The worst nightmare and the most profound fear for any a software developer is finding bugs in production. The kind of fear Hungama Tech’s developers might be facing right now. Releasing a mobile app into the Android market to me is releasing code to production. Hungama has decided to release not one but two Android apps for Bollywood content. Bollywood Hungama and Hungama MyPlay are the two apps which are signed by Hungama Tech. Both the apps are free apps and are counting on in-app advertising to bankroll them.
Even before the money can kick in, both the apps have some serious usability problems. One app, Hungama MyPlay the supposed music player for all your Bollywood music with close to half a million songs never loaded up on my phone. It gave a subtle message of the app misbehaving. The app never worked.
The other app Bollywood Hungama is a single-stop source for all your Bollywood movie information. It has current releases, upcoming releases, reviews for current releases and celebrity pictures. This app unlike MyPlay at least worked. Some things worked and some didn’t. The In-theaters section worked for the most part until I found code instead of text (image below) in the movie review. Videos never played throwing out an error. The images are of poor quality and don’t take the finger gestures to move to the next image. Instead they come back to the gallery.
I wonder what’s the rush for Hungama to push these apps. Was there someone else who is working on similar apps? Whatever the reason is I don’t think it would justify releasing a buggy app, even with a beta tag. Beta release should be used to find out useful and missing features. Not to find ‘discover’ embarrassing bugs. I have tested it on just one handset, Spice Mi410 running Android 2.2. And Android market said this app is compatible with this device.
To be fair to the developer, the disclaimer worked perfectly.
I am choosing not to provide any links for the simple reason that these apps should be sent straight back to the developers box for some quick fire fighting and face saving.
Update : These two apps are available for iPhone too. Each app costs $1.99.