We Changed Apple! New AppStore Rating System

appstore12OK, 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This is great because users can now see what users are saying about THIS version, rather than getting hammered with outdated reviews that have no bearing on the currently released version.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!

6 thoughts on “We Changed Apple! New AppStore Rating System

  1. Ken Burkhalter

    This suggestion was the very first feedback comment I gave to Apple when I bought my iPhone 5 months ago. It was immediately apparent to me that the Ratings presentation was an extremely poor way to present information from an Information Science point of view. It reinforced old and bad data instead of the more useful current info.

    I too was pleased to see the recent chage, but disheartened to see that they did not default to the current reviews rather than making the user select it.

    Keep on ’em guys. They need to keep listening.

  2. Pingback: Hey Look – A Good App Store Decision! | Just Another iPhone Blog

  3. Andrew

    At lest things are getting better. I hated that they used to let anyone rate even without buying the product.

    I wish they could still add a way for the vendor to refute a bad rating. I think one of the first eWallet ratings is still from someone whining that it doesn’t sync with Mac…. DUH! it has always said that in the description. Why should a vendor be penalized if someone doesn’t first read what a product does. Make it like an eBay rating so you can reply back that your customer is really a dumb***

    Maybe that was harsh, but there are some idiot consumers everywhere.

  4. Paul H

    Incorrect Andrew. That reviewer undoubtedly did read the description. Until December 2008, Ilium’s listing information for the app indicated a Mac version would be released by the end of 2008. The app was sold to many, many customers on that basis. Not surprisingly Ilium took heat for failing to deliver. Idiot customers? No. Misleading information? Yes.

    Marc has been frank with customers over the past few weeks and finally given a realistic launch date but, for many customers, credibility was already lost. Ilium has actually been amazingly lucky in avoiding more widespread criticism over the issue. But at least we can all now look forward to full compatibility in June.

  5. Ken Fink

    Well. Well. The stats show an impressive increase in the response. Will this continue or come back down after the people get used to it? We’d have to wait and watch I hope

  6. John T.

    “At lest things are getting better. I hated that they used to let anyone rate even without buying the product. ”

    Yes, I this was a really stupid “feature”. That’s how your product gets poor ratings, cause every visitor can rate it without even registering. And gues what’s the first thing your comentitors are gonna do, rigth?

    “I wish they could still add a way for the vendor to refute a bad rating.”
    Me too …

Comments are closed.