How to Get More Information about an iPad mini App

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Need to find out more about an iPad mini app? Here, you will delve a little deeper and learn how to find out more about an app that interests you. To find out more about an app, just click its icon or text link. A details screen appears.

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This screen tells you most of what you need to know about the app, such as basic product information and a narrative description, what’s new in this version, the language it’s presented in, and its system requirements.

Finding the full app description

Note the blue More link in the lower-right corner of the Description section; click More to see a longer description of the app.

Bear in mind that the app description on this screen was written by the app’s developer and may be somewhat biased. Never fear, gentle reader: You can find app reviews written by people who have used it (and, unfortunately, sometimes people who haven’t).

Understanding the app rating

The SketchBook Express app is rated 4+. The rating means that the app contains no objectionable material. Here are the other possible ratings:

  • 9+: May contain mild or infrequent occurrences of cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence; or infrequent or mild mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content that may not be suitable for children younger than the age of 9.

  • 12+: May contain infrequent mildly offensive language; frequent or intense cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence; mild or infrequent mature or suggestive themes; or simulated gambling that may not be suitable for children younger than the age of 12.

  • 17+: May contain frequent and intense offensive language; frequent and intense cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence; mature, frequent, and intense mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content; sexual content; nudity; or depictions of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs that may not be suitable for children younger than the age of 17. You must be at least 17 years old to purchase games with this rating.

Checking requirements and device support for the app

If you look below the Information heading (below the Description and What’s New sections), you can see the requirements for this particular type of app. It says Requires iOS 6 or later. Compatible with iPad. Note that it doesn’t mention the iPhone or iPod touch.

That’s because this app is in the first category of apps, those made exclusively for the iPad. Another clue that it falls into the first category is that it says iPad Screenshots. Finally, the app’s name — SketchBook Express for iPad — should be a dead giveaway.

If the app belonged to the second or third category — apps made to work properly on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, or apps made for the iPhone or iPod touch — the Information section would read Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad rather than Compatible with iPad.

Now you’re probably wondering how you can tell whether an app falls into the second or third category. The first clue is the little gray + sign next to the price, which appears for many of the apps. Apps with this symbol are universal and run at full resolution on iPhones and iPads.

Another clue is to look at the screen shots. If you see two tabs — iPhone and iPad — after Screenshots, the app will work at the full resolution of an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Conversely, if you only see one tab that says iPhone Screenshots, the app will run at iPhone/iPod touch resolution on your iPad.

One way to ensure that you look only for apps that take advantage of your iPad’s big screen is to click the iPad tab on the front page of the App Store. All the apps displayed under the iPad tab are of the first or second type and are designed to take advantage of your iPad’s larger screen.

Reading reviews

If you tap Ratings and Reviews below the product’s name near the top of the screen, you’ll see reviews written by users of this app. Each review includes a star rating, from zero to five. If an app is rated four stars or higher, you’re safe to assume that most users are happy with this app.

This app has an average rating for the current version of 4.5 stars based on 107 user ratings. You can tap Ratings and Reviews to see the average rating for all versions (4 stars based on 2,129 user ratings for SketchBook Express). That means it’s probably a pretty good app.

Finally, at the top of the Customer Reviews section and near the right side is a pop-up menu displaying Most Helpful. This menu lets you sort the customer reviews by your choice of Most Helpful, Most Favorable, Most Critical, or Most Recent.

Don’t believe everything you read in reviews. Some people buy an app without reading its description, or they try to use it without following the included instructions. Then, when the app doesn’t do what they expected, they give it a low rating. The point is, take the ratings and reviews with a grain of salt.