This was brought up back in 2012, but I would like to revisit the question again, if possible.

Should questions about apps be allowed? The consensus in '12 was that the community wasn't very large, so it was a way to have more users. However, I think the community would perhaps be large enough to do this now. Additionally, the app-specific questions I have seen seem like they all tend to go pretty much the same:

Comments: "Have you tried restarting?" "Is your phone up to date?" "Check the Store for updates?"

Answers: "Restarting my phone fixed it for me." "Me 2..plz fix me dude thanks." "Try turning the flashlight on. (Or some other equally unrelated answer.)"

As such they tend to feel quite low-quality, IMHO.

Personally I would vote we take one of three actions:

1) Close app questions that seem to have no relation to the OS (e.g. this one), and point them to the developer for support.

2) Require that the question include the app version, OS version and model of the phone. This would allow us to immediately know if the app needs updated, the OS needs updated or the app simply doesn't work correctly with the phone model. (Though this may be a bit hard to enforce.)

3) Put a full-screen popup on the site's home page that says "HAVE YOU TRIED RESTARTING YOUR PHONE?"

Any input?


The main problem with questions about apps, in my view, is that they often revolve around version-specific problems. A good example is the recent bug in WhatsApp with playing voice notes - it was fixed in an update the next day. This means that within a week or two at most the question will have become entirely irrelevant as pretty much everyone has updated the app. Such questions therefore don't really add much value to the site (in the form of incoming traffic). Yes, there might be exceptions as some bugs stick around for far longer than others, but even then in most cases the best answer we can provide is "contact the developer", which isn't really an answer at all.

The sort of questions we want is those that remain relevant for a long time and therefore produce a steady stream of incoming traffic through search engines. My gut feeling says that doesn't describe the vast majority of app-specific questions. I don't know if we should outright ban them, though. Selectively closing and pointing towards the developer, as @Shawn describes in option 1, seems a reasonable solution, although I feel that the question he linked to is an example of the sort that should be kept because it has (or at least appears to have) an actual solution.

  • 1
    Yeah that question may have been ok; that's just the one that led me to ask the question, so I linked to it.
    – RareNCool
    Dec 14 '15 at 17:53

I agree with your second point that app version and OS version must be mentioned in the question. I suggest to add this in the list of Do's in the tour page.

As Indrek says these questions don't add value once the problem is solved. In my suggestion why can't we have a tag like . This tag could be used only for app specific questions and questions related to problems that don't currently exist. These questions are then to be reviewed and removed if they provide no meaningful solution.

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