Developer documentation for the next update to Apple’s iOS indicates that a number of changes to the app store’s ratings and review systems are on the way. According to TechCrunch, the new iOS 10.3 beta contains ways for developers to respond directly to app reviews, and to solicit new ones.
Developers will now be able to respond directly to critiques leveled at their programs in reviews. This solves a longtime gripe that users might rush to judgment before fully understanding how an app is supposed to work or which functions it performs, and then leaving the developer without any way to respond. App-store reviews get reset after every update is pushed, so one bad patch could decimate an app’s ratings. (And if we’re being totally honest, maybe some infuriated developers will let loose on users, which will be very funny.)
In addition, 10.3 includes a new API that allows developers to ask for star-scale ratings within the app. That way users don’t have to be redirected to the store itself to leave feedback, and, hopefully, the prevalence of those annoying pop-ups asking users to rate apps will see a decline. According to the Loop, the new API “will only be able to bring up the review dialogue three times a year. If a customer has rated the app, they will not be prompted again. If a customer has dismissed the review prompt three times, they will not be asked to review the app for another year.”
There will also be a master switch that turns off all review prompts systemwide. Finally.