Apple blocks users on beta versions of iOS from writing App Store reviews

via Ryan Orbuch

via Ryan Orbuch

In a move that will certainly please iOS developers, Apple has finally disabled the ability to write app reviews on the latest beta version of iOS 9. When attempting to review applications in the store, beta users will now be met with a message informing them that the feature is unavailable. The change was spotted by several Twitter users earlier this evening.

App makers have long been put off by low reviews from users experiencing problems related to unsupported versions of the mobile operating system, which often hurt an app’s overall ratings and possibly affected their downloads as potential buyers took note of the negative feedback without knowing the full context.

Developers have been calling for this change for some time now, so it’s nice to finally see Apple implementing a solution for the problem. Even as late as this afternoon, some apps were being updated to fix issues in the unreleased OS and alleviate customer complaints. While some developers may continue doing so to ensure that their customers can keep using their apps, it will thankfully no longer be necessary to avoid a bad write-up.

https://twitter.com/orbuch/status/623724857570758656

Whether Apple will (or even can) remove existing reviews from beta users is unknown at the moment, though it seems likely they’ll simply let the ones that have already gotten through stay up and allow new reviews and app updates to eliminate them over time.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

Comments

  1. Paul Michael Alves - 8 years ago

    then maybe its time for you all to do your job and evaluate the product, instead of leaving the real work to all of us, apple’s customers. You get paid and we don’t! But apple releases it based on you saying good to go! and yet there is nothing good about it! You cheer no bad reviewws, but everyone else in america gets bad reviews so what makes you exempt?

    • Stephan (@Reiserechner) - 8 years ago

      You don’t really understand what beta software is.

    • Daz CJ (@Dachky) - 8 years ago

      Wow… Clearly you have no idea what Beta software means.

    • @Paul – People like yourself should not be allowed anywhere near beta software…! So you can be clear on exactly what beta software is for, it is for developers to TEST there software before YOU get your hands on it… That means that there are always going to be bugs, hence why you don;t install beta software on your phone that is not purely for testing beta software…!

      There are always some idiots (i use the term loosely) that will download the BETA iOS and then say ooh look at me I’m special i have the new BEAT software, and you haven’t hahahahahaha. Well this is the result, you have buggy software tat causes other software to crash and you complain and cause the people who are supposed to be making use of the software to lose money because you are an annoying little tit…!

      Hope that clear up what it is for and why developers hate people who aren’t developers testing software… ;)

    • I’m trying not to sound offensive here, but your comment has left me shouting at my screen!

      Are you for real? Like, really? Is there something wrong with your brain?

      You signed up for a BETA product. BETA. You know what that means, yes? No? Oh, ok. Well, let me break it down for you, real simple like, just so you can wrap your head around it:

      BETA IS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T NEED SPECIAL ASSISTANCE AND CAN ACTUALLY READ.

      You, my challenged friend, shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near anything with the word BETA in it.

      Thank you for lowering the collective IQ of the iOS community. Please go back to your Nokia 3310 where you can’t do any damage.

    • whatyoutalkingboutwillis - 8 years ago

      Place yourself under a cold tap for 15 minutes.

    • Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

      and what does america have to do with this?

    • Dr. Light (@pc_doc80) - 8 years ago

      “Beta Software”, which is what iOS9 is at the moment, is not intended for mass public use. The term “beta” means that the software is not complete still has bugs that need to be worked out. So why should an app developer be given a bad review, from a person who is using iOS 9 beta on their phone or tablet? That makes no sense! You, people who don’t fully understand tech, are the exact reason why this feature needed to be implemented.

    • frikova - 8 years ago

      “And kids, this is Exhibit A of why Apple blocked reviews”.

    • rnc - 8 years ago

      People like you, that downloaded iOS 9 beta from some haxxxor links, are the reason Apple blocked the reviews.

    • It is a BETA, that doesn’t mean it’s “good to go!”, it means it is a work in progress. If you use a BETA product you should expect that you won’t be able to do day to day tasks.

      Instead of complaining about “america” and Apple maybe you should look up the definition of the word BETA first.

  2. thank God, cuz i’m tired of all these stupid people who don’t understand beta software is buggy and some apps may not be compatible 100%, then rant about how their apps don’t work

    • rafterman11 - 8 years ago

      Now that Apple is releasing betas to everyone, the rules have changed. Its in the best interests of the developers to get this stuff working sooner than later.

      • No the rules have not changed, developers still cannot submit iOS9 targetted apps, even though more people can run the beta. Leave the beta programme immediately if you cannot understand this distinction that beta software will mean you have some incompatible apps

      • Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

        they’re not allowed to update their apps for iOS 9 until release though.

      • rafterman11 - 8 years ago

        They absolutely can “fix” their apps. The apps (usually) aren’t working due to some code glitch that needs to be adjusted for 9, not because the app isn’t targeted for v9. In fact, one app I’ve been testing has already been fixed to run under the 9 beta. A second app broken on beta 3 now works with 4 on its own so obviously Apple made an adjustment of their own in the OS.

      • Except developers are not allowed to submit apps build with the iOS 9 SDK until it is released.

        It would be in your best interest to understand a topic before you write a moronic comment showing your ignorance on the subject.

    • lkrupp215 - 8 years ago

      “thank God, cuz i’m tired of all these stupid people who don’t understand beta software is buggy and some apps may not be compatible 100%, then rant about how their apps don’t work”

      And then cry and beg to be led by the nose on how to remove the beta version they installed without knowing what they were doing. When told to restore from a backup they respond with “backup?”

