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App Store Changes in Reviews and Listings

Over the weekend, Apple has implemented some changes to the way their iTunes App Store listings and reviews are handled.

One issue that had been the source of developer frustration is that anyone had previously been allowed to leave "Customer Reviews" -- even for apps they had not personally purchased. This led to a frequent comments complaining about price from individuals who had never bought the application. A simple change this weekend now requires customers to have bought the application in order to be able to leave a customer review. Both customers and developers seem pleased about this change.

Another change has been the removal of the "All iPhone Applications" link which has typically provided a method for customers to view the most recently released applications. Instead, users must visit individual categories to see the latest releases. This change may be part of larger changes, however. One developer claims (via AppleInsider) that App Store listings are now organized by true release dates rather than most recent updates. In the past, any version update would bump an application to the top of the list, increasing its exposure.

While this would be a welcome change that should prevent frequent and unnecessary app "updates", without the presence of the "All iPhone Applications" listing, the benefit is limited, since users have to visit each individual category to find new applications.

In the meanwhile, readers can use these RSS feeds (currently in testing) to find new applications, version updates, and price drops in the App Store:

All Changes
New Apps (All)
New Apps (Free)
New Apps (Paid)
Price Drops (and Increases)
Version Updates

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6