Why Apple's new rating system will help improve the App Store

iOS 10.3 App Rating System

Apple has introduced a new app rating system for developers in iOS 10.3. The new system will be voluntary at first, but Apple eventually plans to force developers to use the new API, according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball.. This is good news for all app users, and here's why.

The current app rating process is horrible. Not only do you have to leave an app and sign in to rate it, but developers can hound you to over and over with pop-ups. The new system will not only allow users to rate an app within the app, but it limits developers to 3 pop-ups a year. Users will also never receive a pop-up again after they rate an app, and they will have the option to disable pop-up requests if they never want to see them.

This will help cut down on a few troublesome App Store practices and change how developers solicit reviews. Another huge problem with App Store ratings is users give negative reviews for bad reasons, such as developers having the nerve to charge for their games. The new system will allow developers to respond directly to user reviews. The “Managing App Store Ratings and Reviews” section in the iOS 10.3 beta reads:

"You will be able to respond to customer reviews on the App Store in a way that is available for all customers to see.”

Developer replies "will be attached to the user review to which they’re replying," according to Gruber who spoke to Apple about the new features. Both the user and developer will only be able to leave one comment and reply, and both will be able to edit their comments later. Gruber did not say if there will be a changelog so users can see the previous review.

Having an open dialogue between developers and users will allow developers to defend their app against bogus reviews, and let customers know when issues have been fixed. This should help customers make better informed decisions about their App Store purchases.

The new API will be available to developers in the final version of iOS 10.3, but Apple did not specify when they will begin to force all developers to utilize the new system.