We have a lot of question about apps and many people as about "What app does this".

The problem is that the FAQ specify that it is not allowed. We already discussed this in this thread and I think it is time to change the FAQ?

Do you agree? We just remove or clarify? English is not my native language so maybe is better someone else take care of it.


Questions like "Does WP 8 have an app for X" are not only easily answered by a quick search in the store, but may also get answers that are quickly outdated (app released after question was marked as answered).

Questions about "What app does X?" are much more useful (e.g. I'm looking for a video app that supports uncommon codec X, but there are too many video apps in the store to sift through to find one that does), but as @row1 already wrote in his own answer, this may often lead to opinions instead of answers. Could this be tackled by quickly marking such posts as community wiki?

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    A had read in another place that is not a good thing you have a lot of wikis in your SE site. In this case could be created a lot of them. But I agree with your point in part. Dec 4 '13 at 10:46

While I personally find these question useful, I see that in some cases they may open the floodgates and that wouldn't be a good direction for the site to head in.

For example, I answered a question about BBM as it seems like something an owner (or potential owner) would be interested in. That question also specified a specific phone, so it would be interesting if the app was only available in the Nokia Collection. I would also think a similar question about Instagram would be OK—especially since an official client is now out. These apps can be deal breakers to users, so I think they carry some weight (although an internet search will normally give you an answer in the first hit). In saying that, it would also be a problem if it turned into hundreds of questions like "Is APP X available on Windows Phone?" and the answers typically result in a yes/no question.

It is a fine line, but I would say questions like "What app can send free SMS over the internet?" or "What app can apply retro filters to photos?" would not be OK. Those question would normally involve a lot of personal opinions about which ones are best.

So after all of that, I would say, allow it for questions about popular apps, but monitor the situation and shut it down if it starts becoming a problem. Since we are still in beta I assume we are allowed to see what works and what doesn't work.

EDIT: I have changed my opinion on this. As stated above, it doesn't take a lot of effort to find out if an official app is available or not, so I think they should be off-topic. Since this answer already has an upvote I will leave it as it is.

  • So questions about app replacements are ok and suggestions no. Looks great. But what you think we need to change in the FAQ? Nov 24 '13 at 9:33
  • I would say that app replacement questions are the same as app suggestions. But asking if a certain popular app is available is slightly different and might be OK. The FAQ currently seems OK in my opinion and says that "Can you suggest an app that does X?" is off-topic, so you could argue that "Do we have BBM for Windows devices (HTC 8X)?" is not covered by that clause and is on-topic. Perhaps we not need to explicitly state this in the FAQ and just see if it becomes a problem?
    – row1
    Nov 24 '13 at 11:45
  • The problem with the FAQ is that the community does not have the same undertanding like you. The question about BBM was flagged with this in mind. Nov 25 '13 at 11:03
  • I know, but is it a big problem at the moment?
    – row1
    Nov 25 '13 at 13:51
  • The problem is when they start to ask why some app related questions are closed and some not. Nov 25 '13 at 14:07
  • Anyone else want to chime in on this? Vitor is correct that a few more questions are popping up and getting flagged.
    – row1
    Dec 1 '13 at 2:30

This question consists, really, of two parts: How to moderate appropriate app-related questions and how to moderate appropriate answers to those questions.

From reading over what's already been written, it appears that my opinion of app-related questions matches the general consensus. That is that questions regarding if a specific app has a specific feature (does app X have feature Y?) or questions asking for a list of apps with a specific feature (what apps have feature Y?) are OK. I think we can all agree that questions such as "Is there an 'Instagram' app?" are too easily answered by searching the Store or the web to be on topic here; though I do confess to asking such questions on other forums after turning up nothing in my search results just to confirm that I didn't overlook or mistype something.

Moderating answers requires educating new users and active participation through flagging and commenting (I feel it's important that downvotes and flags come with comments to explain why the flag or vote was necessary, but that's another discussion altogether). Both the education and the active moderation are already in place, so the real question is "how much additional work will moderators have to perform if we allow these app-related questions?" I don't know if anyone can answer that until we try it.

I can't speak towards marking posts as wiki, since I'm not familiar with that SE feature. But I do know that it can be hard for an international community with members of various experiences to use the same key words to describe a particular feature or function. For example "Is there an app that lets me apply a sepia tone to my photos?" vs. "Is there an app that can make my pictures have that old-fashioned brown color thing?" Such questions should be consolidated if at all possible.

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    Did a little research on the wiki thing. It seems like an excellent feature, especially for these app-related questions, but it doesn't answer the problem of consolidating duplicate questions.
    – Thomas
    Dec 4 '13 at 16:19
  • Thanks for providing the input. The problem with "questions asking for a list of apps with a specific feature" is that they turn into a large shopping list that becomes outdated quickly. A Wiki might help, but in my opinion it isn't likely to be kept up-to-date as the scope is just too large. I do think the content of these questions/answers are very useful, just not sure that this site is the right place for them.
    – row1
    Dec 5 '13 at 1:56
  • I'll ask this just as a food for thought: So where can a person go to ask which apps have feature X? Other than the false god Google, I know of a few scattered WP forums all of which discourage that kind of question. But there should be a place where those questions are appropriate, and if it isn't here then maybe we can at least point people in the right direction.
    – Thomas
    Dec 5 '13 at 4:44

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