Published On: Tue, Mar 28th, 2017

Developers can finally respond to App Store reviews – here’s how it works


With yesterday’s recover of iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4, Apple has done a poignant change to how a App Stores operate. At prolonged last, developers now have the ability to respond to user reviews in sequence to offer support, ask follow-up questions, contend thanks, or differently correlate with their app’s customers. The change has been a prolonged time entrance – a underline has been customary in Google Play given 2013, and a outrageous headache for Apple’s developer village over a years.

Not usually was a before complement a bruise symbol for developers, it was bad for consumers, too.

If an app crashed on we or had some arrange of uncanny bug, we competence conduct over a App Store to leave a complaint. This was mostly easier than perplexing to lane down a developer’s strike information, generally since many publishers don’t embody an email residence or support information in their App Store description.

Those complaints could assistance developers code new bugs or other formerly opposite glitches, nonetheless there was no approach to strech out to a user to ask follow-up questions that could assistance them residence a conditions and emanate a fix.

Some developers would even try several strategy to try to code a user in question, simply to be means to ask some-more for information – like retreat engineering a UserID to figure out that email was compared with a user’s account, for example.

In addition, a miss of a examination response complement also prevented developers from fostering a clarity of village around their apps. They couldn’t respond to feedback about underline requests to explain their thinking, speak about where that underline was on a roadmap, nor could they appreciate users who common kind words.

Being active by responding to issues that need addressing isn’t usually about building improved program – it can also impact a developer’s bottom line.

When users feel a developer is profitable courtesy and being helpful, they’ll expected rate a app higher. Better rated apps will see some-more downloads, and afterwards pierce adult a charts on a App Store.

What’s New For Developers

With a launch of a new feature, Apple offers a array of suggestions about how developers should respond to reviews. It explains that timely, transparent and apparent answers are best, and they should simulate a tinge of a code – even if mixed people write a responses. The association also suggests that developers should prioritize those reviews with reduce star ratings, for apparent reasons.

The users’ reviews appear iTunes Connect, the dashboard where developers manage a apps they offer for download on a App Store. A page will arrangement a incoming reviews, permitting developers to now respond or news them. (Under App – Activity – Ratings and Reviews).

There are also filters for anticipating reviews from users in opposite countries, that can be useful for triangulating reviews for versions usually rolled out to new markets.

Developer responses appear to go by a routine of their own, MacStories discovered. (See next tweet). Some developers are seeing responses noted as ‘Pending,’ for instance.

What’s New for Users 

For consumers, a routine of withdrawal a examination hasn’t changed, if in a App Store itself.

However, developers have gained a new choice for soliciting reviews in a app itself. By regulating the SKStoreReviewController API, developers can ask you to rate or examination an app while you’re actively using it, though being redirected to a App Store.

This will have a bigger impact in terms of collecting ratings and reviews from a incomparable audience, as many people boot a whinging examination prompts today.

Even better, a API restricts developers from seeking for reviews some-more than 3 times per year, that will have a outrageous impact on user experience. Some apps (Tinder comes to mind), literally ask their users for a rating at some indicate during each singular use. And once reviewed, a prompts can’t reappear.

Unfortunately, a choice to totally invalidate examination prompts for all commissioned apps, as betrothed is not appearing in a updated chronicle of iOS, as it had in a beta.

We know that this underline was indeed pulled out early on in a developer betas, however, and will expected lapse in time.

The thought here is that Apple wants to give developers a beauty duration to exercise a new API, so until that duration wraps, the user-facing “disable” environment will not be available.

Another new underline for users are email alerts that arrive if a developer responds to your review. Following a answer from a developer, the email includes serve prompts with links: “Do we wish to refurbish your review?” and “You can also strike a developer.”

In a App Store itself, a responses are clearly labeled with arrows and a streamer “Developer Response,” expelling any confusion.

The reviews and responses are also timestamped, that is another means of saying how discerning a developer is doing incoming complaints. Only one response can be compared with any review, though developers are means to revise their answers, Apple notes.

Plus, users can now use 3DTouch on a examination to symbol it as Helpful or Not Helpful.

One teenager censure is that a links a developer competence yield – like to a support page or FAQ, for instance – are not functioning URLs. (See screenshot below).

This could make replies some-more time-consuming for developers who now have to form out instructions that are already on their site, and users won’t be means to click a links directly.

Developers are thankfully banned from utilizing reviews or incentivizing feedback, per Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines. The company clearly tells developers not to “offer users an inducement to change their examination ratings in your responses,” as a means of gripping a examination complement honest.

Certainly some developers will try to dress this system, so it should be engaging to lane how Apple handles those in violation.

Yesterday, Apple expelled new versions of a handling systems and an updated chronicle of iTunes. You’ll usually see these changes if you’ve upgraded your Apple program to a latest version.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

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