel, WebSharing, FX, and the FX root add-on are superimposed in the adjacent plot.   Each app's rating has fallen sharply at an identical rate since this feature was introduced in December 2013.  The ratings of these apps were built over four years of hard work, maintenance, and support, and that has now been marginalized by the "Want Quick Suggestions" feature.  I've seen the total number one-star ratings double in the past three months compared to the last four years.  The ratings of competing apps are clearly suffering the same fate.

Older apps, including my own, are actually least affected: they have a large pool of reviews from before this change keeping overall ratings reasonably high.  New apps have to contend with this inaccurate rating system from day one, and are thus placed at an extreme disadvantage.

Google, please do one of the following:

* Remove this feature.

* Correctly and thoroughly explain to users what this feature actually does.

* Change this feature so that it behaves according to the current description (i.e., uses the ratings only for purposes of showing a user more of fewer similar applications to the one rated).

Until this issue is corrected, you're introducing an enormous amount of noise to the Play Store rating system, destroying years of hard work, and preventing new developers from competing with established applications on a level playing field.

AndroidPolice has a more detailed review of this issue, which was first spotted weeks after its introduction.  It's now been three months.  Their write-up is here: http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/12/30/multiple-developers-seeing-influx-of-unexplained-1-star-ratings-since-launch-of-play-stores-new-quick-rating-widget/

Please fix this.
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2014-03-22
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