A huge sigh of relief was heard all through the Apple developer community late last month. With the latest release of iOS and macOS, it finally becomes possible for Apple developers to respond to complaints and reviews in the App Store.
Why is this such a big deal? Most developers are not keen on leaving their contact details in the app store, for various reasons, privacy being the most obvious one. On the other hand, there are various reasons why you would want to engage in some form of dialogue with the person filing a comment or complaint. You could simply explain that the so-called lacking function is actually available in the app, hidden in some menu. Or you could ask some follow-up question to try and fix a bug. And, last but not least, you could announce the availability of a new version that solves certain issues. All these useful forms of dialogue benefit both the developer and the user, but were simply impossible. Until now.
The reading of and responding to reviews is typically managed through the iTunes Connect dashboard. But Apple still controls the response process, which may lead to long and inexplicable ‘pending’ statuses, TechCrunch reported. On the other hand, the dialogue between user and developer is facilitated by a messaging service that alerts the user when a response from the developer has been posted, and asking them if they would like to edit their review or get in touch with the developer.
Other users can monitor how fast the developers respond to user complaints and remarks, and thus rate the engagement of the people behind the app. And they can indicate whether the response was helpful or not.
All in all, this enhancement to the App Store is a very welcome addition, and good news for everyone involved, both user and developer. For more information and some insightful screenshots, we encourage you to consult the TechCrunch article on this joyful news. Additional note to our customers: if you think this might be something you would like to make use of, feel free to get in touch with us to discuss the logistics.