SevenTablets, Inc.

iOS 10.3 Puts Developers in Charge of Customer Service


For more than 8 years, the Apple App Store has been stocked with tiny, on-demand programs… and literally nothing else. With the release of iOS 10.3, the App Store gained some long-awaited B2C functionality and developers across the planet are rejoicing. But, who would’ve thought software developers would celebrate adding ‘customer service representative’ to the end of their title?

A Welcome Addition

While customer service duties don’t seem beneficial at first glance, the development community has been wishing for them for almost a decade. As long as the Apple App Store has been around, users have been able to rate apps and publish reviews, but developers were silenced. They’ve never been able to respond to frustrated customers – at least not in the same forum as the original complaint. This inability eradicated any sense of community within the app store and kept users blind to software updates they may have inspired.

How Developers Access Reviews

With the release of iOS 10.3, developers can now reply directly to user reviews from the comfort of iTunes Connect (the App Store admin portal they already use). Developers can find and respond to reviews by going to App > Activity > Ratings in their dashboard.

The UX Behind iOS 10.3

Users will be notified when a developer responds to their review via email. After viewing the response, users can mark their feedback as helpful or not, report a concern, and/or update their initial review.

Convenient and Limited Solicitation

Developers have also gained a new way to ask for user feedback. With the SKStoreReviewController API, developers can ask users actively using their app to leave a review without being redirected to the App Store. This feature will allow developers to gather more quality reviews from a larger audience, but it will also limit the number of prompts they’re allowed to deploy. In fact, they’ll only be able to ask for a review 3 times per year! Though this restriction is limiting, it’s quite necessary thanks to developers who abused their review solicitation rights in the past.

Violators Will Be Prosecuted

As one would expect, developers are not allowed to alter reviews or encourage users to leave feedback with incentives. Developers who try to bribe users to leave reviews with perks will certainly face repercussions, but we have yet to see what their punishment will be.

We look forward to seeing how this new update improves user retention and influences mobile strategy between now and the release of iOS 11.0. If your company needs help getting caught up or launching its first app, reach out the SevenTablets team today.

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Lacey Williams-McGhee

Lacey Williams-McGhee

Lacey Williams is a marketing and design professional living in the great state of Texas. When she's not working hard at the SevenTablets headquarters or designing products for her side gig, she can be found exploring new restaurants, hanging out with her husband and walking her golden retriever.

Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!

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SevenTablets is a digital transformation and mobile app development company that creates cutting-edge business solutions. Our expertise spans mobile apps and many of the most advanced platforms, including predictive analytics, natural language processing, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and disparate database cloud integrations. We apply a business-first approach to our client’s goals, helping them develop mobile apps and software solutions that streamline business processes and increase revenue. SevenTablets is based in Dallas, Texas and serves Austin, Houston and the United States.