Developers Able to Respond to Customer Reviews in iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 [Updated]

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Alongside iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4, Apple is introducing new App Store review features for developers.

Going forward, developers will be able to respond to customer reviews on the App Store "in a way that is available for all customers to see." This will allow developers to address negative reviews for the first time ever, something that has long been a point of contention in the iOS and Mac App Stores.

Previously, developers have had no way to respond to issues that customers report via an app review, or to further converse with a customer that has been having trouble with an app.

Developers are also able to ask customers to provide App Store ratings and reviews while using an app, allowing developers to get immediate feedback without requiring a customer to switch over to the App Store.

Apps are currently able to ask for reviews and ratings during usage, but doing so requires the App Store app to be opened up, interrupting an app or gameplay experience.

The new App Store ratings and reviews changes will be available to developers when iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 are made available to the public.

Update: Apple also plans to limit the number of times developers can ask customers to write an App Store review for an app. Only three requests per year will be permitted.

Article Link: Developers Able to Respond to Customer Reviews in iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 [Updated]
 

Corrode

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Dec 26, 2008
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Calgary, AB
Glad they're improving this. Even when I've wanted to leave a review after being asked, I have to switch to the App Store, click reviews, click leave a review, then type my App Store password, then write it. Rarely do I make it through that process.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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Great news. Though, hopefully people will also learn that reviews are NOT the spot to go for support. If you have an issue, take it to the support channels. In many cases the problem is easy to solve or caused by the user, rather than the app itself. Developers don't deserve to have their product rankings drop because of easily solved issues, yet few will go back and revise their review once the problem is resolved.
 

dantastic

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Jan 21, 2011
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This is fantactic! ( I'm an iOS developer )

It has long been difficult to get balanced reviews. People tend to just review an app when they're a bit annoyed with it. Hopefully this will help to get more reviews and balance the content a bit.

Also being able to respond is great. Often you just want the person to reach out, there may be an easy fix already available or you need more info in order to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Not to mention the, fortunately small number but, malicious reviews.
 

wolfshades

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Nov 1, 2007
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Toronto, Ontario Canada
This is great news! So often I've seen negative reviews - bonafide ones - where this or the other feature isn't working. Even if a developer was able to say "we're aware of the problem and are working on a fix for the next release, due at (whatever date)", it would go a long way toward client satisfaction.
 

naeS1Sean

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Oct 14, 2011
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That's great. It will give idiotic "0 star" reviewers some accountability.

"Your personal time and exhaustion isn't even worth 1 star because it crashed on me and asked me for a dollar!"
 

LordCoe13

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Sep 9, 2014
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Glad they're improving this. Even when I've wanted to leave a review after being asked, I have to switch to the App Store, click reviews, click leave a review, then type my App Store password, then write it. Rarely do I make it through that process.
Especially when I want to leave a good review. Totally agree with you
 

GoldenJoe

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Apr 26, 2011
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Useless. The app stores problem is DISCOVERABILITY. When only 0.01% of your developers are making enough money from their apps to care about ratings, only 0.01% are going to respond to them.
 

Nunyabinez

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Apr 27, 2010
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I'm not a developer anymore, but even as a user when I see someone post a one-star review where they say "I bought this because I thought it would do X and it doesn't" I wish that I could reply to them and say "Did you see anywhere where it claimed it does X?".

I think this feature will help me when I go to purchase an app and I see the developer has explained why something is the way it is, or that a feature isn't allowed, or is coming soon. I feel bad for developers who get worse reviews because of the ignorance of a buyer.

A similar example is that I recently bought a Visio E series 4K TV. They don't have a tuner, because it's like 2017. The description clearly states this and yet the average review is low because some people are too dumb to know what they are purchasing.

I know it's a slippery slope to remove dumb reviews, but this goes a long way toward giving more information when you see widely differing reviews for an app.
 

nt5672

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Jun 30, 2007
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I don't think I have written a positive thing about Apple recently, but this is fantastic.
 

c0ppo

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Feb 11, 2013
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Useless. The app stores problem is DISCOVERABILITY. When only 0.01% of your developers are making enough money from their apps to care about ratings, only 0.01% are going to respond to them.
Useless? Nope, I'm afraid it's not useless. It's something us developers will really appreciate. And so will users.

About the other part of your post that I have bolded I agree completely. App Store has become a rich mans game. Actually, a 'big company' game so to speak. To make some money as a indie developer is still possible, but pretty damn hard. And introducing payed ads on App Store isn't helping either. But don't expect that to bi fixed, since in Apples eyes it doesn't need fixing.
 

TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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Glad they're improving this. Even when I've wanted to leave a review after being asked, I have to switch to the App Store, click reviews, click leave a review, then type my App Store password, then write it. Rarely do I make it through that process.
Even better, there is now a toggle in App Store settings to turn off the ability for Apps to prompt you for a review in the first place.

I toggled that one off and will never look back.
 

Pamela5

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Jul 18, 2016
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As a new iPhone user I had no idea this wasn't implemented yet. android has offered this feature for years so I thought it was the norm.
 

Peeetski

macrumors member
May 14, 2014
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This is great!
I've had a few technical glitches with my (free) app and that's one of the few times people bothered to review.
It's so frustrating just having them sit there and not being able to do anything about it.

Also making the review process easier is a refreshing change :)