Under the Radar

Under the Radar 64: App Store Reviews, Redux


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:01   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:08   minutes so let's get started so today we

00:00:11   are going to be talking about reviews in

00:00:13   the App Store

00:00:14   again again if you're a an Eagle eared

00:00:17   listener of the show people realized

00:00:19   that just two weeks ago and episode 62

00:00:22   we were talking about reviews in the App

00:00:24   Store and little did we know that here

00:00:26   we are a fortnight later we would be

00:00:27   doing it again not necessarily the plan

00:00:31   but Apple announced yesterday as a

00:00:33   recording a bunch of updates

00:00:36   specifically around iOS 10.3 and

00:00:38   included in that is a fairly substantial

00:00:41   pair of changes to the review system in

00:00:44   the app store and so it seemed and I've

00:00:47   only appropriate to follow up on that to

00:00:49   talk about it just because now sort of

00:00:53   going forward whenever we said two weeks

00:00:54   ago is going to have to make sense in

00:00:57   this broader context that Apple is

00:00:58   changing so the short version is Apple

00:01:02   introduced introducing two changes the

00:01:03   first is a standardized way for asking

00:01:06   for reviews modally within your

00:01:08   applications with a thing called eske's

00:01:11   Store review controller and then the

00:01:14   second thing they're doing is they're

00:01:15   going to be changing the App Store

00:01:18   itself to allow developers to respond to

00:01:22   customer views that are written in the

00:01:24   App Store

00:01:24   so we'll kind of work through those

00:01:26   individually but probably starting off

00:01:28   by talking about the new modal display

00:01:31   that we can get it's really worth saying

00:01:33   this is actually not the first time that

00:01:35   Apple has had a modal would you like to

00:01:38   review this application dialog the first

00:01:42   version of this which you have to have

00:01:44   been doing iOS development for a while

00:01:45   to remember there used to be a thing in

00:01:48   the App Store where when you deleted an

00:01:50   app only when you deleted it when you

00:01:52   deleted it it would pop up and say

00:01:54   before you delete this app would you

00:01:55   like to leave a review so yeah I'm not

00:01:59   sure what wire they thought this was a

00:02:00   great idea that the if you like someone

00:02:04   who is actively said I no longer want

00:02:06   this app and then you ask them well what

00:02:08   did you think about it and that was the

00:02:10   only time they were ever prompted to

00:02:12   review apps

00:02:13   yeah surprising and unsurprisingly there

00:02:16   were a lot of one-star reviews that came

00:02:18   through that Mis system yeah so this

00:02:21   one's better so the new system which

00:02:23   I'll just kind of briefly overview is

00:02:24   there's a new method that I said the SK

00:02:27   Stroh review controller in store kit

00:02:29   that you can call a method just says

00:02:32   request review and this method is

00:02:35   interesting because it doesn't pop up

00:02:37   necessarily a modal display I'm sorry by

00:02:40   saying this is always modal this is not

00:02:41   like a you know sort of a button that

00:02:44   you can push in the app in your apps in

00:02:46   your app and then have it bring it up

00:02:48   this is something where it's always

00:02:49   going to be slightly an interruption in

00:02:52   terms of the way they're structuring it

00:02:53   because you call this method and you say

00:02:55   this is probably a good time to request

00:02:58   an app store review you have no

00:03:00   guarantees as to whether that modal will

00:03:02   actually pop up then or not that's we'll

00:03:06   get into reasons a bit later but you

00:03:07   know Apple is keeping control over

00:03:08   whether anything is actually shown to

00:03:10   you but you can say you know this is a

00:03:12   good time so say for example like the

00:03:15   usual examples of people will throw

00:03:16   around is you know a customer completes

00:03:18   something that would make sense that you

00:03:20   know like say I have an audiobook app

00:03:22   which I do and say you have just

00:03:25   finished a book that may be a good time

00:03:27   to prompt them to write a review

00:03:31   you know they've just completed this

00:03:32   thing hope that they enjoyed it in a

00:03:33   have a full sense of the app it's not

00:03:34   really an interruption in the same way

00:03:36   because they're not you know it's not

00:03:38   like they're opening up the app to go

00:03:39   and listen like the app you know they

00:03:41   just finished listening to all of their

00:03:43   things and so now may be a reasonable

