App Store Roundtable: User Review System

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For our next installment of the App Store Roundtable, we asked developers what they liked and/or disliked about the iTunes review system. It should be noted that the review system for the App Store has seen a few updates since these comments were made, but concerns voiced by these developers are still valid.

For me there’s a few things I’ve seen in my small amount of time in the store. One being the inability to respond to negative ratings. I’ve got some that say “Doesn’t work” or “its garbage” but nobody sent a support request. Developers need a way to respond and put these “reviews” where they belong.

— Brandon Steili, developer of gCalWall

An area which needs looking at is the review system on iTunes — it would be great to have more control over this, to stop people posting 1 star reviews + a bad word. Objective reviews are great, but not silly stuff. Also — there needs to be a feedback loop for the publishers/developers to respond to individual reviews (where an update has been posted which fixes a particular issue.)

— Chris Byatte, director of Chillingo

It’s great that Apple gives people a way to provide a star rating for applications, but users should be able to do this for any application at any time; not just for the ones they’re deleting. Why? Well, this approach clearly skews the ratings low. (Users delete the applications they dislike and not the ones they like.) Apple needs to provide a way for users rate an application they like without deleting it or writing a review for it.

— Adam Talcott of Atomic Powered, developer of Napkin Genius

There’s a lack of standardization among reviews and ratings. A 5 Star Farting app isn’t actually better than a 4 star RPG that offers hours of combat, items, quests and amazing 3D graphics. Not enough people look into what a game offers. It needs to be accepted that not all games are equal, so maybe it’s time to rethink how you the consumer are rating a game.

— Bruce Morrison, producer at Freeverse

Join us next time?

If you are an iPhone developer with experience of the App Store and would like to participate by sharing some opinions in future App Store Roundtables, please get in touch via our contact form.

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