THE Scottish Government has been forced to upgrade its Robert Burns iPhone app after users complained it was buggy and inaccurate.
User ratings originally averaged just two-and-a-half stars out of five and one disenchanted Burns fan simply wrote: “Crap App.”
The app was developed by the Scottish Government to give fans of the national Bard instant access to his work.
All 558 poems and love songs are included, complete with a glossary to help interpret the Scots dialect.
Culture minister Fiona Hyslop said at the January 20 launch of the free download: “This app uses the very latest technology to bring Burns firmly into the 21st century. It is a great platform to promote his
work on the international stage.”
But while users welcomed the idea, most were critical of the delivery. “Poor,” concluded one, adding: “Crashes upon opening. I’m scunnered.”
Another said: “Crashes all the time. Please fix it for the big yin’s sake.”
“Great idea, but…every time I try to load Tam ‘O Shanter the app crashes,” complained another Burns fan.
Others said the app contained inaccurate information. “The highlighted words in the poems with
English meaning popup is a good idea, but there are too few of them and many are incorrect,” wrote one.
Another observed: “Some of the translations are incorrect and some old Scots words are not translated at all.”
Issues have also been raised about finding information, with several calls for a searchable database.
“The massive alphabetical list means lots of scrolling and finding things is a hit and miss affair,” said one.
The criticism meant a new version of the app had to be rushed out after four days.
But even now the complaints are continuing to come in. “Before the last update it crashed on launch. Now it only crashes when accessing the timeline,” said a reviewer.
Another observed that the list of Burns work is not complete. “Can we please ensure the next update has the Selkirk Grace at least included,” said one.
But it is not all bad news for the Burns app. The update has resulted in the star rating creeping up
Some users have lavished praise – and five stars – on the project.
“Braw!” said one, adding: “Great app – and for free.” Another described the app as “Inspirational”. “Can’t believe I got that on my iPhone free and forever!”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government: “We were aware of these initial problems and the app has been updated to fix bugs. The problem was associated with owners of older iPhones.
“We continually monitor feedback and the app will be updated regularly as the year goes on.”