00:03:45   time but you can say this is a good time

00:03:47   and if Apple says it's a good idea that

00:03:50   will pop up and show it's show this

00:03:52   alert to them and they're also adding a

00:03:54   slightly they're tweaking things a

00:03:56   little bit in terms of giving us a ver

00:03:57   and explicit URL to link out to the app

00:04:01   store with sort of deep deep linking if

00:04:03   we still want to do the setting screen

00:04:05   version that's that's now sort of sort

00:04:08   of part of this but it's that's not

00:04:09   really part of the SDK but that's just

00:04:11   they're saying in the documentation that

00:04:13   if you want to do a modal pop-up in the

00:04:15   app to leave a review use this new

00:04:17   request review method if you would still

00:04:19   like to have like a button in your

00:04:21   settings screen here's the

00:04:24   query parameter that you can add to the

00:04:25   end overall I think I mean mostly what I

00:04:30   love about this is that appleĆ­s is

00:04:32   taking this seriously and doing

00:04:33   something about it I think it's been a

00:04:35   problem for I mean these in years now

00:04:38   that we've had this situation where

00:04:40   there is so much ambiguity there's no

00:04:42   leadership on the AppStore policy side

00:04:45   of things about this and so you end up

00:04:46   with this weird kind of asymmetric

00:04:47   warfare where you know having five star

00:04:51   wars in the App Store is an important

00:04:53   thing for sales the best way to get that

00:04:55   is to keep bugging your users to give

00:04:57   you those reviews and if you do that you

00:04:59   will be rewarded with more downloads and

00:05:01   that creates this vicious cycle that if

00:05:03   you don't want to get into that then

00:05:04   your apps at a disadvantage because you

00:05:06   don't you know it's like if you're

00:05:08   comparing my app which has you know 20

00:05:10   or 30 reviews trap that has 200 or 300

00:05:12   reviews it looks bad and so at least

00:05:14   what I like here is that Apple is saying

00:05:16   this is an important thing for us to

00:05:17   dive into you this is something that

00:05:19   they want to have some control over and

00:05:22   and obviously like I love the way that

00:05:23   in classic Apple fashion they're

00:05:25   maintaining a lot of control about it

00:05:27   you know that it isn't an API that we

00:05:29   can always pop up a a dialogue for in

00:05:32   the same way that like when they added

00:05:33   the mail compose UI ways we can write

00:05:37   emails within our apps without having to

00:05:38   go out to the mail app they did that in

00:05:40   a way that we can always pop that up

00:05:42   it's not like we're going to request

00:05:43   that we're going to request a compose

00:05:46   page and doesn't show up it actually

00:05:47   isn't true but but you could query it to

00:05:50   determine whether it was enabled or not

00:05:52   sure but that would be what you're

00:05:54   saying there's like the can send mail

00:05:55   part which is if the does the user have

00:05:57   mail configured on their on their iPhone

00:05:59   but assuming they have a mail account

00:06:01   configured with our iPhone it'll always

00:06:03   show up is why I guess what I'm getting

00:06:05   at but here Apple has has the ability to

00:06:08   do to dial this backwards and forwards

00:06:10   and so they've initially said through a

00:06:12   couple of interviews it seemed like they

00:06:14   gave too daring fireball and Jim Delrin

00:06:18   thought at the loop they're good

00:06:21   basically if you're never going to show

00:06:23   it with a user a prompt more than three

00:06:25   times a year I believe and if they set a

00:06:28   if they actually do send us to send a

00:06:31   review they won't be asked again for a

00:06:32   year so if you asked you know every time

00:06:34   the app launched you said hey it's a

00:06:36   great time to send a review

00:06:38   after doing that three times it'll stop

00:06:40   working in a transparent way to you for

00:06:43   a whole year there's also a master

00:06:45   switch in the Settings app that a

00:06:47   customer can say I never want to see

00:06:49   these and if you flip that switch

00:06:50   irrespective of how much the developer

00:06:53   is saying hey review me review me review

00:06:55   me it'll never actually work which

00:06:57   overall I think this is a good step

00:06:59   forward it's I'm not sure if I'm gonna

00:07:01   use it I think I probably won't

00:07:04   initially because it's still modal and

00:07:06   rather just used the deep linking into

00:07:09   the app store from a button in my

00:07:10   settings page but I like at the very

00:07:13   least that Apple is diving into this and

00:07:16   taking it seriously do you think you're

