App Store Review Prompts

Chris Gonzales’s advice to developers on “Rate This App” prompts:

  • Let us opt out. If you simply must have an App Store review prompt in your app, be sure to give users the chance to say “no thanks”. Don’t pull the kind of bullshit where the only options are “yes” and “remind me later”. That’s scummy and you know it.

  • Respect the users’ wishes. If a customer chooses to opt out of leaving a review, your app had better not continue prompting them about it afterward. I can live with a one-time popup, but there are some apps that ignore opt-out requests and that is definitely not okay with me. It might even be a good idea to respect opt-outs across app updates, if possible. If I didn’t want to review your app two updates ago, I’m no more likely to do so today.

I’ve been researching this topic, and from what I see, a lot of apps are using the Nick Lockwood iRate open source project, which I think is more than half the problem. iRate might be well-meaning, but it’s a hamfisted approach with poor (that is to say, annoying) default settings. The default alert has three buttons: agree to write a review, “Remind Me Later”, and “No, Thanks”.

That last one, “No, Thanks”, does not mean what you think it means. It really means, “No, but go ahead and ask me again every single time there is an update to the app”.

There is no option to never be prompted again. And even if you agree to leave a review, you’ll get prompted again the next time the app updates.

Friday, 13 December 2013