Yesterday I asked a question:

Decent Battery Monitoring App [closed]

It was closed because it's claimed to ask for shopping recommendation. Actually, I'm not asking for a shopping recommendation, but an app recommendation. Now I wonder why this question is not getting closed then?:

Must have applications for Android?

If what I asked is a shopping recommendation, then that one is asking even for more. Additionally, we have a [software-rec] tag on SuperUser and we think these kind of questions are quite useful. Note that "Shopping recommendations" are also off-topic on SuperUser.

IMO, there should be a difference (in other words, a line) between "shopping recommendations" and "software/app recommendations".

For example, this question totally asks for shopping recommendation, but it seems to be allowed here:

What are the least carrier-crippled Android phones?

What are the opinions of Android Enthusiasts on this?

  • 1
    I agree with you @Mepher, that there's a clear difference. Though it seems on SU that this line is mostly drawn on software vs hardware. Interestingly enough, that would make your question on-topic, and the crippled phone one off-topic.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 9:24
  • 1
    It's worth noting that the "Carrier Crippled phones" question does currently have 3 close votes, so I wouldn't say that's definitely on-topic.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 10:07
  • The "Must have..." question is a list, yes. But the community feels it's useful and is Community Wiki.
    – ale
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 14:19
  • Additionally see meta.android.stackexchange.com/questions/164/… Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


Actually, I'm not asking for a shopping recommendation, but an app recommendation.

And the difference is...?

This is bad:

Recommend an android battery monitoring app to me.

This is good:

How do I monitor the heat level and voltage of my android phone battery, and measure its remaining life in hours?

Feel free to make it even more specific than that, but the general idea is that you should be asking about your problem, and encouraging others to teach you how to solve it.


We don't want questions phrased as: "What is an app that does A, B, and C?"

We want questions phrased as "How do I do X, Y, and Z?"

The answer to the latter may very well be an app, but then again maybe not. When you ask for an app, you've already got a solution in mind. Answers to that are generally only going to help you. We're more interested in questions that may help many people.

  • 1
    However, those very same answers may in the future also help other users with the same criteria. Ergo, they would be useful.
    – Sparx
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 18:06

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