00:07:17   gonna use it probably not for the same

00:07:20   reason if you know it is still modal and

00:07:22   everything but I really do love like

00:07:26   it's this is such you know as usually

00:07:28   this is actually an amazing a very Apple

00:07:31   II solution to a problem it's so clever

00:07:33   and it's like you know here was this

00:07:35   problem of developers having a very

00:07:37   strong incentive to make the user

00:07:39   experience worse for people and and you

00:07:42   know it was extra work for developers to

00:07:44   have to integrate some library or to

00:07:46   build their own you know little pop-up

00:07:48   things and you know so it was like you

00:07:49   take this this kind of dirty messy

00:07:52   problem and you apply a really elegant

00:07:54   combination of solutions to it which is

00:07:56   we're gonna standardize this we're gonna

00:07:57   make it easier when people do want to

00:07:59   leave ratings cuz like have you seen the

00:08:01   box yet it's like a the one in the bay

00:08:03   they like it just pops up with a little

00:08:05   like you know one through five stars and

00:08:06   submit and so it's actually easier to

00:08:09   submit ratings this way as a user

00:08:11   because you don't have to bounce into

00:08:13   the App Store app and submit something

00:08:14   there and login type in your password

00:08:15   you you just have it all in a modal

00:08:17   dialog right there in the app so it's

00:08:19   easier for the developer because it's

00:08:21   one line of code it's easier for the

00:08:23   user because to actually leave the

00:08:25   rating and it's faster and everything

00:08:26   and in the most typical wonderful Apple

00:08:29   fashion it puts all the control of this

00:08:31   back on the user so the user can then as

00:08:34   you said go into that setting go into

00:08:35   system settings and disable these

00:08:37   globally if they want to and then the

00:08:41   developer has no way to tell whether

00:08:43   they're enabled or not and whether it's

00:08:45   showing or not so in theory this is an

00:08:49   amazing solution for both developers and

00:08:51   for you

00:08:51   users and for usability the platform

00:08:53   because it kind of tames this messy

00:08:55   thing that we all have a very strong

00:08:57   incentive to do in practice so and again

00:09:02   in theory the way this works is that at

00:09:05   a at a future time that is as yet

00:09:07   unspecified by the way I I kind of say I

00:09:10   really am NOT crazy about the way Apple

00:09:13   has very minimally documented this on

00:09:17   the page and then has given additional

00:09:20   documentation through PR channels to a

00:09:23   couple of blogs like that I think is odd

00:09:25   I I know I can see why they do it I I

00:09:28   assume they do it so that way they can

00:09:30   be a little bit fuzzy and squishy with

00:09:32   the rules and change them later as they

00:09:33   evolve and as the situation evolves as

00:09:36   they learn how do you think you're used

00:09:37   in practice but I don't like the idea

00:09:39   that you have to be monitoring different

00:09:41   blogs from people who are you know PR

00:09:44   friendly with Apple in order to get the

00:09:46   whole picture of what the rules are and

00:09:47   what the mechanics are I think it would

00:09:49   be a lot more effective for Apple to

00:09:51   choose to expand the documentation

00:09:53   upfront make that part of the official

00:09:55   statement and then we worry about later

00:09:58   you know the process of changing that as

00:10:00   as policies evolved because App Store

00:10:02   policy changes it's a thing like hiding

00:10:05   the information between different blogs

00:10:06   and PR channels to try to like obfuscate

00:10:09   it so most people don't hear it is not

00:10:11   the right solution anyway so one of the

00:10:14   bits of information out that is kind of

00:10:15   unclear and told through PR channels in

00:10:17   various ways is that it will be required

00:10:22   at some point in the future that all

00:10:25   review prompts use this API and that

00:10:28   other types of review prompt will be

00:10:30   prohibited that data is not yet been set

00:10:32   but at some point that would be the case

00:10:33   the requirement of these things be only

00:10:36   sent in this way and to to disallow

00:10:39   other types of prompting is required for

00:10:42   this to be a good user experience

00:10:44   because without that part you're gonna

00:10:47   have no incentive for a lot of

00:10:48   developers to use it it is faster yes

00:10:50   but developers are gonna find especially

00:10:52   like big data driven corporations like

00:10:54   you know Twitter Instagram stuff like

00:10:56   that they're gonna find well we get more

00:10:57   reviews if we just ask the old way

