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article imageApple to ban apps from asking you to review them

By James Walker     Jun 9, 2017 in Technology
Apple has changed its App Store rules to ban apps from pressuring you to review them. Products which display their own pop-up boxes asking you for ratings or reviews will no longer be accepted on Apple's platform. It is offering an official API instead.
Apple introduced its own rate and review prompts a few months ago. These let you rate an app from the prompt, without redirecting to the store. This should benefit everyone as users will be able to avoid switching apps, theoretically leading to more people providing a rating. Developers can get feedback from users without having to display multiple pop-ups.
Apple is now enforcing its official method as the only way for an app to request feedback. As spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple's revised policies prevent apps from displaying their own review prompts. Developers will have to use the company's API to get iOS to request a rating from the user on their behalf.
Once the user has rated the app, they won't ever be prompted again. This puts an end to the successive alerts that many apps display because they don't know if you've taken action. The change has come as a product of another App Store update that means apps won't lose all their ratings and reviews after they are updated.
If you choose not to rate an app and decline the prompt instead, iOS will note your response. The app is allowed to display the message again, up to a limit of three times per year. This will stop apps from annoying you with consecutive messages. There's nothing the developer can do to display the prompt again when the limit has been reached.
In another option, you can disable app review prompts altogether. A toggle switch in the Settings app under "iTunes & App Store" lets you turn off the feature entirely, ensuring you'll never be bothered by apps that keep pestering you with rating requests.
The clamp-down should have a positive net effect on the App Store ecosystem. Users may be more likely to rate an app when the prompts are infrequent and supplied by iOS. Developers will have an increased chance of receiving a rating, providing they respect the user's choice. Inevitably, there have been some initial grumblings though, particularly around the three-per-year limit.
This could cause issues if an app is updated and the developer wants to receive feedback on the new version. Under the old system, apps could try to improve ratings after a bug-fixing update by asking users to revise their score. This won't be possible anymore if the user has already rated the app. It's possible Apple could adjust the API to include leniency around updates in a future revision.
As the policy is now a part of Apple's App Store guidelines, it's effective immediately. It's likely the company will extend a grace period to developers while they switch to using its new API, so you can expect to keep seeing prompts for a few more months. The company is expected to start enforcing the rule more stringently when the redesigned App Store launches with iOS 11 later this year.
More about Apple, Ios, ios 11, Apps, iPhone
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