Apple Offers More Details About Upcoming App Store Review Policy Changes

by

App StoreYesterday, Apple announced it was introducing new App Store review features in iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 that would allow developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. A few more details of note have emerged from Apple since then, courtesy of The Loop's Jim Dalrymple and Daring Fireball's John Gruber.

Speaking to Gruber, Apple said that developer responses to App Store reviews will show up in the store as a single response, but rather than having threaded conversations appear, customers will be able to edit their reviews and developers will be able to edit their replies. Notably, iOS users can now use 3D Touch to label reviews left in the App Store as "Helpful", something that couldn't be done before.

Currently, App Store review rating averages are reset each time a developer updates their app. However, although in-app review request prompts are to be limited to three a year, this limit won't be reset each time a developer subsequently updates their app. This is likely to frustrate developers, but it looks as if Apple has come down on the side of customers who are often subject to apps hassling them too frequently for reviews.

Perhaps most significantly for users, Dalrymple revealed that a "master switch" will be included in the next update that turns off user review request prompts across all installed apps.

On a final note, Apple told Gruber that existing apps won't have to change their review prompt behavior immediately after the APIs containing the policy changes have been implemented, but Apple offered no timeline for when the sanctions will come into force.

iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 are currently only available for developers, but Apple will likely release public betas for public beta testers in the near future.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
46 months ago
What about a switch to turn off iOS update prompts?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
46 months ago
Can't wait to flip the master switch, have always been annoyed by the prompts requesting a review, and that selecting 'never' doesn't shut them off.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
46 months ago


this limit won't be reset each time a developer updates their app. This is likely to frustrate developers,

good. now they know how we feel when they ask too many times.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
46 months ago
Only 3 prompts per year. This is great news. And if we do want to write a review, we can do it in the app.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
46 months ago
Single response is the correct way to do this. Otherwise, reviews become a support forum.

Turning off review prompts? Great news for app users!

And finally, not resetting the reviews per version is fantastic. Too many developers put out releases for “bug fixes” only to reset the reviews. (The Cloud Magic -> Newton debacle is a good example of this being done.)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
46 months ago
Hopefully Apple will enforce the API like they say they will. Unlike, say, ads in Notifications...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...