00:10:59   because that can't be disabled or

00:11:01   throttled by the system so and yet the

00:11:04   other the other interesting part of core

00:11:05   like all the different office keishon

00:11:07   the developers put in front of these

00:11:08   things often like they'll be like how

00:11:10   are you liking the app so far and if you

00:11:12   say you're loving it then they'll ask

00:11:13   you to review it and if you say I'm not

00:11:15   living it so much so please contact us

00:11:17   privately so there's all this office all

00:11:19   this like mess to have to work through

00:11:20   but unless developers are forced to only

00:11:25   use this system it's not going to get

00:11:26   better for users and Apple has said yes

00:11:29   they intend to do that in the future

00:11:30   they intend to make that a requirement

00:11:31   my question is how are they gonna

00:11:33   enforce that because already today you

00:11:37   have clear rules against using push

00:11:41   notifications for spam marketing

00:11:44   promotion things like that like and you

00:11:48   look around like every game uses it for

00:11:50   it for promotion every news app it like

00:11:52   every big company app Twitter the App

00:11:55   Store uses notifications sometimes for

00:11:58   promotional purposes and marketing

00:12:00   purposes like Apple can't even follow

00:12:02   that rule they break it all the time

00:12:04   everyone breaks that rule all the time

00:12:06   and even though there's a preview rules

00:12:09   against it I assume one of the reasons

00:12:11   why that rule goes almost completely

00:12:13   unenforced even unfollowed by Apple is

00:12:15   that it's really hard to actually

00:12:18   enforce that in practice without adding

00:12:20   like a report mechanism in the UI

00:12:22   because the only way apples gonna catch

00:12:24   people sending spam notifications or

00:12:26   marketing however they define it is if

00:12:29   it happens during like the five minutes

00:12:30   they're reviewing it during app review

00:12:32   and that's very unlikely and so in

00:12:35   practice that just goes effectively

00:12:37   unenforced and spam slash promotional

00:12:40   push notifications are rampant and with

00:12:44   this system this new review system I

00:12:46   wonder if that's going to like how is it

00:12:48   gonna be any different because if the

00:12:50   rule starts if it starts to become well

00:12:52   you have to use this mechanism only to

00:12:55   ask people to review you in the App

00:12:56   Store when are they gonna actually

00:12:58   enforce that aren't gonna have people

00:13:00   like using every app on the App Store

00:13:02   for three days to see if they get

00:13:03   prompted or not and so the only way to

00:13:05   enforce that is you that is to have some

00:13:08   kind of reporting system after the fact

00:13:09   but I can't possibly see Apple gumming

00:13:12   up the UI of iOS like where would it be

00:13:14   like the 3d touch menu like with a share

00:13:16   thing is like III can't see them going

00:13:18   up the

00:13:19   the iOS UI anywhere with like a report

00:13:22   bad behavior of this app button I mean

00:13:24   it'd be interesting if they did I'm not

00:13:25   sure if that would be overall good or

00:13:27   not for the system but for the purpose

00:13:29   of like enforcement of tricky rules like

00:13:32   this I don't see any other way to do it

00:13:33   and without that enforcement of that

00:13:35   rule without very strict enforcement of

00:13:38   that rule I don't see how the system is

00:13:41   going to actually fix the problem for

00:13:44   developers who have a company and big

00:13:48   data behind them saying they still to do

00:13:49   it the old way sure I mean I see where

00:13:53   you're coming from but I I kind of maybe

00:13:55   I have more slightly more hope for the

00:13:56   future because I see this thing and I

00:14:00   see what like I like when they say

00:14:02   that's at some point in the future this

00:14:03   will be the only sanctioned way to do

00:14:05   this my I tend to read this as in iOS

00:14:10   10.3 it'll be fine but in iOS 11 it

00:14:13   probably won't like if I had a guess at

00:14:15   what that timeline will be is that this

00:14:18   you know this June ish at WDC they'll be

00:14:23   unveiling whatever it is they're going

00:14:24   to be doing for iOS 11 and as part of

00:14:27   the rules that will go into effect for

00:14:30   this fall the you know this will be one

00:14:32   of the new rules that if you want to you

00:14:34   know in a modally prompt user for a

00:14:36   review you must do it using the Bree

00:14:39   approved API the enforcement question is

00:14:42   I mean it's always been it's always

00:14:44   rough but just to serve to say that it's

00:14:46   incredibly difficult to enforce or