    • rafterman11 - 8 years ago

      To Just Need it for Dev:

      Well, what do you know. An app that hadn’t worked under beta 9 (it would crash on startup) from OOO Gameprom, called “Pinball” got an app store update today, in which the only fix listed was new pinball tables added. And lo and behold, it started up OK now, after the update. Gee, imagine that.

      Maybe you should learn a little more yourself before writing a “moronic comment”. Don’t tell me how it works, boy. I know app developers sneak stuff past Apple all the time and not all bug fixes need the current version’s Dev kit. I’ve been writing code probably longer than you’ve been alive.

  3. AeronPeryton - 8 years ago

    Smart. And literally days after I listened to more than one tech podcast lambast Apple because of this wormhole. What timing!

  4. PMZanetti - 8 years ago

    Certain developers update their Apps during the beta period to fix critical flaws.
    Those that don’t, and let their App crash for 4 months instead, deserve the 1 star reviews.

    • No They Don’t!

      Some bugs may be completely due to iOS9 and cannot be fixed unless targetted directly against iOS9. If thats the case the developers CANNOT fix it because they are not allowed to submit apps targetted against iOS9.

      In addition i’m sure people like Evernote, Facebook, etc, etc all have plenty of test devices to ensure iOS9 compatibility whilst still running iOS8 targetting. Most independent developers certainly do not have the resources for an additional test only device AND an additional laptop to run beta xcode (because beta xcode cannot be used to submit apps to the app store either!)

    • guacho8 - 8 years ago

      Oh dear Lord, you are clueless, it is for people like you that Apple just did this and I’m glad..

    • bergmayer (@bergmayer) - 8 years ago

      Even if it were the case that a bug that a developer can easily fix a bug that is causing a crash only on iOS 9, and the bug can be fixed without linking against unreleased iOS 9 stuff, and the bug is not due to a bug in iOS 9 itself that will be fixed before it’s final, a developer doesn’t deserve a bad review. There is no obligation of any kind for a developer to support a beta operating system of any kind, in any way.

    • Dr. Light (@pc_doc80) - 8 years ago

      No they don’t. You, the user who willingly installed a “beta” piece of software, should know and understand the inherit problems you WILL run into. Apps, and even to a lesser degree the iOS software, not running/working properly are bound to happen. You don’t have a right to complain about stuff not working until the final public release has been made.

    • Another uninformed comment… Developers are not allowed to submit apps build with the iOS 9 SDK during the beta period. In fact they/we won’t be allowed to submit iOS 9 build apps until about 2 weeks before Apple releases iOS 9 to the public.

      If the app crashes and a developer is required to use iOS 9 SDK to fix the issue there is absolutely nothing they can do.

      Also BETA mean unfinished product, you as a user should be aware that things may not work and only use it on test devices but hey, your smart… you know better right???

      • rafterman11 - 8 years ago

        Well, what do you know. An app that hadn’t worked under beta 9 (it would crash on startup) from OOO Gameprom, called “Pinball” got an app store update today, in which the only fix listed was new pinball tables added. And lo and behold, it started up OK now, after the update. Gee, imagine that.

        Maybe you should learn a little more yourself before writing an “uninformed comment”. I know app developers sneak stuff past Apple all the time and not all bug fixes need the current version’s Dev kit. I’ve been writing code probably longer than you’ve been alive. So don’t tell me how it works, boy.

  5. rafterman11 - 8 years ago

    Now that Apple is releasing betas to everyone, its time for developers to get off their azzzzes and get this stuff working instead of waiting to the last second.

    • No they don’t. It’s beta software and developers simply CANNOT submit iOS9 targetted apps. It’s prohibited by Apple directly

    • AeronPeryton - 8 years ago

      Developers are not allowed to issue fixes for unreleased software. For example, the current iOS is 8.4, iOS 9 is in beta. Let’s say there is a bug that causes YourApp™ to crash in iOS 9. You are not allowed to patch your app against iOS 9 code until the final version of iOS 9 is released to the public.

      They can’t help but wait until the last second to issue updates, it’s part of their agreement with Apple.

      That said, if you’re a good developer you will have an updating waiting at the push of a button when Apple lifts the ban the night before it goes live.

      • rafterman11 - 8 years ago

        One app was “fixed” to run with the beta and a second app I was testing got fixed when beta 4 was released. So, there is one example of a vendor fixing an app and one example of Apple sort of doing it for them.

        Depending on what the issue is, the vendor can fix it on the sly and not announce “oh, we fixed this for the v9 beta”. Sometimes its just a matter of tightening up the code and getting rid of some of the garbage. Apple isn’t going to say “oh, we can’t publish this app because it will now work on v9.” Not unless the vendor does something specific for v9. Again, it depends what is wrong.

      • lkrupp215 - 8 years ago

        @rafterman11

        Bottom line is people like you can no longer trash an app because it has problems with a beta release of iOS. And that’s a really good thing.

    • It’s time for morons to get a clue and understand the issue before writing moronic comments but I’m sure your lazy azzzz won’t bother to get off the couch and use your brain.

    • rafterman11 - 8 years ago

      To lkrupp215

      People like me? I don’t write reviews for apps failing in a beta. But some people do and now that betas are public, and they should be allowed to.

  6. goemon77 - 8 years ago

    Since I am too lazy to type on my phones touch screen I normally write reviews on my computer in iTunes, will people using beta versions of iOS on their mobile devices also be prevented to write reviews there?