Apple has released a new feature for iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4 for developers, which should solve problems with the app reviews. In addition, there are updates in the app naming guidelines.
Apple has activated the new answer function for user comments in its app stores for iOS and macOS as expected. Developers can now respond to app reviews for the first time, which allows a direct dialogue with the user. So, Apple hopes to resolve conflicts – which in turn should lead to more satisfied users and better ratings.
Developer responses can be delayed
To monitor and respond to user comments, Apple provides its own interface in iTunes Connect. The function can be found under the menu item “Ratings and Reviews.” Anyone who has hoped for a completely free dialogue with its users will be disappointed. Apple reserves the right to control the developers’ responses and to release them, which can take up to 24 hours. Users’ reviews are not, it seems at least, monitored. Further information on the new evaluation system can be found on the Developers homepage.
On the other hand, Apple has changed the way user reviews work and how app ratings are given. For example, comments on apps can be marked as “helpful” and “not helpful” via a force-touch gesture, report problems with ratings, and spam, which Apple will hopefully respond to quickly.
In addition, users should no longer be requested with too frequent app reviews. Apple has implemented its own programming interface; review requests can also be disabled. However, there must be enough apps to use the new API.
“Free” is now forbidden in the app title
Less beautiful news for developers, there are new guidelines for the titles of apps. As Sohail reports, Apple has started, a few weeks ago, to reject applications that carry the word “free” in the title. App name, icons, screenshots, or preview videos may not contain a reference to the price because this information does not belong in the metadata.
“Please remove any reference to the price of your app from the name,” says Apple. It is therefore forbidden to call the app “free” or “discounted.” This information belongs to the app description, according to Apple.