00:14:48   police doesn't mean that it's not a good

00:14:50   policy and I mean I think there's ways

00:14:52   that Apple can enforce it

00:14:55   programmatically both in terms of

00:14:58   obviously they know if people when

00:15:04   people are leaving reviews they know

00:15:05   where they're coming from what they were

00:15:07   doing before that like there's a certain

00:15:09   amount of exposure that they have on the

00:15:12   data side that if an app is seeming to

00:15:16   send users to the App Store to leave

00:15:19   reviews in a at a pace that seems

00:15:23   inconsistent with the install base for

00:15:26   example like my guess is they have a

00:15:27   fairly good sense of you know what the

00:15:30   you know what the typical rate for a

00:15:32   reviews for an app based on how many

00:15:34   people are using it is and things like I

00:15:37   think they have tools from the data side

00:15:39   on the back end using many many ways

00:15:41   they could sort of piggyback on what

00:15:43   they've done iTunes Connect analytics

00:15:45   which like have their drawbacks but at

00:15:47   least give them a starting point that I

00:15:48   imagine you with a little bit of math

00:15:50   you could work out this app is clearly

00:15:52   getting way more reviews than it should

00:15:56   for you know if for use for using via

00:16:00   the approaches that we expect and from

00:16:02   that perspective can sort of chase that

00:16:04   down and kind of work work that out but

00:16:06   ultimately like exactly how they police

00:16:08   it I think is you know that's an

00:16:11   enforcement problem that's something

00:16:12   that we deal with a lot in the App Store

00:16:13   and I think I mean what and the

00:16:16   unfortunate thing is what Apple often

00:16:17   seems to do is they'll fight they'll

00:16:19   pick a few like examples the land to be

00:16:24   made of and I'll have all some app is

00:16:26   going to get pulled out of the App Store

00:16:28   for a week because they prompted for

00:16:32   review after the policy goes to effect

00:16:34   and that kind of 10 you can kind of

00:16:36   scare people into compliance down the

00:16:38   road which it's not great if that if you

00:16:40   if you're that app but you know as

00:16:42   you're saying like it's a really hard

00:16:43   thing to perforce it also doesn't work

00:16:45   like that only works if all iOS

00:16:47   developers are part of the same

00:16:48   community and everyone follows the rules

00:16:50   and neither of those things are true

00:16:50   sure but I mean it's I mean I think it's

00:16:55   one of these things if they're never

00:16:56   going to get a hundred percent

00:16:57   compliance but if they can get eighty

00:16:59   percent compliance that's still probably

00:17:01   good enough and so I like that it says

00:17:04   that's this is their policy this is

00:17:05   where they're heading down the road

00:17:08   there'll be a world where most of the

00:17:10   time if you're a user who just doesn't

00:17:12   want to leave reviews you can flip a

00:17:13   master switch otherwise you'll be

00:17:15   prompted three times a year to do it

00:17:18   in a standardized way with this you know

00:17:20   a non sort of scammy interaction and I

00:17:24   like that but I'm sorry I mean I just

00:17:27   have more hope for that that if they've

00:17:30   invested all this effort in building out

00:17:32   building this API and taking this

00:17:34   problem seriously if they're also going

00:17:35   to be serious about the enforcement side

00:17:37   and do their best to make that work yeah

00:17:41   I hope so I guess we'll see also a point

00:17:43   of clarification you you breeze by it

00:17:45   earlier but I do want to clarify

00:17:46   a lot of people are getting this wrong

00:17:47   on Twitter that linking people out with

00:17:50   a thing with like a page like in your in

00:17:52   your settings like like what you and I

00:17:53   do like you know I have like my little

00:17:55   thing and overcast setting and saying

00:17:56   this many people review you know have

00:17:58   you read this version click here to go

00:17:59   leave a review that's still both

00:18:02   possible and allowed Apple has clarified

00:18:04   that in some of these PR statements that

00:18:07   you can still do that that will still

00:18:08   work it just won't use this API you can

00:18:11   use his API additionally if you want to

00:18:12   but leaking out to the page via an

00:18:15   explicit user action is still permitted

00:18:17   as long as you didn't do a modal dialog

00:18:19   box which again is it's like the

00:18:21   distinctions here are gonna make this

00:18:22   harder and hard to enforce but anyway

00:18:24   hopefully we'll cross that bridge when

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00:19:21   connect with opportunity so the other

