App Store re­views are now up for dis­cus­sion

Af­ter nine years of one-way feed­back, you’ll fi­nally know if some­one’s lis­ten­ing

Mac|Life - - NEWS - BY Parker Wil­helm & alan­stone­bridge

Com­pa­nies can now re­ply

Though user re­views for apps range any­where from help­ful cri­tique to an­gry rant­ing, giv­ing devel­op­ers a chance to step in with a di­rect re­sponse is some­times the best way to let a cus­tomer feel like their voice is be­ing heard.

That’s why, af­ter what seems like an eter­nity, Ap­ple is at last al­low­ing cus­tomer sup­port rep­re­sen­ta­tives to re­spond di­rectly to user re­views on the App Store. Rather than hav­ing to find a sup­port con­tact on an app’s web­site to have any hope of get­ting a re­sponse, con­ver­sa­tions can now take place in the same place that you pur­chase apps. Ap­ple an­nounced a few months ago that the fea­ture would be com­ing to iOS and macOS, and in mid-July came a sig­nal that the fea­ture was im­mi­nent when

Ap­ple cre­ated the “Cus­tomer Sup­port” role for iTunes Con­nect – Ap­ple’s con­tent man­age­ment hub for devel­op­ers.

By as­sign­ing that role to one of its staff, a com­pany that has pub­lished on the App Store can now have that in­di­vid­ual re­spond to cus­tomers’ re­views of its prod­ucts.

Though help­ful, this role seems long over­due – by con­trast, Google’s Play Store for An­droid de­vices has al­lowed devel­op­ers to re­spond to cus­tomer re­views since 2013.

Still, bet­ter late than never, as now you can field your praise – or, more likely, con­cerns or frus­tra­tions – with­out feel­ing like you’re talk­ing to a brick wall.

To make sure devel­op­ers with­out the know-how don’t wind up in a PR night­mare, Ap­ple has pub­lished ad­vice on how to prop­erly en­gage with cus­tomers in the in­ter­ests of en­sur­ing their sat­is­fac­tion.

As a buyer of apps, it’s worth check­ing the points un­der the Re­port­ing Con­cerns head­line at

ap­ple.co/2vF8kcJ, which lists some code of con­duct ex­am­ples for devel­op­ers and cus­tomers alike. Bear in mind that if a re­sponse to a re­view you’ve posted on the App Store is dis­re­spect­ful, you can re­port your con­cern to Ap­ple.

Hold a fin­ger on a re­view (or press firmly on a de­vice with 3D Touch) to give feed­back.

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