OK, I’m just guessing but it is pretty cool that on the heels of our survey Apple has implemented a change in the AppStore rating system. I don’t honestly believe they did it just for us, but it is nice to know that Apple is trying. Unfortunately, it doesn’t solve all the problems of the AppStore rating system but it’s a start.
If you’d like to learn more about this change, read on after the jump!
The New Rating System
When we woke up this morning we found that Apple had updated the application rating system in the iTunes AppStore. Turns out they’ve split out ratings for the current version of the application from the overall rating for the application over time.
Why This Rocks
This is great because users can now see what users are saying about THIS version, rather than getting hammered with outdated reviews that have no bearing on the currently released version. It also helps a developer recover from an unfortunate release that drew a lot of bad ratings (something we haven’t had to deal with yet thank goodness.)
Why This Is Still Broken
The bad news is that there are still some serious problems. First and foremost is the “Rate It If You Hate It” system Apple has implemented. I’m referring to the practice of encouraging users who are REMOVING an application to rate it with no reciprocal system of encouraging users who LIKE an app to rate it. This inspires bad reviews and forces the overall star rating down. This is an even bigger problem with the new system because newer versions will inevitably have lower overall ratings (even if they are better versions) because of this.
Second is the fact that the overall reviews are still the number one reviews a user sees – so a review that was posted the day the app was released might still end up as the first review a user sees, rather than something more recent. Users have to specifically choose to switch to the most recent reviews. Seems like this should be the other way around.
Keep Going Apple!
Either way, it is heartening to see that Apple is making efforts to improve their systems. How often have we seen retailers ignore the problems in their systems. I’ll give Apple 5 Stars for the effort! Unfortunately, my overall rating for the store remains a solid 3. Keep trying Apple! And thanks!