00:19:23   part that we probably should dive into

00:19:24   about this whole system is so once

00:19:27   people have left the reviews in whatever

00:19:28   mechanism you've used to get them to

00:19:32   that page whether it's the modal pop-up

00:19:34   you're linking to them from the settings

00:19:36   page in your App Store or in your

00:19:38   Settings app in your screen or they just

00:19:39   went to the App Store themselves in 10.3

00:19:43   we're going to also have the ability to

00:19:45   respond to customer views that are left

00:19:48   in the App Store exactly how this looks

00:19:51   is a bit up to debate but I mean this is

00:19:53   something that the Google Play Store for

00:19:55   example has had for a while so I imagine

00:19:57   level have a similar kind of appearance

00:19:58   where in the you know

00:20:00   you went to the ratings interview

00:20:02   section of an app's page a customer

00:20:04   leaves a review underneath of it there

00:20:07   may be a little you know it'll be a

00:20:08   little bubble that says that the

00:20:10   developer can put some text into and

00:20:12   they'll probably be some limits on to

00:20:14   the number of characters or things like

00:20:15   that but you know the expectation I

00:20:17   think is that those we're going to be

00:20:19   going into iTunes Connect and if there's

00:20:21   already actually I'm not sure if how

00:20:24   many people actually ever go there but

00:20:25   in iTunes Connect if you dig around a

00:20:27   little bit there's actually a ratings

00:20:28   and reviews area for your app or it

00:20:31   shows you all the reviews that I've ever

00:20:32   been left and my guess is they're just

00:20:34   gonna add a little text box underneath

00:20:36   all of those where you know we can

00:20:38   log-in to iTunes Connect and go through

00:20:39   and respond to this and I think we've

00:20:42   had a few clear clarifications about

00:20:44   this where it's not going to be like a

00:20:46   threaded conversation they're not

00:20:48   turning the reviews section into like a

00:20:51   forum but it's going to be you know

00:20:53   though a customer can write a review and

00:20:55   a developer can write a response and

00:20:58   both parties can edit those with you

00:21:01   know the review or the response as makes

00:21:02   sense

00:21:03   but it's not like we're gonna have it

00:21:04   back and forth I like this I think I

00:21:09   like it mostly just from the perspective

00:21:11   of one of the most like discouraging

00:21:13   things who ever run into is when you

00:21:16   read a review which it granted I don't

00:21:18   do as much anymore but it's still

00:21:19   something I do from time to time and you

00:21:21   you encounter a user who says like they

00:21:25   like the app but they wish it did X and

00:21:29   maybe they hold a hostage star about

00:21:30   that you know it's a four it's a fourth

00:21:32   give it four stars I would give it a

00:21:34   five if it could do this you're lucky if

00:21:35   they only hold one star back for them I

00:21:37   mean maybe it's a double hostage star

00:21:39   situation like there's lots of you know

00:21:40   variables to come into play here but if

00:21:42   they do that and it turns out the app

00:21:44   actually does that and they just don't

00:21:45   know how to do it like this seems like a

00:21:47   great tool for being able to say hey if

00:21:51   you you know click on this button you

00:21:54   are actually able to do this and you can

00:21:55   hopefully clarify those

00:21:56   misunderstandings it's obviously not

00:21:59   going to be a great mechanism to do like

00:22:00   details customer support my guess is a

00:22:03   lot of developers responses to these are

00:22:06   just going to be I'm sorry you're having

00:22:07   trouble with this please email needs to

00:22:10   you know to go deeper on this into

00:22:13   actually

00:22:13   your problem so in that sense like it's

00:22:16   not gonna be a great venue for that but

00:22:18   I think there's it's nice though for it

00:22:20   if a other customer comes around and

00:22:22   they you know this you know here's this

00:22:25   this two-star review that says hey the

00:22:28   app doesn't do this or it didn't do this

00:22:30   right or something like that and then

00:22:32   underneath of it it says that you know

00:22:33   there's a developer response that says

00:22:35   I'm sorry you have this trouble you

00:22:36   can't actually do that here's how you do

00:22:38   it if you need more help you know send

00:22:40   me an email and I'm happy to walk that

