Wednesday, January 25, 2017

App Store Review Replies and Prompting API

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

iOS 10.3 introduces a new way to ask customers to provide App Store ratings and reviews for your app. Using the SKStoreReviewController API, you can ask users to rate or review your app while they’re using it, without sending them to the App Store. You determine the points in the user experience at which it makes sense to call the API and the system takes care of the rest.

When iOS 10.3 ships to customers, you will be able to respond to customer reviews on the App Store in a way that is available for all customers to see. (This feature will also be available on the Mac App Store.)

Jim Dalrymple (via Pedraum Pardehpoosh):

There is no doubt that developers want feedback on their apps. Positive feedback could lead to more downloads and purchases of the app. However, the process for leaving a review was a bit clunky. Often times you would get a pop-up notice in the app asking for a rating or review—if you decided to do it, you were taken out of the app and into the App Store.

That’s been fixed now.

When you are prompted to leave a review, customers will stay inside the app, where the rating or review can be left for the developer. It’s easier for customers and the developers still get their reviews.

John Gruber:

The replies that developers will be able to leave on App Store reviews will be attached to the user review to which they’re replying. It’s not a thread, per se, because users can only leave one review, and developers can only leave one response to each review, but they will be connected visually. Users can then edit their review, and developers can then edit their reply.


An individual app can prompt three times for a review per year, period.


The new APIs will be eventually be the only sanctioned way for an iOS app to prompt for an App Store review, but Apple has no timeline for when they’ll start enforcing it.

Benjamin Mayo:

There is a high probability that the reviews section in the App Store becomes the de-facto customer support channel because that’s what users will see first. However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

David Barnard:

Apple creates problem, Apple puts a bandaid on without addressing the underlying incentives.

Mike Rundle:

Exactly right. The entire “review reset” system discourages bug fix releases. Hostile to developers and users.

There are definitely issues with both of these new features, but overall I think they will improve things.

Previously: App Store Reviews, Responding to App Reviews on Google Play.

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