2017 Update to the Apple App Store Review Policy
2017 Update to the App Store Review Policy - VOiD Applications

A screenshot of a review prompt from the ‘Word of the Day’ application by, Dzmitry Baravoi.

App store reviews are what make the app world turn. Developers and Customers are always looking to get that elusive 5* review. Having a higher app store rating increases your chances of being downloaded. Apps with lower ratings tend to be lost in the huddle and washed away with the tide of new apps flooding the app store. It’s now more important than ever for businesses with a mobile app to have a high app store rating.

What tends to happen at the minute is every time the user opens the app they will be prompted to submit an app-store review, which is usually done in a rather intrusive way. It’s basic human nature to ignore something that annoys you, and I’ll be the first to admit that this does annoy me. As a way to combat this, Apple has stepped in to offer a new improved app experience for its users. One of the key changes is the fact that users are no longer taken out of the app to leave a review, which until recently meant the user would have to switch between apps, which further increased the frustration of this process. Reviews are now able to be edited, with the app creator being apple to edit their replies. This offers a new mindset for developers as they will have to constantly refine and improve the app to consistently deliver a seamless experience for the user, after all, an individual can always change their mind. Apple has also brought in measures which have changed how the developer asks for reviews.

“One of the key changes is the fact that users are no longer taken out of the app to leave a review, which until recently meant the user would have to switch between apps, which further increased the frustration of this process.”

Here are a few of the new limitations;

• The Review dialogue box can only be done three times a year, this applies even if an update is applied.
• The user will never be prompted to review if they have left a review before.
• If the user rejects a request three times, they will never be asked again.

Android VS iOS: The Discussion - VOiD Applications

Related article: Android VS iOS: The Discussion

As you can see this limitation will force developers to be more diligent when asking its users to review the app. With only three chances to get feedback, it is down to the developer to decide where to send the review promptly. Prompts when the user has reached a significant point in the app would generally garner a positive review, such as a restaurant app where the user has just completed a food order. If the user clicks Yes to leaving a review then it is up to the developer to guide them through the rest of the process with iOS prompts which are tailored towards that user. If they say no they will know that this was not the right time for them. This means that the developer has not wasted one of their three opportunities.

It will take time for developers to get used to this new system, but over time we feel this will ultimately improve the app experience for everyone.

If you think your business could benefit from a Mobile App for marketing or just want to have a chat about the wealth of possibilities they offer, please get in touch we’re happy to help.