00:22:41   through like that sets up a great I

00:22:44   think a better it turns a negative

00:22:46   customer experience into you potentially

00:22:48   a positive one I'm not super excited

00:22:52   though but it's like another inbox that

00:22:54   we have to manage and another thing that

00:22:57   we just sorta have to keep up with like

00:22:59   there's this new bit of busy work but I

00:23:01   mean the reality is overall I'd rather

00:23:02   that's something a system like this or

00:23:04   at least I can do something to respond

00:23:07   to these like these misunderstandings or

00:23:10   these bad reviews and hopefully turn

00:23:12   them around a little bit but you know

00:23:14   very high days I'm probably just gonna

00:23:15   end up sorry I haven't hired someone to

00:23:18   do my customer support for me and this

00:23:19   will just likely be another inbox that

00:23:21   he goes through in a regular basis to

00:23:23   kind of respond and clean up and you

00:23:27   know hopefully it'll make that the

00:23:28   section of the app store a little bit

00:23:29   more useful I suppose like right now

00:23:31   it's just not yeah I mean I suppose

00:23:34   it'll depend a lot on what kind of

00:23:36   uptake this gets and just a lot of

00:23:38   implementation details you know two

00:23:40   weeks ago when we talked about reading

00:23:41   after reviews my position was I almost

00:23:44   never read them you don't really need to

00:23:45   I don't think many people do for apps

00:23:48   that have sufficient star ratings they

00:23:50   just looked at the star rating average

00:23:51   and then make a decision for the most

00:23:52   part and there are a lot of people who

00:23:54   read their every review so it's not that

00:23:56   big of a deal

00:23:57   and of course I can all these problems

00:23:59   are are shifted and magnified or

00:24:01   minimized based on whether you have a

00:24:03   lot of reviews are very few reviews but

00:24:05   assuming you have like a moderate to

00:24:07   high amount you know it's these things

00:24:10   all over again so anyway it depends a

00:24:12   lot on like how many customers are

00:24:14   actually reading these things like and

00:24:17   then also how many developers will be

00:24:18   responding you know if it's the kind of

00:24:20   thing that's pretty rare that almost no

00:24:21   developers end up doing in any kind of

00:24:23   reasonable quantity and that most

00:24:25   customers don't end up

00:24:27   expecting or reading or seeing then it's

00:24:30   completely optional whether you do it or

00:24:32   not and you probably don't need to

00:24:33   because that's you know a lot of time

00:24:35   and effort for zero to one person to see

00:24:38   you know but if it ends up being

00:24:41   something that that is important which

00:24:43   again it depends on implementation

00:24:45   details there's a lot of questions like

00:24:47   you know where do we respond I assume we

00:24:49   respond to these and iTunes Connect

00:24:50   somewhere if so that is a massive

00:24:53   opportunity for third party developer if

00:24:55   you need an idea for your next Mac app

00:24:57   or web service make that happen make it

00:25:00   so that you can like scrape all the

00:25:03   reviews from all the different languages

00:25:04   all the different country stores have

00:25:06   some kind of built-in translation

00:25:08   function and give us a way to reply

00:25:09   easily you will set that to every iOS

00:25:11   developer who cares you can sell that

00:25:13   for like 10 bucks a month easy anyway so

00:25:15   anybody can use an idea get on that if

00:25:18   not app figures that's your next thing

00:25:19   all right so you know and a lot of you

00:25:23   nation details matter so for instance is

00:25:24   the customer notified when you respond

00:25:27   to their review you know like that like

00:25:29   that's that's a big question cuz a lot

00:25:31   of these reviews I think are kind of

00:25:33   like you know hit and run like they're

00:25:35   not gonna actually come back and check

00:25:37   to see if you responded most of the time

00:25:39   again if that's not done if the customer

00:25:41   is not notified that you responded and

00:25:43   preferably with your response in the

00:25:45   notification email or whatever then it's

00:25:47   gonna be a lot less valuable for you to

00:25:50   reply so again this depends a lot on the

00:25:52   details that we don't know yet but I

00:25:55   think those are my two big questions is

00:25:57   like will people see your response

