Apple Changes iPhone App Store Customer Review System

Apple has made a vital change to the App Store, in order to review an app you now have to actually have downloaded it first. All I have to say is... it's about time!

This brilliant idea (that should have been in place since day one!) means we no longer have to read reviews from people who have never tried the app out -- or don't even own a iPhone or iPod Touch!

Now all we have to get rid of are the thousands of reviews that simply say "How do I uninstall this?" That is so sad, not only because they give it a rating of 1 star but the person has no clue how to uninstall a app! Is a 1 star rating simply because you can't uninstall the app fair to the developer? I think not.

Your thoughts?

(Via DaringFireball)

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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Apple Changes iPhone App Store Customer Review System

23 Comments

Great idea. That in conjunction with sites like ours make buying apps a much more informed decision. Check out our review site!

About time. Any app costing more than $10 gets 1 Stars from people appalled at paying that much for them. And a lot more of them are just from people that don't think the applications functionality is useful for them.

Good move in terms of who can submit a review. But do we really want any censorship in term of what anyone says and why they give a 1-star rating? Course not! The app store has enough controversy as it is.

@jozso:
Censorship is overused and under-understood. Apple is offering to publish reviews of apps. That's it. If you've tried it and hate it, Apple will publish your review. If you haven't tried it, but have an editorial type comment to make -- you gotta do that on your own site, on your own dime, to your own traffic.
Just like you can't force NBC to broadcast your living room, or the New York Times to carry your column, you can't force Apple to host and give audience to anything anyone wants. They're publisher, and this isn't censorship, it's -- about time -- editorial responsibility.

Great but can Apple also stop having apps in the UK store that are only for use in the US. There are so many traffic camera apps for US cities and location based apps that will not work in the UK.

"Reviews" and "opinions" are both EXTREMELY useful.
Why not make everyone happy and allow both?
Just mark every response with "this user HAS downloaded this app"... VS... "this user has NOT downloaded this app".
"Downloader" or "Not downloader" would be perfect.

@Jill what is the point of someone who has not downloaded the app simply saying "it sucks" and rating it the lowest possible. Does that make sense to you?
Also I don't want to waste my time having to look at "Not downloader" comments. Nor does anyone else more than likely.

I think this is the right move. And as Rene Ritchie very eloquently explained, it is not censorship of any kind. When I'm looking at apps in the store, I can read the blurb and look at the screenshots as well as anybody else. So why on earth would I need to read somebody else's take on those things? And the sort of person who wants to shoot his mouth off about something he has no real understanding of is not the sort of person whose opinion I value.

Way to go Apple. I support this all the way. I am tired of reading meaningless rants of why an app should be free. If you own an app, then your review is relevant to me.
This is why Apple is so success at whatever it puts its hands on. Little things like this makes sense and improves user experience,
Another example I love from Apple is that on any Apple sale receipt, Apple puts the date that you can return the product for a refund. Now, how many companies out there do this? I can't think of one. All companies out there would pray that customers will forget that a refund policy is in effect for the first 15 or 30 days they have. Why remind them so they can return. Not Apple.
In the past 7 years, Apple products are the greatest in the world. So they don't have to worry about return policy too much. Apple has the LOWEST return rate for a refund in the world.
Now that is a great experience for both Apple and consumers.
I used to be an Apple hater and loved Microsoft. Not ashamed to admit it.

Yet another thing apple overlooked. Maybe next they will have an epiphany to add copy and paste to the iPhone!!

Yea for Apple.
This should decrease the crap perhaps.
Now if they could convert the reviews into a filterable, searchable forum, that would help out immensely. If you read the reviews through iTunes, you can't even copy and paste text - at least from my Mac I can't.

Good for Apple.
I'm sick of bogus "reviews"
And not to be crass, but some of you need to understand what "censorship" is.
I do NOT want the opinion of someone that says a $50 app is too expensive unless they've BOUGHT & USED it!
Reviews have no value if it's just idiots spewing opinions based on nothing more than being bored.
Sadly, good software may be overlooked by people when they see low ratings.
It's the same with music, movies, etc.
The difference is you can watch trailers and sample songs before buying - most of the iPhone/iPod apps have no trial versions (if paid) while a few do offer "lite" versions.
Scott

This new policy should help keep competitors from promoting their apps in their competition's review section (unless they buy the competing app). This practice was especially distasteful.

I'm with Apple on this one. There are way too many one star reviews from competitors and people just wanting to say I wouldn't pay $9.99 for this app.

I think they also need to require the version number of the app they are reviewing. Sometimes they show the review but the developer has responded and the current version no longer has the problem.

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