00:25:59   really in mass and then and and to like

00:26:02   you know and and then - will the author

00:26:04   of the comment of the review see your

00:26:06   response that that will decide whether

00:26:09   this is worth doing or not this this

00:26:11   could turn my advice in - yes go read

00:26:13   your reviews and respond in a reasonable

00:26:15   amount of time - things that that

00:26:16   deserve a response it's probably just

00:26:19   gonna be a whole buncha like form

00:26:21   responses from like you know you

00:26:24   mentioned it'll be developer saying oh

00:26:26   please email me it'll be big companies

00:26:28   that doing that like it'll be like the

00:26:30   big companies where they say like where

00:26:32   every update they say the changes in the

00:26:34   changelog are bug fixes and improvements

00:26:36   to make your life better look at our

00:26:38   full review notes at facebook.com slash

00:26:39   whatever like

00:26:41   you're gonna see like Instagram Facebook

00:26:42   Twitter like they're gonna be responding

00:26:45   to every single review with some kind of

00:26:47   useless form response but it's it's

00:26:50   really up to up in the air whether

00:26:51   people like us like smaller developers

00:26:54   who will actually respond in a human

00:26:55   fashion and might actually give useful

00:26:57   responses other than please contact us

00:26:59   so privately you know that remains to be

00:27:02   seen how that'll go and the the value of

00:27:05   this system and how much of a support

00:27:07   burden the system is will all depend on

00:27:09   those implementation details and how

00:27:12   many people actually read them what I do

00:27:14   like though is that it is I think you

00:27:16   feel like it provides an opportunity for

00:27:18   a smaller developer to like one of the

00:27:21   things that I when I was early on to be

00:27:24   like being independent like I'd always

00:27:27   you know write things in the third

00:27:29   person and talk and talk as though I was

00:27:32   a big company because I thought that's

00:27:34   like yeah like like we've been working

00:27:36   hard on this - on this update it's like

00:27:37   no I've been working hard in this update

00:27:39   I'm the only one writing code like it's

00:27:41   just me and it's kind of dishonest to

00:27:43   project something otherwise and so I do

00:27:45   like about this though is that it does

00:27:48   give an opportunity to feel it's like to

00:27:52   show the world that person that personal

00:27:55   level that it's like I can respond to

00:27:57   something directly and in a human

00:28:00   authentic way and over the long term I

00:28:03   found that since I stopped trying to do

00:28:04   that and I made things more personal I

00:28:07   feel like that has engendered a much

00:28:09   higher affections a weird word for

00:28:12   something like this but it's that same

00:28:13   kind of feeling of like people like me

00:28:16   and like my software because they like

00:28:18   me and so I do like that it's going to

00:28:20   be something that we can kind of react

00:28:22   and be a bit more personal in yeah

00:28:25   humanizes us and and I think that will

00:28:26   make people be less nasty sure and I

00:28:29   think honestly that's that's another

00:28:30   example of something that even really

00:28:32   thought of but I wonder if - if it'll

00:28:35   improve the quality of reviews that are

00:28:38   left you know in the same we always joke

00:28:40   about oh we never read our reviews

00:28:41   they're all so awful and nasty but if

00:28:43   customers who leave nasty reviews start

00:28:46   being responded to by humans and people

00:28:49   they may be less inclined at least for

00:28:53   some people may be less inclined to

00:28:54   leave those reviews than if they and if

00:28:56   in their mind they're just kind of you

00:28:58   know it's a big mega horn that a big

00:29:00   megaphone that they can just shout at

00:29:02   the world and then run away from if it's

00:29:04   actually like you know they shout at the

00:29:06   world and then the person who they were

00:29:07   shouting at comes back and talks to them

00:29:09   in a calm collected way

00:29:11   maybe they'll felt you know second-guess

00:29:13   that choice next time and it'll improve

00:29:16   the discord maybe that's just again me

00:29:17   just me my hopeful wishful thinking but

00:29:19   you know a man can dream all right and

00:29:23   with that we're out of time thank you

00:29:25   everybody for listening and we'll talk

00:29:26   to you next week bye